'Lord of the Rings' among titles to be offered

“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is coming to video on demand.

New Line TV, a division of New Line, the “Rings” distributor, has signed a VOD deal with In Demand, the dominant supplier of pay-per-view movies and specials to cable systems in the U.S.

New Line keeps about 60% of each dollar ponied up by subscribers, with cable operators getting the rest. In Demand’s middleman fee comes out of the operators’ share.

The agreement, hammered out by David Spiegelman, senior executive VP of domestic-TV distribution and marketing for New Line, and Dan York, senior VP of programming and development for In Demand, gives In Demand VOD access to New Line’s current releases and library titles in the pay-per-view window.

Only 3 million cable subscribers have the technology to benefit from the full VCR capability that VOD offers (pause, rewind, fast forward, in real time), but that figure is growing fast. In Demand cites Kagan World Media figures that project 8.8 million VOD cable customers by the end of 2003.

All of the major studios except Walt Disney and Paramount have struck deals with In Demand for VOD rights to their movies.

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