University Network Battles MTVu For Students

Some 10 months after an in-tunnel advertising firm purchased a college-campus network, the company has landed a major advertiser as it battles competitor MTVu.

The U.S. Navy has purchased a six-week flight on The University Network for an estimated total of 283,000 spots running on screens across the country.

The Navy has two different executions airing as part of the program on some 300 campuses in 47 states. Screens are placed in common areas, such as student unions and cafeterias.

Submedia--which places static ads along tunnels for subways that take on a video-like feel as the cars move forward--acquired TUN last December. It looks to diversify its revenue streams in the growing out-of-home space. The company handles ad sales internally.

Programming on TUN is short, with segments no longer than 90 seconds. Highlights include appearances by CNBC's Jim Cramer, the investment guru who has developed a following on campuses. Other genres are news and sports.



"This is a TiVo generation; if they're not entertained, they'll walk away," says Peter Corrigan, Submedia CEO.

For both its in-tunnel efforts--which are available along the PATH train in New York and other major markets, such as Washington and Chicago--the company essentially wants to repurpose 15-second or less TV spots.

It also gives universities on TUN the opportunity to insert their own information and messages on the screens, customized by campus. Submedia installs the flat screens on the campuses, and shares ad revenues with the universities.

Viacom's MTVu offers a variety of music-oriented programming and updated news relevant to campus life, along with student lifestyle information, such as tips on careers and dating. The network has a larger distribution than TUN; it is seen on 750 campuses.

Submedia acquired TUN from InFocus in December in a deal valued in the range of $7 million.

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