June 19, 2006
On-Demand Previews for Television Movies

Oxygen has once again launched an on-demand preview for an original movie it will be airing on its main channel this week, marking the third time the channel has used on-demand to hype both the airing of a new movie and the channel itself.

The movie, called Banshee, has been previewed since last Thursday and will continue to be until Wednesday. The linear debut of Banshee will be next Saturday at 8 p.m. EST.

The on-demand option seems to be a good way both to experiment with shifts in distribution and also to catch those flipping through on-demand options with a strong piece of programming tied to Oxygen. This way, those who might consider Oxygen programming as inferior or who may never even give the channel a shot can get a taste of sample programming.

Since Oxygen has tried this tactic twice before and continues to do so, it is an indication that the network does not consider making the movie available before its release to have substantial damage to its initial rating as a network premiere. In fact, it's likely--if the product is good--that allowing previews and making the launch date clear on the previews will cause word-of-mouth to increase the number for the network debut.

And, as a marketing tool, a strong product available on-demand may create new viewers for Oxygen.