HBO gets the Boss for 2-hour concert

World tour tapings to air April 7

NEW YORK — HBO has signed Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band to perform in their first nationally distributed TV concert, scheduling the two-hour event for 9 p.m. April 7.

Springsteen and his producers Jon Landau and George Travis hired a crew to tape — in high-definition — two performances of the concert at Madison Square Garden June 29 and July 1, the final dates of the group’s 1999-2000 world tour.

Springsteen planned to release an edited version of the tapes on homevideo and DVD but had no definable plans for a TV program until Nancy Geller, senior VP of original programming for HBO and a rabid fan of the group, talked him into it. The parties declined to reveal how much HBO is paying Springsteen for pay TV rights to the concert.

HBO plans to spend lots of money to market the event, but because Springsteen hates self-promotion, the network doesn’t expect him to go on Jay Leno, David Letterman and other TV shows to hype the concert. Springsteen may do some magazine and newspaper interviews in advance of the cablecast, however.

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