Eye to pitch fall on auction site
CBS is hoping dinner with “Survivor’s” Rupert will get fans excited about its fall sked.Eye net has signed a marketing deal with eBay to create a separate page on the auction site that will include TV-related items and experiences up for sale alongside promotional material for new fall shows. It’s the first comprehensive deal that eBay has signed with a network. Netco has held one-off auctions for numerous shows and pics and signed a long-term deal with Fox. Deal is another example of the growth of branded marketing on the Web. Rather than using Web ads or relying on potential viewers to come to its site, the Eye is placing promotional material for its new shows around auctions related to existing hit skeins. Several of the items up for grabs will be experiences with CBS reality stars, including dinner with Rupert or dancing lessons from Big Tom of “Survivor: All Stars.” Bidders can also win tickets to the 100th episode of “CSI,” a tour of the “Big Brother” house, or breakfast with “Early Show” weatherman Dave Price. CBS will also auction the mat used for the end of a leg on “The Amazing Race,” David Caruso’s sunglasses from “CSI: Miami” and a signed gavel from “Judging Amy.” “This is the first time anyone has done a large partnership with eBay to promote multiple shows,” noted CBS exec VP of marketing George Schweitzer. “We think this can help generate excitement and attraction for our premiere week.” The net plans to promote the site on air, including during a half-hour premiere week preview skein set for Wednesday, as well as on the CBS.com Web site. Auction will run Sept. 8-26.