Court TV Makes Case for CPI

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This year, Court TV is tying much of its upfront pitch to the CPI.

No, the investigation network is not doling consumer price index data, but, rather, cost per involvement point: a metric that gauges how effective Court TV is as a place to run ads against its highly interested and compelled viewers.

Court TV officials put their CPI story forward to an upfront press breakfast gathering here last Monday morning.

Combining customized data from Nielsen Media Research with findings from Simmons Market Research Bureau, MRI and other researchers, the network has devised a mathematical formula melding TV interest, receptivity to advertising, viewers’ full attention to any program on a service, advertising interest and unaided brand recall.

This involvement measure is then multiplied against a standard CPM (cost per thousand homes) — $9.83 for primetime against adults 18-49, as determined by Media Dynamics Inc. for the 2003-04 TV season — to compute the cost per thousand involved (CPMI, or CPI for short).

Given those criteria, Court TV had a CPI of $47.40, second only to GSN’s $44.85.

Executive vice president and general manager of sales Charlie Collier took attendees through an overview of these processes. The message: The lower the increase from the CPM to the CPI, the more efficient the buy against involved viewers.

On the programming side, president and chief operating officer Art Bell talked up the network’s continuing expansion within its core realms of mystery and suspense.

Looking to attract younger viewers, Court TV is adding series House of Clues, in which a trained duo will glean info by investigative profiling of homes, beginning April 30; Impossible Heists, featuring two teams competing in recreations of some of the most complex capers in criminal history; and The Chase, in which an elite tracking team chases down escapees.

Bell also announced a pair of telefilms: A Jury of Her Peers and Chicago DNA.

Last Thursday, executives announced the July 12 launch of Court TV Legal News Service under which network talent and experts would offer their legal acumen to news departments of broadcast stations and cable news channels. It will be provided on a subscription basis, via satellite or fiber.

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