October 21, 2004

Yahoo! Alerts 10/20/2004

Keyword News: [Richie Sambora]

Samsung Elec,US Cable Cos In Pact To Air Live Music In HD

Tuesday October 19, 10:56 PM EDT

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Rocker Jon Bon Jovi was on hand Tuesday night in Manhattan to help launch a partnership deal between Samsung Electronics America Inc. (005930.SE), In Demand's INHD network, and several major cable operators in a venture that is being dubbed as one that could change the way people hear and see music concerts.

Under the agreement, the partnership will air a series of high profile music gigs on the high definition cable network channel, INHD, that will allow consumers to see live shows in high definition in their homes.

"It's going to be a ground-breaking programming venture," said Rob Jacobson, president and chief executive of INHD's parent company, In Demand Networks. " It's going to change the way people watch television," he said.

Bon Jovi will be kicking it off with a live show on Nov. 21 from the Borgata in Atlantic City, which will be aired live on INHD's Center Stage program and cybercast live on Samsung's web site.

"Artists are always looking for new ways to reinvent themselves .. in order to stay relevant and to stay at the forefront," said Bon Jovi. The singer said he's "not a big fan of change" - but was convinced that this venture will allow his music to reach many more people than a concert would.

At the same time, he said the high definition sound will allow his music to be heard the way it should be. "There's a reason why Richie Sambora and I once sat down on a stage at an MTV awards in 1989," where the two played their music " unplugged" with only two acoustic guitars. "We didn't think they could get the sound and the power behind those songs on a two-inch speaker on a television screen and hit the hearts of America."

"But now we're not afraid to turn it up," said Bon Jovi. Through the partnership agreement, "we're going to allow the viewer the opportunity to have their neighbors knock on their door and complain," he joked.

Under the one-year agreement, at least one live concert will be aired each month. Plans are in the works to air a Mary J. Blige concert that will feature Sting and Elton John in December, and a Chicago/Earth,Wind & Fire gig in January.

There's a huge difference between watching a concert on analog TV and seeing it on High Definition TV with surround sound and high-end picture quality, said Peter Weedfald, senior vice president of strategic marketing for Samsung.

"When you put two cups to your ears, that's no longer stereo. That's almost mono now because real stereo is your eyes and your ears and surround sound and the visualization of actually being there. That's the real power of stereo," said Weedfald.

Andy Addis, senior vice president of Comcast (CMCSA, CMCSK) and spokesman for the cable industry's marketing initiative, OnlyCableCan, said INHD can potentially reach 45 million viewers on such cable systems as Time Warner (TWX), Adelphia Communications (ADELQ), Comcast, Bright House Networks, and Cox Communications (COX). "There's a tremendous opportunity for us to transform watching live performances on TV." About 1.5 million viewers currently have INHD, which is available for those who own high definition TVs.

-By Janet Morrissey, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-2118

Posted by riesambo at October 21, 2004 10:55 AM