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Healthy Revenue and Healthy Ads

Sep 18, 2006  •  Post A Comment

In a deal that signals healthy ad sales at TV One, two major sponsors are now signed on to the cable network’s multiplatform initiative with Reach Media and Radio One to get African Americans to visit the doctor.

Kellogg’s is the latest sponsor of the multimedia program promoting “Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day,” which takes place Sept. 19. It joins Walgreens, which was a sponsor last year.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. “It really brought to us an opportunity with multiplatform touch points in order to reach the consumers with an extremely important message,” said Christine Olson, VP and media director of Starcom USA, which buys advertising for both Kellogg’s and Walgreens. “It’s something we embraced last year and it evolved into an even bigger program this year.”

In addition to TV and radio, the health message will be carried on Reach Media’s Web site Blackamericaweb.com and dispensed at various local events.

Kellogg’s and Walgreens were already advertisers on TV One, whose owners include Comcast and Radio One. Since its launch in January 2004, the network has grown to 32.2 million households. That expanding footprint is making it increasingly attractive to advertisers.

“TV One has proven to be a successful platform for us, especially when they can come to us with opportunities that not only have a television aspect, but also have radio and online and on-site,” Ms. Olson said.

The increase in the value of this project mirrors the ad sales growth on the network overall.

Keith Bowen, executive VP of advertising sales and marketing for TV One, said that ad revenue has increased 50 percent in 2006 compared with 2005, and that ad commitments were up another 50 percent in the upfront. Mr. Bowen said the network has added about 20 new upfront advertisers and that advertisers are paying higher costs per thousand viewers.

“When you’re in 35 million homes, they’re willing to give you a different value for your inventory than they might have been at 5 million homes,” he said.

“People are beginning to appreciate the unique audience that we’re bringing to market,” Mr. Bowen added. “There really hasn’t been a network in television that delivers an adult African America 24/7.” He said BET attracts a mostly younger group of black viewers.

“TV One is doing amazing,” said Derek Baine, senior analyst at Kagan Research. “They aren’t break-even yet, but the carriage agreements they have signed have them on firm footing.”

Kagan estimates that TV One will generate about $32.6 million in ad sales in 2006 and $47.9 million next year. But Mr. Baine added that TV One’s growth hasn’t yet had an impact on BET, which is one of Viacom’s fastest-growing cable networks.

BET’s ad revenues for 2006 will be about $313.5 million, according to Kagan.

TV One, which gets monthly viewership reports from Nielsen Media Research, declined to provide ratings data.

The “Doctor Day” initiative was created in 2002 by radio and TV host Tom Joyner, founder of Reach Media, to reduce the health disparity between blacks and the general population.

This year’s program involves an on-air TV campaign including vignettes that feature TV One personalities including Mr. Joyner, Patti LaBelle, G. Garvin, Roland Martin and Michelle Singletary. G. Garvin, who hosts a TV One cooking show, will also have an integrated appearance on Walgreens’ “Health Corner” TV series on the network, which is hosted by Dr. Lisa Thornton, a spokesperson for the chain.

It also includes an on-air campaign on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” on radio, including customized promotional announcements featuring Mr. Joyner.

There will be broadcasts from the Walgreens Wellness Vans, which are making a 75-city, 12-month nationwide health-screening tour.

Radio vignettes will air on Radio One stations.

The program includes on-site exposure at Reach Media events, including the Tom Joyner Family Reunion at Disney World. There will also be on-site exposure at Radio One “Take a Loved One to the Doctor Day” events in Washington, Detroit, Cleveland, Dallas and Raleigh-Durham, N.C.

“I think this program really is, front and center, a great call to action to get the people we serve every day to take care of themselves,” Mr. Brown said. “We’re just thrilled to have two great advertisers along for the ride.”