CBS, UPN to Plug SET PPV Bout


Rare day-and-date spot ads on two broadcast networks highlight Showtime Event Television's extensive marketing plan for its Oct. 4 Evander Holyfield-James Toney pay-per-view fight.

Viacom Inc.-owned SET will begin airing day-, date- and time-specific promo spots Saturday for the heavyweight elimination bout in seven of the top 10 television markets on 11 stations owned and operated by sister broadcast networks UPN and CBS, according to Showtime Sports and Event Programming director of marketing Shelia Larkin Mills.

The spots are slated to run during high-profile CBS sports events such as National Football League and college-football telecasts, as well as during top-rated UPN primetime programming.

Normally, broadcasters have shunned day-and-date ads for fear that they would draw viewers away from their networks, but Mills said SET was able to take advantage of Viacom synergies to pull off the feat.

"You can't put a price on the [day-and-date] ads," she added.

Those same UPN and CBS stations will also air within the week a 30-minute preview show during late fringe. And that preview show will be offered free to video-on-demand subscribers in Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems Corp. systems, she added.

Fight ads will also appear on several cable networks, including ESPN, which will run spots during early-fringe and late-night SportsCenter
shows, as well as during its Oct. 3 Friday Night Fights

The fight -- which carries a suggested retail price of $44.95 -- will begin one hour earlier than the traditional 9 p.m. (EST) PPV-event start time so as not to conflict with an HBO PPV fight card the same night featuring featherweight champion Erik Morales, which begins at midnight. That event retails at a suggested price of $34.95.