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SkyPix Predicts P-P-V Will Get Movies Red Hot

Seattle-based SkyPix has predicted that some films will be available for $25 a crack on its satellite pay-per-view system simultaneous with their theatrical releases.

SkyPix prexy Brian McCauley, appearing on a panel at last week’s Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Assn.’s 1991 Satellite Show, said the development, which could happen as early as the middle of this year, will “totally change the way we look at television.”

He noted the p-p-v transmissions will be taping protected.

SkyPix, set to launch this summer, is an 80-channel DBS system. McCauley maintains that the service needs fewer than 1 million homes to turn a profit. In a traditional p-p-v window, SkyPix plans to charge $3 to $4 for top hits and $1 to $2 for library films.

Another DBS player on the panel was Prime Star Partners (formerly K Prime Partners), repped by exec v.p. and chief operations officer David Beddow. After it completes six to eight months of testing, Prime Star Partners plans a full nationwide rollout of a system offering seven superstation channels (WWOR-TV New York, WPIX-TV New York, KTLA-TV Los Angeles, KTVU-TV San Francisco, WGN-TV Chicago, WTBS-TV Atlanta and WSPK-TV Boston) plus three impulse p-p-v channels, a text and data channel, and at least nine audio channels.

A third DBS operator, TVN Entertainment Corp., repped on the panel by CEO and prexy Stu Levin, maintained that C-Band, not high-power Ku-Band, is the delivery system of the future. Like Prime Star, TVN is up and operating, via the first two channels of a proposed 10.

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