Fox nets Yahoo! Ads

Flashy promos, exclusive video offerings to plaster sites

HOLLYWOOD — Having already inked deals with every major studio to promote films, Yahoo! is branching out to push TV shows.

The portal giant has landed Fox as the first major broadcaster to use Yahoo! to promote its slate of new and returning programs. Deal with Fox Entertainment Group also includes a pact with FX to advertise the cabler’s series on the dot-com’s sites.

As part of the deal, Fox will use Yahoo! to advertise programs including “Fastlane,” “Firefly,” “John Doe,” “The Bernie Mac Show,” “24,” plastering the entire network of Web sites with flashy ads and exclusive video offerings.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the pact is said to be comparable with what studios often pay to promote their pics on the Web, which can easily run north of $500,000.

Broadcasting pioneer

While cablers such as Comedy Central, USA Network, Discovery and Lifetime have used Yahoo! in the past to push their shows, Fox is the first major broadcaster to launch a campaign on the site. Yahoo! has other deals with other webs on the table, with those signed pacts likely to be announced in the coming weeks now that the fall season is under way.

“With the launch of every season, we’re looking for new strategic ways to reach our target audience,” said Roberta Mell, executive veep of marketing, Fox Broadcasting. “Online promotion is a key vehicle for getting the message to that key demographic. With Yahoo!’s reach, we’re casting a wide net in just the right waters. We believe that Yahoo! can be an ideal outlet for reaching our viewers off air.”

Screening out

New research studies, including a recent report from Arbitron, say people are spending more of their time online and less with traditional media, including watching TV. That is making it harder for the television webs to increase the reach of their programs solely by promoting them on air.

“The networks are trying to figure out how they can launch a new fall season when shows are declared hits or misses in the first two weeks,” said Jim Moloshok, senior veep, Yahoo! media, entertainment, information and finance. “Launching a new TV show is like opening a movie. The Internet lets you reach someone nine hours of the day while they’re in the workplace and at home when they log on.”

Fox already had an online advertising deal with Yahoo!, but mainly to promote its films. That relationship will continue with 20th Century Fox gearing up to use the portal to push upcoming pics “Daredevil,” “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen,” “Solaris” and “X-Men 2.”

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