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Madison Avenue Tries to Latch to CBS’ ‘Star Trek’ Before It Streams

Advertisers took on a quick-hit mission Sunday night, boldly going to sponsor a TV program on CBS that is not supposed to appear on traditional TV after the end of this evening’s broadcast.

A bevy of technology and pharmaceutical firms aligned themselves with the debut of “Star Trek: Discovery” Sunday evening on CBS, even though the company has vowed that it will only show the premiere episode on broadcast TV and let the rest of the season stream only on its “CBS All Access” subscription on-demand service.

Apple, Amazon, IBM, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise and Samsung were among the sellers of gadgets and hot tech supporting the show – along with the network broadcasting the program. CBS ran four different promos urging viewers interested in seeing the series’ second episode (and the rest of the season) to subscribe to “All Access” immediately.  Each promo appealed to different customers, who might use Apple, Amazon or Roku technology to watch their streaming favorites.

It’s not clear which of the show’s TV sponsors, if any, are making the trip to hyperspace – er, sponsoring it online. If they do, they may not have the exact opportunity they did on TV. “CBS All Access” offers subscribers a choice of two plans, one with limited commercials and another with no ads at all.

CBS pitched the broadcast to potential sponsors as an “event,” according to one person familiar with the matter, and sought a premium in the cost it charges to reach 1,000 viewers, a measure known as a “CPM” that is integral to negotiations between TV networks and advertisers.

Other “Discovery” sponsors on Sunday night included General Motors’ Cadillac; Blue Buffalo; Berkshire Hathaway’s Geico; Target; Pfizer’s Lyrica; and Nestle’s Nutella.

 

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