NYTVF Brand Connect Links Marketers To TV Development Projects

The 7-year-old New York Television Festival is looking to get marketers more involved at the early stages of the TV development cycle -- possibly as branded entertainment partners, equity partners or more.

With sports and marketing company Insignia Sports & Entertainment group, it is starting up NYTVF Brand Connect, where brands and ad agencies will have an opportunity to participate in early-stage television and digital project/pilot development. Efforts will appear at the festival.

Historically, the TV broadcast development season, which is just starting now up for next year, doesn't include TV marketers in typical "package" deals -- ones that are made by major Hollywood talent agencies for writers, actor, and producers.

Why don't more marketers do this? Because there is an inherent risk for marketers in spending millions on a script and show development and expensive pilots without getting much in return. That's why many marketers/brands prefer to buy big network TV schedules, where their plans have ratings guarantees.

But in an increasingly fractionalized media world -- where new digital platforms are looking for shorter-length and more modest TV efforts -- Terence Gray, founder and executive director of New York Television Festival believes his group has an opportunity, one in which new TV writers and producers can connect with brands and marketers at early script and show development stages.

"The brands that would want to come in early would infuse and support those programs, as well as further development backing," Gray says. "[Shows] can be presented at the festival that could be sold to a network."

The move isn't just to make a big splash on a broadcast network. The goal is to help those TV network/big media digital platforms looking for short-term series/episodes, as well as deals for cable networks and other TV areas. These efforts can involve less financial risk for brands.

The new branded entertainment group was initiated from a TV development project the NYTF-Insignia worked on -- the Samsung Second Screen Storytellers competition, announced in July and offering winning TV producers $300,000 to create a short multiscreen TV series for exclusive distribution on Samsung smart TVs and devices.

NYTVF's current 2012 development roster features a record 26 guaranteed development deals from 18 media/network partners. This is an increase from 15 deals offered in 2011 and four in 2010.

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