WINNER: WORLD WRESTLING ENTERTRAINMENT FOR WWE HD LAUNCH: HD REFRIGERATOR

To: Gary Davis, VP, Corp Comm., WWE
Fr: Dewey, Cheatham & Howe, Attorneys at Law
Re: HD Refrigerator

Mr. Davis:

We feel we have an actionable case against you, Mr. Geof Rochester and WWE for your January 2008 promotion, which touted WWE HD’s launch. Despite winning the award for best tchotchke, your entry caused considerable suffering and distress to our client, CableFAX editor Seth Arenstein. The damages we seek are outlined below.

Quoting from your CableFAXIES entry, you wanted to "insure an immediate reaction" from affiliates and trade press "in a way that boldly stood apart from the standard clutter…" Our response to this, Mr. Davis, is oh, yeah. Mr. Arenstein was accosted numerous times by agents of a delivery company. The agents informed him that he be present on a given date/time/place to receive an undisclosed package from an undisclosed source. This uncertainty resulted in Mr. Arenstein missing several work days so he could review his federal tax returns back to 1997. We believe the unnecessary stress you caused our client could be worth millions.

On delivery day, your package arrived approximately seven hours late. [This is not germane to the case since Mr. Arenstein tells us late arrival is standard procedure in many parts of the cable industry.]

Your entry says, "we were confident [the refrigerator]…would have maximum impact." We agree. The 150-pound box you sent Mr. Arenstein was left at a loading dock. Mr. Arenstein had to carry it up two flights of stairs to his office. The "maximum impact" was a wrenched back and a hernia. While these injuries prove your point that WWE in HD "is so real it hurts," the result to our client was that he was unable to play softball for two months. For that inconvenience we are seeking the sum of 27 cents.

Your entry notes the item is "a mini-refrigerator." Mr. Davis, please. We are ready to dispute this in a court of law. While said tchotchke is perhaps a small item for beefy wrestlers, for trade hacks whose idea of vigorous exercise is jumping to conclusions twice a day, those refrigerators are anything but mini.

We await your response to these claims.

Fast Facts

  • WWE included dozens of branded ice packs along with the 50 HD mini-refrigerators, which were also branded. The ice packs emphasized the message that WWE in HD was so real it hurts. An accompanying letter said, "Ice packs are enclosed to take care of all injuries that may occur from the experience."

  • The refrigerator mailing was timed to coincide with WWE HD’s initial PPV foray, January’s Royal Rumble, which spurred significant buys for WWE’s affiliates. It also set the stage for WWE’s March 30 WrestleMania 24, traditionally cable’s top PPV event of the year.

Honorable Mentions:

My TiVo Gets Me — TiVo dispatched "antenna people" who urged consumers in five markets to visit mytivogetsme.com to learn how TiVo gets them. The antenna headbands generated buzz and got mentioned in a Leno monologue.

Tennis Channel’s Play on the Clay Acrylic — Talk about connecting with an event. Affiliates felt like they were in Paris with Tennis Channel’s tchotchke — an acrylic tube surrounding bits of red clay from Roland Garros Stadium’s famed surface.

Retirement Living TV’s STDs Fact Book — Some 20% of people with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. are 50-plus, and the number is rising. At appropriate trade events, RLTV distributed condoms branded with its blue logo and a fact book on sexually transmitted diseases.

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