Turner Classic Movies is running its biggest affiliate
promotion of the year this month, tied to its "31 Days of Oscar" campaign.
The network has spent several million dollars on the
campaign, with print ads in national publications, local spot buys in several markets and
prizes for movie-trivia contests.
Affiliated cable operators in 71 markets are backing the
campaign with cross-channel ads, and local radio stations are devoting airtime to a
TCM-branded movie-trivia contest. Listeners have a chance to win prizes ranging from
big-screen TVs and DVD players to the new book 70 Years of the Oscar, written by
TCM host Robert Osborne.
In five markets, TCM has partnered with select affiliates
to promote "Classic Academy Award Weekends," where films from TCM's
extensive movie library are shown on big screens at local multiplexes.
Subscribers of the partnering cable operators are offered
giveaways or discounts at the screenings, such as free popcorn, if they bring in copies of
their cable bills, said Katherine Evans, vice president of marketing for TCM.
"We chose markets where we have enthusiastic cable
partners," Evans said, and where there will be a spillover effect of demand from
subscribers in other systems that don't yet carry TCM.
"Distribution is still the most important part of our
business goal," she added.