Clients Buy Into Themed Channel

Mar 7, 2005  •  Post A Comment

By Sharon Edry

Special to TelevisionWeek

Many Jacksonville, Fla., businesses were looking to expand their reach when the Super Bowl came to town at the beginning of February. Comcast Spotlight responded with a major initiative, offering its local clients a new way to get noticed: through a temporary tourist channel tied specifically to the game.

Called Big Game TV, the 24-hour channel began looping information Jan. 27 that featured restaurants, sports bars, tourism destinations and places to buy NFL-licensed merchandise.

“We reach about 13,000 hotel rooms, and there are many people renting out their homes,” said Chuck Herndon, general manager for Comcast Spotlight in Jacksonville. “The Super Bowl has done an amazing job putting things on, but we realized there are also a lot of businesses that need to be noticed.”

More than 30 clients bought into the project in just two weeks, making it a “phenomenal success,” Mr. Herndon said. He said the programming, which ran through Super Bowl Sunday, included editorial vignettes as well as commercials.

Such an event-driven, advertiser-focused model had never been tried in a Comcast Spotlight market. Postgame figures were not yet available at press time.

Mr. Herndon said he is watching closely to see how Big Game TV works for participating advertisers. “If the results are there, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it rolled out in other markets,” he said.