The Broadway Television Network is preparing a repeat broadcast of its first pay-per-view (PPV) special, a taping of the closing night performance of Broadway’s Smokey Joe’s Cafe.
The second airing of the PPV show, which will take place in January 2001, will be offered in all of the cable markets that it originally aired in. Listings will vary according to market and BTN says cable subscribers must check their local listings for show times.
A BTN spokesperson said the revue of the Leiber and Stoller song catalogue will air according to local programming decisions made by cable operators. “Some will offer all-day tickets,” explained BTN’s Hali Simon, “and some will air the show for a week or a full month.”
Simon said that BTN plans to make an official announcement about the satellite and PPV broadcast soon.
BTN has yet to release PPV viewership statistics or revenue reports on the first showing of Smokey Joe’s. “There was an article published recently that said it normally takes five or six months before cable operators even know what those numbers are,” Simon suggested. “In reality, we just don’t know.”
In fact, BTN may never release it’s results on the first broadcast. Simon said the network measures the success of Smokey Joe’s “by the response we’re getting and the fact that the cable operators want to air it again because enough of their subscribers called to see it.” The show was aired opposite the last Emmy Awards show and BTN maintains that “a lot of fans say they missed out because it was up against the Emmys (Sept. 10).”
BTN president Bruce Brandwen has told Playbill On-Line that he considers the PPV audience and financial results proprietary. As reported on Sept. 14, Brandwen told Playbill On Line that hard numbers on the Smokey Joe's broadcast are still not available, and may be kept confidential for some time.
"I'm not quite sanguine about those figures being available in a few days," Brandwen said at the time. "It may take a few months, and we still have other broadcasts to do around the world. Europe won't hit until winter, South America is this weekend, and I'm not sure when Australia will be. We have a sequence of exhibitions planned in various territories."
BTN's president also said he would not break out the domestic U.S. figures for the PPV show. "There are issues that have to do with the rights holders," Brandwen said, "so we are waiting until we have a total result. Now, if I were a competitor I would not want anyone to find out either, so these figures will be closely guarded and very confidential.
In general terms, Brandwen predicted in September, "we are going to be doing more of these."
Statistics notwithstanding, Brandwen said that "many cable operators have asked us for another airing of Smokey Joe's Cafe. Brandwen said cable operators felt the show suffered against the Emmys, which were being broadcast simultaneously, and that "everybody wanted a second run."
While BTN might consider additional runs of Smokey Joe's Cafe, the network tried to avoid a conflicting precedent of consecutive plays because there will be situations in the future when shows will be broadcast for "one night only."
—By Murdoch McBride