Extended LOTR goes PPV in the States


Active Member
In a move already drawing ire from some retailers, New Line has just announced an industry first of sorts, the first-ever PPV (pay per view) broadcast of a supposed "DVD exclusive," the new extended cut of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. As any Rings fan already knows, in addition to the currently available theatrical version of the blockbuster, New Line will be releasing two new box set editions on 11/17, each featuring a new extended cut of the film and hours of extras touted as being exclusive to the DVD. List price for these sets ranges from around $40-$80 retail.

But according to most reactions from retailers as reported in the industry trades, the main source of complaint is the unusually short DVD-to-PPV "window" of only 13 days, with PPV customers able to purchase viewings of the film beginning as soon as 11/25. This gives retailers a very small time frame in which to generate profits, especially with the PPV showings costing a mere $4.95. Worse, according to some retailers, is the inclusion after the main feature will be over an hour of extras, including the documentary "A Passage to Middle Earth," Enya's "May It Be" music video, and the highly touted 10-minute behind-the-scenes peek at the sequel, The Two Towers.

However, it is worth noting that none of the extras on this PPV broadcast are actually "exclusive" to the DVD as retailers are claiming. The making-of documentary has already been released on the currently-available theatrical DVD edition of Fellowship of the Ring (and was originally produced for the Sci-Fi Channel anyway), as are the Enya music video (also widely seen on music video outlets such as VH-1) and the behind-the-scenes peek at The Two Towers (which has already been broadcast on the web and elsewhere for weeks.)

New Line has announced that none of the material actually exclusive to the upcoming special edition box sets will be shown as part of the PPV event, and since the vast majority of major releases all eventually hit pay per view anyone, the fuss being raised over a PPV showing of the extended cut of Fellowship is perplexing to this author. In any case, if you are a PPV customer and want to check out the extended cut but don't want to purchase the entire DVD, here's your chance. Otherwise, I'm sure there will be plenty of angry retailers out there willing to rent it to you...


Distinguished Member

Question: is American PPV TV like UK PPV TV shows, whereby you can't record them to videotape or Sky+ permanently, due to some kind of copyright signal that stops you from doing this, or can you just record the show as you would any other movie?

If you can't record it, then I'd rather get the DVD. However, if you CAN record it, then this is really going to dent sales of the DVD in the USA!



Active Member
It does seem to devalue the exclusivity of the new DVD, however, the real fans will still want all the dvd extras, I guess the ppv is for the benefit of those non-fans who bought the original version - New Line are well aware of how much hype will surround LOTR in Nov/Dec what with the new film and the new DVD, and I suppose they are just cashing in on that.

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