Time Warner, Pioneer Team Up to Plug HDTV


Time Warner Cable and Pioneer Electronics Corp. will launch a joint HDTV promotion that will run Nov. 26-Feb. 8 in 1,200 retail stores across the country.

Consumers can get $500 off any one of 21 plasma and projection Pioneer HDTV sets in Best Buy Co. Inc., Circuit City Stores Inc., CompUSA, Sears, Roebuck & Co., Tweeter Inc., Ultimate Electronics Inc., Ken Crane's and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. locations in Time Warner markets.

Time Warner, for its part, will provide new HDTV subscribers, including existing cable subscribers, with six months of free basic-video service. Some 60% of the MSO’s markets also use Pioneer digital and HDTV set-tops.

"We felt that by putting the brands together, we could make a statement in the marketplace," said Charles Haugabrook, vice president, sales-channel development at Time Warner. "It's an aggressive offer, but we feel that the timing is right for it. It is definitely a retention tool for those customers who might have migrated to our competition. It's worth every penny to keep customers in the family."

As part of the promotion, Time Warner and Pioneer developed a co-branded marketing piece, to be distributed at retail, Haugabrook said. "Our strategy is to work on a broader scale with CE partners to do more direct relationships with retailers," he added.

"HD is a viable product for us, and it makes sense to go to market with a brand that is very compatible," Haugabrook said.

Time Warner and Pioneer conducted a smaller joint-promotion test in late 2002 in Los Angeles. Pioneer said fourth-quarter-2002 HDTV-set sales were up 175% over 2001 with that promotion in about 15 retail stores.