One cable news channel has been aggressively pitching its original primetime programming to advertisers, including marketing itself under the new tagline “Celebrate the American Dream” and declaring itself to be “the new primetime destination for intelligent entertainment,” TVNewser.com reports.
The channel is CNBC, which rebranded last fall as “CNBC Smart.” It has reportedly been pushing that brand to media buyers as programming that celebrates the American dream, backing the pitch with an ad campaign featuring an American flag motif, the story reports.
The report notes: “For years, CNBC’s primetime served as a place for reruns of shows from CNBC, NBC and elsewhere. In the last few years however, the network found substantial ratings success with its documentary features, which profiled businesses and businessmen, as well as industries that may be established — like television — or not, like marijuana growing.”
The marketing push has included some “outside the box” initiatives. “In the past few weeks the network ran a contest where it gave one media buyer a Smart Car, and held a party in midtown’s Aspen Social Club to drum up attention for CNBC Smart,” the story reports.
CNBC’s shift of focus with its primetime programming isn’t unique, the story points out. “Bloomberg TV has taken a similar route, programming primetime with documentaries and profiles that are more entertainment than financial advice,” the report says. “Bloomberg is not rated by Nielsen, so we have no way to gauge how successful that effort has been. Fox Business Network meanwhile has relied on the more traditional cable news format, featuring hosts in the studio talking business. With the exception of Lou Dobbs, that programming still has a long way to go in the ratings.”