Bravo is moving full-speed-ahead this year to sell
traditional commercials on the network, which currently only offers limited sponsorships
that don't interrupt its film-and-arts programming.
Bravo is now talking to ad agencies and to the sponsors
that it already has on board -- companies such as Texaco and Saab -- about the new
commercial inventory that it will be selling, according to Ed Carroll, executive vice
president and general manager of the arts network. The move has been rumored since last
Starting in the fourth quarter, Bravo will begin airing
between four and eight minutes per hour of national spots, Carroll said. It will offer
charter positions to its current sponsors.
'We will have three commercial breaks an hour,'
he added. 'Bravo will be the least cluttered of the basic-cable networks.'
In addition, 'there will be a local component to
that,' Carroll said. So operators will be getting local avails to sell, although the
details on that haven't been hammered out yet.
Previously, Bravo sponsors could only buy billboards and
spots that would appear before and after a program, and not during it.
Bravo is taking this course because advertisers have
expressed more interest than the network can currently satisfy with its available
inventory, according to Carroll.
The arts network now reaches 31 million homes, which helps
with advertisers. 'Crossing the 30 million threshold does mean that Bravo has
achieved a critical mass,' Carroll said.
Bravo will also retain its billboards for presenting
sponsors, he added.