Just how far from the big time is Internet video-on-demand?
Enough that even the heavily publicized online premiere of “Fahrenheit 9/11,” the year’s hottest political film, drew a mere 89 viewers for its one-time showing on election eve.
Internet showing took place on CinemaNow, one of two major online VOD companies; the other is the five-studio joint venture Movielink.
Pic was made available online for three hours as part of a pre-election pay-per-view event that also included satcaster Dish Network and cable PPV company TVN.
Event drew major media coverage as Michael Moore made one last attempt to influence the election and a studio pic had its first-ever debut online before hitting the PPV window.
Minuscule number of Internet orders was revealed at the UBS Media conference in New York by Jon Feltheimer, CEO of CinemaNow’s parent company Lions Gate Entertainment.
“This gives you a sense of what technology can do,” he explained. “I thought 89 was actually a big number.”
A rep for CinemaNow said “Fahrenheit 9/11” special, which brought in $885.55 in revenue, was a “success,” noting that the three-hour window in which it was available was unusual for the Internet. He said CinemaNow’s overall one-time rentals are up 200% for the year.
Feltheimer described CinemaNow as a “wild card” for Lions Gate but added that he believes Internet VOD and high-definition DVDs are “revenue streams of the future.”