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Kraft tastes cable

Discovery pact continues cross-platform trend

Discovery has landed another major advertiser, Kraft Foods, to buy a massive advertising schedule on Discovery Channel and five of its sister cable networks, plus the NBC Saturday-morning lineup programmed by Discovery Kids.

The five siblings are TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Home & Leisure, BBC America and the Discovery Kids Channel.

In this cross-platform deal, Kraft will buy sponsorships on some of the shows on these networks, which will give the advertiser’s brands what Discovery calls added value, such as billboards and special mentions on top of the standard 30-second spots. The parties declined to discuss dollar figures but industry estimates put Kraft’s total payout to Discovery in the low eight figures.

Two other recent cross-platform deals engineered by Discovery are Visa and Home Depot.

In the Home Depot contract, announced two months ago, the advertiser locked up exclusive sponsorship in its category for TLC’s runaway-hit primetime series “Trading Spaces.” Home Depot also renewed its exclusive commitment to another popular TLC series in primetime “While You Were Out.”

The Discovery Channel singled out its new series “Rally Round the House” as a major outlet for multiple Kraft products. Kraft will also create a sweepstakes through Discovery Kids giving 6-to-12-year-olds a shot at winning an appearance on a future Discovery Kids program as well as a trip for four on an African safari.

Another part of the deal sets up the Kraft Family Showcase as the umbrella for two Animal Planet specials: “50 Great Animal Movies” and the fifth-year anniversary of “Planet’s Funniest Animals.”

The principals who negotiated the deal were Joe Abruzzese, president of advertising sales for Discovery Networks, U.S.; Gary Gruneberg, director of media buying for Kraft Foods; and Mel Berning, president of U.S. broadcast for MediaVest.

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