What’s worth more to the average TV viewer: the chance to watch a favorite show at a time of his or her own choosing or the opportunity to win a prize associated with the program that spurred the original tune-in? AMC Network’s reality-focused We TV intends to find out.
The network, which recently announced its intention to go after a broader, less female-centric audience, said it would begin an effort to get viewers to tune in live (or via video on demand or DVR playback within three days) to certain shows by offering a chance to win a reward. On Thursday, during an episode of We’s series “Tamar & Vince,” the network will feature a specific code word during one of its promos. Viewers who enter the code word at wetv.com will be eligible to win one of ten swag bags given out weekly, while all participants will be automatically entered to win a grand prize of a complete home theater system via a sweepstakes. The network will begin running spots announcing the effort, which it calls “Watch W/In,” Monday.
The network said it hoped to integrate advertisers into the process in future days.
While many TV executives speak longingly of a day when advertisers will grant credit for views of TV shows that occur days or weeks after their initial launch date, the fact remains that advertisers at present pay only for views of commercial breaks that take place within three days of a traditional airing, part of a metric known in the industry as “C3,” or commercial ratings plus three days’ of viewing.
In the most recent “upfront” market, when TV networks try to sell the bulk of their ad inventory, a number of broadcast networks struck deals with GroupM, the large media-buying operation owned by ad-holding giant WPP, for deals that would grant credit for up to seven days’ worth of viewing, a measure known as “C7.” Other ad-buying firms may also have struck some deals of this nature. Even so, there are a number of sponsors, including movie studios and retailers, who still count on TV to deliver ads to viewers in more time-sensitive fashion. These advertisers see little value in having ads for a Friday-night movie opening or big weekend sale appear in front of consumers days or weeks later.
“We know many viewers today want to time shift their favorite shows and watch on their own timetables, but promoting urgent viewing within three days is meaningful for the network and our advertisers,” said Marc Juris, WE tv’s president, in a prepared statement. Cable networks tend to have generate less delayed viewing than broadcast programs, research has shown in the recent past.