“Fahrenheit 9/11” is adding some fuel to its pre-election fire.
Michael Moore’s controversial doc will be available Monday on pay-per-view for one night only to the Dish Network’s 10 million satellite subscribers and the 30 million-plus households with broadband Internet access via video-on-demand provider CinemaNow.
Deals follow one signed last week by Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s Fellowship Adventure Group with PPV provider TVN to make the pic available to more than 1 million cable homes (Daily Variety, Oct. 29).
New PPV deals greatly expand the availability of the anti-Bush docu on Election Day eve and help make up for the aborted deal Moore had with In Demand to air the pic along with the specially made “Fahrenheit 9/11: A Movement in Time.” That docu ended up airing on IFC.
Because the pic is airing outside of its regular PPV window, a move that could affect Sony’s sales of the recently released DVD, Dish and CinemaNow will have to follow the same restrictions as TVN. Satcaster will show it only at 8 p.m. ET and PT. CinemaNow will allow users to begin streaming it on-demand between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Because of piracy concerns, pic won’t be available for download.
One-time viewing of the pic on all platforms will cost $9.95, a higher-than-usual price Fellowship insisted upon because of the early availability.
Both EchoStar-owned Dish and competitor DirecTV had been in the running to nab the special airing of “Fahrenheit” as of last week. CinemaNow execs used connections through minority owner Lions Gate, which was part of the theatrical distribution team, to land exclusive Internet rights.
Airing a fiercely partisan pic the night before a hotly contested election is sure to raise some eyebrows, but execs from both companies played it as a solely business-related move.
“We’ve never shown a film on the Internet before its pay-per-view window,” noted CinemaNow CEO Curt Marvis. “From our point of view, this is a great way to raise interest and awareness in Internet on-demand delivery of movies.”
Dish programming veep Susan Arnold said, “We are pleased to provide a variety of political films and documentaries to better inform our customers.”
Moore and Fellowship are donating their portion of the profits from the Internet showing to a veterans’ charity.