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Starz Maps Broad-Based Online ‘Crash’ Course

Oct 14, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Premium cable network Starz has added a host of new online distribution partners to carry the first episode of its original series “Crash” starting this week.
The show, the movie network’s first original dramatic series, premieres on-air Oct. 17 and will be streamed online this week on sites and services such as Heavy.com, Dailymotion, IMDb.com and Xbox. Those partners are in addition to previously announced Web promotional partner Fancast.com, the online portal for Comcast. The first episode is also carried on Starz.com and is available free on-demand from Comcast, Time Warner and Cox and via a linear sneak preview with DirecTV, Verizon and Netflix.
The digital word-of-mouth campaign is a critical component of the networks’ broader push to drive viewership for this series. The marketing and production budget for “Crash” is the largest ever for a Starz production because Starz is shifting its model to offer more original programming. “This is helping us diversify and not be totally dependent on just movies,” said Ann Ivancie, VP of online and new media at Starz.
If successful, the online efforts for “Crash” will also serve as a template for the next slate of original productions for the network, such as next year’s planned series “Party Down.”
“We want to get awareness out for Starz as a brand and original programming, and we want to partner with the best on the Web,” Ms. Ivancie said.
The network is also offering video clips and behind-the-scenes material for the show on sites such as YouTube, Crackle, MySpace, MSN and AOL. In addition, the network has released a widget that contains various video clips and can be embedded in blogs and on Facebook and MySpace pages.
“Crash” stars Dennis Hopper and is produced by the same team that created the Academy Award-winning movie of the same name. The TV series is not a sequel but will lean on similar storytelling techniques.
(Editor: Liff)

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