Remember when screaming studio audiences queued up for free? That's so 20th century. Now fans can get tickets to their favorite shows the hip way: on the Web. Just log on to StubHub.com, bid for your pleasure, and win seats for a guaranteed date and time.
What you buy is convenience—but the proceeds go to a worthy cause. The Museum of Television & Radio uses the money to collect and preserve TV and radio shows, with 120,000 programs already in its archives.
The benefits are twofold. "The networks and studios get to be supportive of the museum, and the audience is happy because they can get sought-after tickets," says Barbara Dixon, vice president and director of the Los Angeles Museum of Television & Radio. The museum also puts on events, such as this month's William S. Paley Television Festival; luncheons with TV-industry luminaries; nighttime panels with producers, stars, and network execs; and educational seminars.
Available StubHub shows include Paramount's Dr. Phil; ABC's 8 Simple Rules, Hope & Faith, Less Than Perfect, and According to Jim; and CBS's Still Standing, Two and a Half Men, Star Search, The Price Is Right, and Yes, Dear. More shows will be added in coming weeks. "Fans support a great cause, and it offers the networks great promotions for their shows," says Eric Baker, StubHub president and co-founder. The company has partnerships with Knight Ridder and USA Today, which provides wider distribution for its services.
Baker's brainchild, born in 2001, resells sports and entertainment tickets in the secondary market, giving fans a guaranteed vendor from which to acquire hard-to-get or sold-out tickets to games or concerts.
StubHub also puts together concert packages and auctions them off for the charity of the performer's choice: Jewel auctioned tickets off to benefit The Clearwater Foundation, while Ellen DeGeneres dedicated her proceeds to the World Wildlife Fund.