New York -- In an effort to draw viewers to its new
primetime-programming lineup, Courtroom Television Network has aggressively expanded its
According to Dan Levinson, executive vice president of
marketing for Court TV, the network is spending more money on first-quarter marketing than
it had in its entire history combined.
Although he would not quote a dollar figure for the
promotional budget, Levinson said Court TV spent in excess of $5 million on media buys
outside of its own network.
To help build viewership, Court TV had to go off-air,
Levinson said, because it does not control any sister networks, nor does it have a
significant viewing base of subscribers to draw from.
"We're trying to reposition Court TV in the minds
of consumers that we're not just trials," Levinson said, and to convince people
that it has entertainment programming, too.
Through last week, Court TV heavily promoted its new 9 p.m.
primetime anchor show, Homicide: Life on the Street, with local cable avails, radio
spots and print ads in high-profile publications including USA Today, The New
York Times and TV Guide.
Levinson said the network plans to come back in March with
additional spending behind its 10 p.m. series, Crime Stories.
Until then, Court TV is encouraging its affiliates to
support Homicide with cable avails and by running customized ads in local
newspapers and radio stations. Affiliates that continue running the spots through February
have a chance to win prizes, including cash and a trip for two to Hawaii.
The network recommends that affiliates advertise Homicide
around related genre programming, such as Law & Order on A&E Network and Burden
of Proof on Cable News Network.
"The fact that we're marketing aggressively
should be a sign to affiliates that we're not going to be silent any more, and that
we're going to generate a significant audience for them," Levinson said.
New York advertising agency Griffin Bacal helped Court TV
to develop its first-quarter marketing campaign.
Court TV's subscriber base grew by nearly 11 percent
last year, to 34 million households, the network said. Time Warner Entertainment and
Liberty Media Group own the network.