VSDA WANTS LONGER PAY-PER-VIEW WINDOWS

LAS VEGAS -- Underscoring a theme running through the Video Software Dealers Association, the group's president, Jeffrey Eves, called for a minimum 60-day pay-per-view window on top titles."No single issue is of greater importance to our membership today" than PPV windows, said Eves during his state-of-the-industry speech at the VSDA annual convention held here last month. He also said some movies

LAS VEGAS -- Underscoring a theme running through the Video Software Dealers Association, the group's president, Jeffrey Eves, called for a minimum 60-day pay-per-view window on top titles.

"No single issue is of greater importance to our membership today" than PPV windows, said Eves during his state-of-the-industry speech at the VSDA annual convention held here last month. He also said some movies are pushed to the PPV market in a shorter time than is advertised to retailers.

PPV windows now range from a minimum of 30 days on major hits to 90 days on lesser titles that studios want to encourage bigger buys on.

"Short windows are short-sighted. They are not good for retailers, they are not good for studios, and they are not good for the long-term interests of the home video industry," said Eves.

"Although VSDA will not call for, or be a part of, any illegal boycott activity, we continue to believe it makes good business sense to take the length of a movie's PPV window into consideration when buying decisions are made," he said.

More disturbing, Eves said, is VSDA research that shows 18% of movies tracked appear on PPV earlier than the window advertised to retailers. "Credibility and reliability are fundamental tenets in any business relationship. Just as retailers have an ethical obligation to honor street dates, studios must honor their commitments on PPV windows," he said.

"We recognize that studio economics today would dictate the compression of windows to speed up income flows in a business where profits are having an increasingly difficult time keeping up with costs. However, the compatibility between these short-term financial strategies to satisfy Wall Street and the longer-term structural needs of the industry bears the closest scrutiny," he said.

"That is why VSDA has called for a minimum 60-day PPV window on all A-title theatrical films," said Eves.