The Biography Channel drew more than 80,000 telephone and electronic-mail
responses expressing interest in the network tied to a June 1 sneak preview on
sister channel A&E Network.
'It was the largest preview campaign we've run on A&E Network,' Biography
Channel vice president of marketing John Hartinger said.
A&E typically hosts previews for Biography Channel twice per quarter,
bringing together blocks of programming with common themes, whether biographies,
documentaries or theatrical films.
On June 1, A&E ran a four-hour block called The Royals: All in the
Family, airing biographies on each of Queen Elizabeth's four children.
To encourage viewers to upgrade their cable or satellite packages to include
Biography Channel, A&E ran spots during the programming block promoting 'The
Biography Channel Royal Treatment Sweepstakes,' which will award a trip to
Bermuda, including full massage treatment.
'It was an enticing promotional campaign that complemented the programming
nicely,' Hartinger said.
The leads were directed first to Biography Channel, rather than to local
cable operators, as 'a way for us to tangibly measure the demand and interest'
in the channel. Affiliate marketing executives can then use that information
about consumer demand as they visit operators to make sales pitches.
Hartinger said both phone and e-mail leads are valuable to the network, but
he admitted that e-mail addresses allow Biography Channel to build deeper
relationships with potential customers.
Because the leads are turned over to its affiliates, Biography Channel has no
direct way to track how many of the 80,000 A&E viewer responses will
translate to new subscribers for the digi-net. In some cases, viewers may
already subscribe to Biography Channel or live in neighborhoods not yet upgraded
for digital cable.