Panasonic, MSOs Set Olympian HDTV-Marketing Effort


Panasonic Consumer Electronics is teaming up with 10 major cable operators on an HDTV-marketing campaign tied to NBC’s coverage of the Summer Olympic Games.

Officials said Tuesday that Panasonic and the 10 MSOs would spend more than $10 million on cross-channel cable spots and print ads for the promotion, which will run July 1-Aug. 31.

Consumers who buy one of 19 Panasonic HDTV sets and agree to upgrade to digital-video or HDTV programming packages from their local cable operators will receive two $50 checks that can be used to help pay their monthly cable bills.

Multichannel News first reported on the Panasonic agreement -- which was organized by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing -- last month. The promotion is similar to an HDTV-marketing campaign eight MSOs ran with Samsung Electronics America Inc. in March.

Operators participating in the Panasonic promotion are Comcast Corp., Time Warner Cable, Charter Communications Inc., Adelphia Communications Corp., Cablevision Systems Corp., Cox Communications Inc., Insight Communications Co. Inc., Mediacom Communications Corp., Cable One Inc. and Bright House Networks.

The MSOs are contributing both cash and chunks of their local-ad-sales inventories to the promotion.

The Panasonic spots tout CTAM’s “Only Cable Can” initiative and NBC’s HDTV coverage of the Olympics, which will only be available on cable systems that have agreements to carry HDTV signals from their local NBC stations or affiliates.

But the ads won’t run during any of NBC’s Olympic Trials programming, since the broadcast network has signed Panasonic rival Sony Electronics Corp. as its exclusive HDTV sponsor.