Press Release #46 (2/16/10)
COMCAST, TIME WARNER CABLE, COX COMMUNICATIONS AND BRIGHT HOUSE NETWORKS COLLABORATE ON INDUSTRY INITIATIVE TO SUPPORT "WE ARE THE WORLD 25 FOR HAITI" VIA ON DEMAND GIVING
For the First Time Ever, More Than 33 million On Demand Cable Customers Will be Able to Support This Humanitarian Initiative Just by Watching the Historic We Are The World 25 For Haiti Video,
Organized by Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie
New York, Feb. 12, 2010 - Some of the nation's top cable operators have collaborated to give cable customers a way to support relief efforts in Haiti via a Video On Demand (VOD)* showcase of the much-anticipated We Are The World 25 For Haiti - a brand-new, contemporary version of the iconic 1985 philanthropic anthem "We Are the World." Starting this weekend, and available until March 14, cable customers in Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks systems around the country can watch the star-studded, long-form video via the VOD platform. 100 percent of the video's $2.99 price will be donated to the We Are the World Foundation, a not-for-profit organization. The foundation, formed by legendary producer Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie, who both serve as executive producers and producers of the re-recording of the iconic We Are The World, among others, is committed to providing long-term assistance to the Haitian people through an organization that will be operated with full transparency and using state-of-the-art technology and star power.
The long-form video version of the song, featuring over 80 of the world's top recording stars, (complete roster and full production credits** listed below) and directed by Academy-Award® winner Paul Haggis, will be available starting this weekend in 33 million cable homes, following a preview of a shorter version during the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games on Fri, Feb. 12, broadcast by NBC. Performers of all generations and backgrounds got together in Los Angeles on February 1st - nearly 25 years to the day from the first recording - to re-record the song that is still the best-selling single of all-time. This production was made possible through financial support from Visa Inc.
The cable On Demand project came together through the efforts of Quincy Jones and media entrepreneur Alexis Denny of Normandy International. They brought the idea to Comcast CEO Brian Roberts, who enlisted the nation's top VOD distributor, iN DEMAND to coordinate the effort and bring in the company's other owners; Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Cox Communications, who quickly agreed to participate.
Commented Quincy Jones, "For Comcast to bring together the cable industry leaders in the same spirit of collaboration that the artists shared in the studio was very fitting, and I am enormously grateful to Brian Roberts and Comcast, as well as Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks for their inspired support of our efforts to bring much needed relief to the people of Haiti."
"The crisis in Haiti has stirred an outpouring of emotion and concern around the world," explains Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts. "As technology continues to change our lives, we wanted to find a way to put the vast resources of our industry into the broad effort so many individuals and organizations were making."
"Just as there was no hesitation from nearly one hundred of the world's most gifted performers to lend their talents and voices to create an incredibly compelling piece of contemporary entertainment, there was also no hesitation from iN DEMAND and their cable owners Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks to come together in this heroic effort to bring hope and relief to the people of Haiti," said Lionel Richie.
Pat Esser, President, Cox Communications and Steve Miron, CEO of Bright House Networks, said in a joint statement: "Through this unified effort, we and all of our customers have a way to make an immediate difference to the people of Haiti through this urgent philanthropic outreach. We are fortunate that we have the technology right now through On Demand for viewers to simply click on and enjoy the video, knowing that the entire purchase price will go to the We Are the World Foundation."
More information about the We Are The World 25 for Haiti multi-faceted fund-raising campaign can be found at www.world25.org.
Technology has moved to the forefront of philanthropic outreach in recent months, with text message giving jumping into the mainstream during the crisis in Haiti. According to Ms. Denny, who developed the On Demand charity outreach, "In experimenting with various interactive platforms, I began to think about what cable TV could offer people who want to do more than watch, who are inspired to take an action. Click and give - it's that simple, and they get the bonus of seeing the video too."
Upon its initial release in 1985, the song changed forever the model of philanthropy and celebrity, raising over $63 million dollars for famine relief in Africa and becoming the first certified multi-platinum single. This year's video features a dazzling array of talent, many of whom normally would not share a stage were it not for sharing the common cause of supporting the Haitian people. From Barbra Streisand to Lil Wayne, the Jonas Brothers to Tony Bennett, Celine Dion to Pink, the stars heeded the call of Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie to come together once again.
*The video can be accessed as follows:
Comcast: VOD Top Picks
Time Warner Cable: Movies On Demand
Cox: Movies On Demand
Bright House Networks: Movies On Demand
We Are The World 25 for Haiti
Artist & Creative Roster
EARTH WIND & FIRE
THE JONAS BROTHERS
JOEL & BENJI MADDEN
LL COOL J
ISSAC SLADE (AKA THE FRAY)
JIMMY JEAN LOUIS
HARRY CONNICK, JR.
BONE THUGS AND HARMONY (BIZZY BONES)
MARY J BLIGE
**Recorded on February 1st in the same studio as the original 25 years earlier (Henson Recording Studios, formerly A&M Recording Studios) the new version, in which Jones and Richie serve as executive producers and producers, was created in collaboration with executive producers Wyclef Jean, Randy Phillips and Peter Tortorici; producers Humberto Gattica and RedOne; and co-producers Rickey Minor, Mervyn Warren and Patti Austin to benefit the Haitian earthquake relief efforts and the rebuilding of Haiti.
About iN DEMAND L.L.C.
iN DEMAND L.L.C. is the pioneer and world leader in providing exciting transactional entertainment delivered through television's most innovative technologies. iN DEMAND creates and delivers programming through cable Pay-Per-View (PPV), Video-On-Demand (VOD) as well as on digital platforms. PPV programming includes movies, boxing and mixed martial arts events and the digital out-of-market subscription professional sports packages for MLB, the NBA, the NHL and MLS. The company also offers a range of VOD products including first-run movies and serves as the exclusive TV home of Howard Stern via its Howard TV On Demand offering. Content is delivered in both SD and HD. iN DEMAND's owners are Comcast iN DEMAND Holdings, Inc., Cox Communications Holdings, Inc., and Time Warner Entertainment - Advance/Newhouse Partnership. Further information about the company can be found at www.indemand.com
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