SC Fla. Baseball Promo Boosts DirecTv


SportsChannel Florida and DirecTv Inc. are contemplating
another major advertising push in Orlando, Fla., this fall, after a promotion boosted
satellite-dish sales for electronics retailer SoundAdvice, the companies said.

SoundAdvice's dish sales more than doubled in its
three Orlando stores, compared with its 18 other Florida-based stores, said Dan Amico,
director of marketing for the chain.

SC Florida and DirecTv created the 12-week campaign to tout
the direct-broadcast satellite service's ability to deliver Tampa Bay Devil Rays and
Florida Marlins Major League Baseball games to the Orlando DMA, where there is no cable
coverage of the teams.

The project began after SC Florida failed to reach a
distribution agreement with Time Warner Cable's Orlando cluster. System officials
have claimed that there isn't enough interest in the Orlando market to justify adding
the service.

But Rod Mickler, general manager for SC Florida, said the
campaign's success proves that there is a substantial baseball following in Orlando
that is now watching the games on DBS, rather than on cable.

"We're pleased, but we're not surprised with
the results," Mickler said. "The results justified our point that there is
considerable interest in our product in the Orlando area."

"It was an extremely successful campaign in terms of
sheer number of units sold," said Bob Marsocci, senior manager of communications for
DirecTv. "We were able to take advantage of a shortcoming of our competitor."

The performance of the campaign -- which mainly used print
media -- also surprised the retailer, which often runs technology-based promotions, rather
than programming-based promotions.

"We were happy about it; we're always looking for
different ways to sell our product, and this was very successful," Amico said.
"I hope that there are other opportunities down the road. It shows the value of
satellite over cable."

Mickler hinted that DirecTv and SC Florida could team up
again in the market for a similar promotion behind the network's college-football
package, which include University of Miami and University of South Florida games. The
network also offers a Big Ten Conference game of the week.

"There has been some discussion about another DirecTv
promotion, but nothing has been agreed to at this time," Mickler said.

Meanwhile, Mickler said, the network continues to talk to
Time Warner about launching the service to the system's 550,000-subscriber base. SC
Florida has been feuding with the system over distribution rights for years, even as it
has grown from 600,000 homes to more than 3.2 million since Wayne Huizenga took it over in
1996, SC Florida said.

Time Warner carries SC Florida in several markets,
including Tampa, Fla.

Representatives from Time Warner could not be reached for
comment at press time.