Big PPV push set for July’s Woodstock ’99

Concert to run for 30 straight hours

NEW YORK — The 30th anniversary Woodstock ’99 concert will run for 30 consecutive hours on pay-per- view in late July, bolstered by a marketing blitz that could approach $10 million.

Jeff Rowland, executive producer of the PPV production and senior VP of Metropolitan Group, which is promoting the event, says the 1994 Woodstock two-day event on PPV harvested a solid buy rate of 220,000 households, which translated into about $9 million, a record for PPV music concerts.

That figure should go much higher in 1999 because the universe of cable and satellite households with access to PPV is at 35 million compared with 24 million in 1994. Viewer’s Choice, DirecTV and TVN have signed up to distribute the event.

Among the performers on board for the ’99 concert are Jewel, Sheryl Crow, Metallica, Alanis Morissette, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Counting Crows and Aerosmith. Metropolitan will reveal more names over the next two months.

Subscribers who buy all three days of Woodstock ’99 will pay $59.95. Cable operators will also retail the event for $29.95 a day to subscribers who don’t want to commit to the 60 hours.

In general, Metropolitan Group and the cable operator will each pocket 45% of the PPV revenues, with the distributors like Viewer’s Choice collecting 10% for their services. However, sources say, if the cable system agrees to promote Woodstock ’99 on local cable TV, broadcast TV, radio, print, billboard, etc., that system can push its 45% of the gross up to as much as 50%, cutting into both Metropolitan’s 45% and Viewer’s Choice’s 10%.

MTV will be helping Metropolitan to promote the Woodstock ’99 PPV event as well as the CD and the videocassette to be released sometime in the fourth quarter of 1999, Rowland said. Westwood One has signed as the exclusive network radio outlet for the event, although it will broadcast only a portion of the 60 hours.

Woodstock ’99 will run from Friday, July 23, through Sunday, July 25. It’ll take place at the 3,600-acre Grifiss Park in Rome, N.Y.