Samsung, Eight MSOs Eye March HD Madness

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Eight major MSOs are teaming up with Samsung Electronics America Inc. to market HDTV in a campaign tied to CBS’ upcoming coverage of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Samsung and the MSOs are spending more than $10 million combined on the ad campaign, which will be spread across both cable- and broadcast-media buys. MSOs are contributing both cash and local-advertising inventories to the campaign.

The Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing led the MSOs in crafting the deal, and Adelphia Communications Corp., Bright House Networks, Charter Communications Inc., Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc., Insight Communications Co. Inc., Mediacom Communications Corp. and Time Warner Cable signed on.

Samsung will run ads in local markets touting its HDTV sets, and the customized ads will also tout the brands of each of the eight MSOs.

Cablevision Systems Corp. was the only MSO that declined to participate in the marketing campaign.

Through the campaign, consumers who buy Samsung HDTV sets will receive two $50 checks that can be used to pay their cable bills.