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Trial and Error

TV Guide Reaches Out Online

December 1, 2008 7:48 AM

Whenever I think of TV Guide, the first thing that comes to mind is Frank Costanza, George’s father on “Seinfield,” who collected the weekly magazines of television listings.

Well, those days of TV Guide really are our father’s generation, so now TV Guide is focusing heavily on its Web presence. The site TVGuide.com is drawing nearly 15 million visitors per month, Paul Greenberg, executive VP and general manager for TV Guide Online, told me in a recent interview.

What’s drawing people to the site?

Besides TV listings, celebrity videos and an online video guide, he has encouraged TVGuide.com editors to become experts in online communities, such as Facebook and TV show fan sites. When editors join and moderate such groups, they often can provide exclusive content like video interviews with TV stars. TVGuide also is reaching out to fan sites, such as those for “One Tree Hill,” “Gossip Girl” and “Heroes,” which will embed TVGuide videos.

That helps TVGuide’s Web traffic, because the site returns higher in searches via its community outreach to other sites, Mr. Greenberg said. Original video streams on TVGuide.com have grown more than 400% year-over-year because of this strategy.

Here’s an example of a TVGuide.com video embedded in a “Heroes” fan site. About 10% of the total plays for this video came from the “Heroes” fan site, which helps drive attention and traffic back to the TVGuide.com site.


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