Net Show 'Big Shot' Gets Big Traction

"Big Shot Live," the Internet/local TV talent contest show, is only two weeks old--and clicking with viewers.

With only 45 TV stations up and running, the five- to-seven-minute-long daily Internet show is averaging 350,000 users a week and 5 million page views. These metrics are about 20% higher than what was expected at this time, says Jak Severson, chief executive officer of Madison Road Entertainment, one of the show's producers.

"The traction has been insane," says Severson, one of the "Big Shot" producers. "People are spending 10 to 14 minutes per session--more time than Facebook. The combination Internet/local TV show gives TV stations Internet ad time on the BigShotLive area. This includes a pre-roll commercial, and a 300 x 250 rich media Internet ad. In return, those TV stations run on-air TV promos directing contestants to the Web site.

CBS Television Distribution has distributed the show to 197 TV stations.

So far, "Big Shot Live" has two national advertisers: Southwest Airlines and DSW Shoes. But Severson says three other national advertisers--an automotive manufacturer, a quick service restaurant and a credit card company--will start campaigns next week. "Big Shot Live" is getting 1.4 million advertising impressions per week.

BigShotLove.com partitions its entertainment contests for different days of the week: modeling (Monday), singing (Tuesday), dancing (Wednesday), acting (Thursday), TV host (Friday), comedy (Saturday), and sports tricks (Sunday).

Each day, contestants sign up online, upload their auditions, then ask friends to vote for them. At 5 p.m, the voting stops, and experts pick a single winner from the top five vote-getters. Those winners are flown to Los Angeles to appear in special entertainment appearances. Their visit is videotaped as part of the "Big Shot" show.

Specific markets are doing well. KARE-TV Minneapolis has the most winners to date--four. Severson says the station has been putting a lot of effort into the show, selling a local ad package to Wendy's. Other big market winners are Washington, D.C. with three, and Birmingham, Ala. with two.

Severson expects traffic to climb dramatically in a few days. That's when more TV stations will be coming online, finishing up their respective February sweeps activities.

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