While Daniel Brenner offered an interesting perspective on the growth of pay-per-view television in his March 13 Viewpoints column, "Static Hits 'Pay-Per-View' TV," we believe that he underestimated the Hollywood community's commitment to this burgeoning new business.
Brenner questions whether Hollywood will have the "incentive to move in pay-per-view's direction." From our standpoint at Request Television, Hollywood has already demonstrated its commitment.
Request, a privately held company now in its third year of operation, distributes and markets on a pay-per-view basis the films of nine of the leading Hollywood studios to the cable-television industry. We and other distributors in the pay-per-view field now reach some 6 million homes--a small business for now, but one that industry analysts project may approach $3 billion by the mid-1990s. The business is currently growing at a faster pace than either pay-TV or home video at comparable points in their development.
Certainly, there is a healthy diversity of opinion within the Hollywood community about how best to shape the pay-per-view future. However, one thing is clear: Hollywood is supporting this nascent business with its hit titles today as it builds to a bigger tomorrow.
JEFFREY C. REISS
The writer is president of Request Television.