Petry, Eurosport pact

Foreign TV mart thriving

In another indication of the buoyancy of the foreign TV market — and the greater attention American companies are paying to that development — the Petry rep firm has just inked its first continental European client.

Petry Intl., a unit of Petry Media Corp., unveiled Tuesday an advertising sales representation agreement with Eurosport, that continent’s leading sports channel.

Deal suggests that there is much room for trans-Atlantic growth on the advertising side, as well as on the programming side of the international TV biz.

Tentative moves to sign up European clients were made some 15 years ago by various U.S. rep firms, including Petry, Katz, Seltel and Blair, but the timing was premature: There just weren’t that many commercially mature broadcast, cable and satellite players abroad to justify the efforts. And the Web was nonexistent.

Per the current agreement, Petry Intl. will drum up North American ad sales for Eurosport, Eurosportnews, Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Asia, and also will represent Eurosport’s Web sites as part of a cross-media offer.

“Eurosport has an engaged and passionate viewership across Europe that are an advertiser’s prized demographic. We are confident that Petry will be able to connect previously untapped global and American advertisers and companies with Eurosport’s audience through its television channels and increasingly through its Web sites,” Petry Intl prexy Dick Soule said. This is just the first in what is likely to be a stepped-up search for international clients by Petry.

“This agreement is a strategic partnership that will help us develop our presence and cross-media offers with North American global advertisers,” added Eurosport vice-chairman Jacques Raynaud.

Petry Media is a leader in the nation’s $8 billion spot TV ad market and also offers programming advice and research information to 300 local client stations in the U.S.

Eurosport, which is available in 20 languages and reaches 110 million homes, offers its viewers access to the Olympics, the cycling Tour de France, 15 motorsports series and the World Cup soccer tournament. Eurosport is owned by France’s TF1 Group.

After a wave of consolidation in the U.S. rep firm biz a decade ago, Petry Media now consists of four operating divisions — Blair TV, Petry TV, Petry Intl. and Digerati iSales. Petry Media is privately owned by Patriarch Partners, a New York-based investment firm, as well as by company management.

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