When VH1 launches the new weekly concert series “Hard Rock Live Presented by Pontiac Sunfire” in March, it will be backed by a hefty $30 million marketing and promotional budget – said by the Viacom-owned cable net to be the largest such sum ever committed to hype a TV music program.

Robert Small, co-creator of MTV’s “Unplugged,” is producer of the series. The show will feature taped performances of various musical acts performing in front of a studio audience in New York City.Series, distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Pay TV, Cable and Network Features, is also expected to showcase behind-the-scenes interviews and candid moments with the musical artists as well as vignettes culled from the Hard Rock Cafe’s 35,000-piece memorabilia collection.

The move to greenlight such an expensive and elaborate series could be designed – in the wake of TCI’s move to drop VH1 from more than 1 million subscriber homes – to help send a message to cable system operators that the network is going to try harder to be a player in the original programming arena.

Pontiac, the show’s exclusive presenting sponsor, has committed dedicated advertising to the series as well as cross-promotional TV and magazine ads that tout both Pontiac’s Sunfire automobile and “Hard Rock Live.”

VH1 prexy John Sykes said of the announcement, “We have had a longstanding, fruitful relationship with the Hard Rock organizations and look forward to taking it to the next level.”

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety