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CBS blurb purge

Lone sponsor Philips nets '60,' returns time

CBS’ “60 Minutes” will air with a single advertiser, Philips, Sunday in a deal that will cut in half the time taken by ads in a normal broadcast.

Under the deal, a first in the newsmag’s 37-year history, Royal Philips Electronics will spend $2 million to buy all the advertising for the show, and then give half the time back to CBS to use for programming.

The result will be longer stories, the first two of which will air uninterrupted.

“We are very pleased to be participating in this unique arrangement, and we look forward to other opportunities like it,” said “60 Minutes” exec producer Jeff Fager.

Philips paid to underwrite the show as part of its “Sense & Simplicity” brand campaign for consumer electronics.

“We chose to underwrite ’60 Minutes’ due to its simple yet straightforward format,” said Philips chief marketing officer Andrea Ragnetti. “By reducing commercials, we could actually extend the length of stories, thus simplifying and enhancing the viewer experience for the audience.”

“60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl discussed the deal on Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” and suggested that viewers “weigh in” on whether the pact is successful.

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