Satellite provider Dish Network signed a deal with the Tennis Channel to broadcast this year's French Open in a format that allows viewers to watch simultaneous matches on one screen with an option to select any match for single viewing. Users also can decide to focus on one match, while receiving updates from the others. "A unique quality of professional tennis is the number of simultaneous matches in a tournament," says Tennis Channel executive Victoria Quoss. Because of this, tennis "is a driver of multi-signal interactive applications, keeping audiences from switching the channel."
As both large and emerging entrepreneurial media companies give lip service to changing market conditions, most are still using outdated mass-media-dependent economic models, writes industry strategist Jack Myers. They are "in danger of following the railroad industry model and becoming Industrial Age mass distribution vehicles," he claims, rather than interactive brand and human connectors. Industry execs celebrate small steps toward innovation, such as branded entertainment, while clinging to organizational structures that reward consistency, he says. "Visit the advertising sales groups within the top 200 U.S. media companies, including television, print, online, out-of-home and radio, and you …
Starcom MediaVest Group has relaunched its branded content group as The Bridge to expand beyond Starcom clients. It is a re-incarnation of Starcom Entertainment, which partnered last year with Los Angeles -based Pier3 Entertainment to give Asian advertisers access to Hollywood and U.S. TV content. The unit aims to be "Asia's most imaginative entertainment marketing offering," with expertise in product placement, celebrity endorsement and advertiser-funded programming.
Manhattan Media, the outfit that purchased Harvard alumni magazine 02138 a few weeks ago, has bought Latin Trade magazine and its sibling, the Bravo Business Awards. MM formed a subsidiary to oversee these properties, as well as any future acquisitions in Latin America, the Caribbean and southern Florida. "We will invest heavily to support our plans for expansion," says Manhattan chairman Richard Burns. Latin Trade is published in English, Spanish and Portuguese with a monthly circ of about 87,000.
Turning empty buildings into customized street-level billboards has caught on in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Miami, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington. Because the ads are at street level, they lend themselves more to video/sound and interactive elements such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Steve Birnhak, chief of Inwindow Outdoor, says his firm intends to take the concept to Texas and Europe this year. Brands using the new, in-your-face format include ABC, Discovery, HBO, Ford, BMW and JetBlue.
A New York judge ruled Tuesday that Dell falsely advertised its promotional financing and warranty terms to customers. State Supreme Court Justice Joseph Teresi also ordered investigators to find out how many New York state customers Dell should repay. The decision says Dell failed to provide timely on-site repair and pressured consumers to make repairs themselves. Dell said it disagreed with the ruling, but has not decided whether to appeal.
In the latest example of the lucrative connection between specialty publications and events, Make magazine's do-it-yourself-themed festival, held this month in California, attracted more than three times as many people as its inaugural event in 2006. Make's Maker Faire, with an attendance of 65,000, is for tech enthusiasts who like to create and play with toys. Produced with Craft magazine, event producers say the fair plans to expand beyond California.