A different form of convergence is taking hold, with
Discovery Networks U.S., Fox Family Worldwide Inc., ESPN/ABC Sports and Turner
Broadcasting Sales Inc. among the media outfits enjoying gains in cross-media ad sales.
The various media companies also said their multiplatform
packages don't include discounts - even though TBSI president Steven Heyer noted that
bundling properties together for sale can lead clients to believe they are entitled to
TBSI's recent big-bucks integrated deals include: a $50
million strategic alliance between Independent Data Group and CNN News Group; a $35
million deal linking American Suzuki Motor Corp. with the Heisman Trophy via the Turner
cable networks and Time Inc. magazines; and a $30 million strategic alliance between WebMD
Inc. and CNN News Group.
TBSI also claims a $15 million pact partnering
DaimlerChrysler's Dodge division with Cable News Network, CNN/SI and Time magazines and a
$5 million deal linking J.P. Morgan & Co. with the CNN networks and Time magazines.
Most of the buys also encompass one or more of TBSI's Web sites.
TBSI spokesmen cited 33 recent integrated sales and deals,
including eight booked this year alone. Most tend to be one- to three-year commitments,
but Royal Philips Electronics' 20-year, $100 million contract is the biggest and
longest-running yet. That's mostly due to Philips' entitlement deal with Turner-owned
Philips Arena in Atlanta, which opened in September.
Sources at TBSI said multimedia-sales clients don't get
discounts. Rather, they pay a premium.
Naturally enough, "Most on the buying side want to
[get discounts], while most of us on the selling side don't want to do that," Fox
Family president of ad sales Rick Sirvaitis observed. But he, too, maintained that Fox
Family does not offer cross-media discounts.
Ed Erhardt, president of the newly joined ESPN/ABC Sports
ad-sales operation, also stressed that integrating sales isn't about discounted sales.
"We focus less on price and more on ideas," he said, although he acknowledged
that "in any arrangement, there is a negotiation."
General Motors Corp.'s yearlong sponsorship of ESPN's
SportsCentury, which ran through the end of 1999, was "a fabulous example of a
partnership with a whole bunch of arms and legs," Erhardt said. The book spinoff even
cracked The New York Times best-seller list in December, he noted.
"Traditionally, various media outlets would have
shared $2 million chunks of that [business], but ESPN/ABC got it all," he added,
noting that Beck's was the first sponsor booked after the ESPN/ABC sales consolidation.
Discovery Networks senior vice president of ad sales Bill
McGowan said he sells "not just cross-media, but cross-platform." The Discovery
packages - notably last season's Cleopatra's Palace: In Search of a Legend and the
forthcoming Raising the Mammoth special - can encompass such nonmedia elements as
Discovery's retail stores.
Discovery has been touting such sales for five years,
although some of the components in its mix have changed during that time.For example, Web
sites have replaced the spinoff magazines for Discovery Channel and The Learning Channel.
Other elements can include its domestic analog- and
digital-cable channels, in-flight programming on airlines and programming abroad, he
Using Mammoth to illustrate the scope of its multimedia
opportunities, McGowan said Ford Motor Co. and Computer Associates International Inc. will
sponsor this latest "Watch with the World" event special on the same date and
local time worldwide in 150 countries.
Each advertiser will have four 30-second spots during each
telecast of the special, plus program billboards. Before the showing, they'll also get
mentions in sponsor-tagged "brought to you by" promo spots.
In addition, the marketers will be mentioned in all promo
and publicity materials, such as Sunday supplement ads, spot-TV tune-in promos,
point-of-sale materials in Discovery's retail stores, direct mailings to 10,000 people
from its retail database and at VIP screenings.
A 10-minute featurette on the special will run on all
United Airlines Inc. domestic flights daily during the two weeks prior to the telecast in
March, he said, and on all United international flights for four weeks prior.
On the Internet, McGowan said, a special promotion page on
Raising the Mammoth will be part of Discovery's Web site, which will include hot links to
Ford's and Computer Associates' Web sites.
Fox Family is a relative newcomer to the cross-media-sales
arena. Since it began offering integrated kids'-oriented sales last spring, Sirvaitis
said, the "one-stop kids' shop" approach has proven effective, with several new
deals now being finalized. He was, however, reluctant to reveal many present and upcoming
sponsor names without their permission.
Sirvaitis did cite toy marketers Bandai America Inc., LEGO
System Inc. and Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.'s "PlayStation" as accounts
that bought time and space across Fox Family's cable, television, radio and magazine
Meanwhile, sister company Fox News said it has made a
multipronged, one-year integrated-marketing buy via Rainbow Advertising Sales Corp.
(RASCO), which started last week.
Media buys for Fox News - primarily for Fox News Channel -
will include targeted cable networks on the New York Interconnect; the News 12
regional-news networks; and sponsorships of New York Islanders National Hockey League
games on Fox Sports Net New York and Madison Square Garden Network.
Fox News spots will also run in RASCO parent Cablevision
Systems Corp.'s Clearview Cinema movie theaters. And Fox News programming will get
placement on TV sets in all Cablevision-owned The Wiz retail stores during the
presidential primaries and conventions, RASCO president David Kline said.
At CBS Corp., the potential for one-stop shopping on a
grand scale seems to loom larger, thanks to its planned merger with Viacom Inc.
CBS Plus began last year as a new division that specializes
in cross-media sales, inspired by a one-year Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. multimedia buy in
August 1998. Earlier this year the unit sold Taylor Made Golf Co. and Glaxo-Wellcome on
multimedia buys, but a CBS spokesman said that the biggest to date has been an estimated
$50 million cross-media buy from Fidelity Investments.
CBS Plus -- which has added sales personnel in Los Angeles
and Chicago of late -- has now added King World's syndicated shows to its portfolio. It
has another major deal in the works, but CBS officials are mum on the client and category.
NBC now is looking into cross-media sales, as well.
Although its big event for 2000, the Summer Olympics from Sydney, Australia, will be
covered by the "Peacock Network" and its cable networks CNBC and MSNBC, however,
NBC is not selling cross-media packages across all three networks and their Web sites - at
least not for 2000.