The backers of “The Miss Howard Stern New Year’s Eve Pageant” have projected the special is on target to become the largest pay-per-view event ever.
Based on advance sales, Dan Duva, president of the New Jersey-based PPV promotions company Main Events TV, said the show will be “the largest entertainment event in the history of pay-per-view and maybe of all time.”
The shock jock’s special is outpacing sales for the PPV champ, a boxing match between Evander Holyfield and George Foreman last year that appeared in 1.4 million homes, according to Duva.
At $ 40 a pop, he said, cable systems will get 50% of the take. Daily Variety has estimated that Stern stands to pocket at least $ 5 million from the beauty pageant spoof, which is estimated to cost more than $ 1 million to produce.
“According to Variety, I’m almost Howard Hughes,” Stern quipped Wednesday when asked about the figure during a national conference call with reporters.
Stern said that until now, New Year’s Eve has been off limits in the PPV industry.
The special is selling best in markets where his radio show appears, but Duva noted that publicity surrounding Stern’s bestselling book, “Private Parts,” has helped generate PPV sales throughout the country.
Citing his well-documented censorship battles with the Federal Communications Commission, Stern said PPV appealed to him because “it is one of the last places left where I can actually do some material of an adult nature.”
The special will include a musical tribute to John Wayne Bobbitt’s penis and a taped segment in which Stern plays Michael Jackson, who will have a young boy (played by a short actor) chained to a bed.
Stern, however, suggested that he would have no problem maintaining network standards if he should wind up with his much-rumored latenight show on Fox Broadcasting.
“I don’t … worry about what TV executives think in terms of my pay-per-view special,” he said, pointing to his toned-down chatshow on cable’s E! Entertainment Television. “(Network TV) is a new kind of challenge that would be a tremendous opportunity.”