Success Story: Mobile Lab Detects Ad Dollars

Apr 5, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Court TV’s Mobile Investigation Unit, a traveling forensics lab, will roll into 23 cities this summer, including Albuquerque, N.M., and Pittsburgh, allowing area multiple system operators to bankroll a little extra ad revenue.
The lab made the rounds to as many cities last year and was quite successful, said Tom Wolfe, senior VP, affiliate ad sales, for Court TV, which is 50 percent owned by AOL Time Warner and 50 percent by Liberty Media Corp.
“The MIU helped local affiliates generate approximately $1.2 million in potential revenue,” Mr. Wolfe said. “Some Time Warner [MSOs] brought in incremental revenue that took them from 25 percent of the sponsor’s budget to 60 percent.”
Last year’s MIU exhibit let visitors view a simulated “caper scene” on a series of interactive kiosks. This summer the audience will watch one of eight 20-minute-long performances of a caper scene. Afterward, participants will be asked to help gather clues.
Nebraska Furniture Mart in Kansas City, Kan., sponsored one of the events last summer on its premises.
“The client was happy with the turn of events,” said “Fast” Eddie Hall, promotions specialist for Time Warner ad sales in Kansas City, Mo. “They received 250 promotional commercials and 250 taggable program sponsorships.”
“Everything is about generating revenue for our owner-partners,” said Evan Shapiro, senior VP, marketing, for Court TV. “We are seeing our relationship strengthen with them because they can get new clients and incremental revenue and be a brand builder for their potential clients.”
The Kansas City, Mo.-Kansas City, Kan., DMA has a 67 percent cable penetration, according to BIA Financial Network, which also reports that the market saw $162 million in TV ad revenue in 2003.