11.04.2001 04:41 PM
Cable Channels Make Use Of In-Store Networks
With their recent partnership with Premier Retail Networks (PRN), two cable channels are examples of the innovative ways broadcasters can promote their programming and bring in new revenue. The channels, Discovery Health Channel (DHC) and TechTV, are working with PRN, a media network designed to target consumers while they shop, to broadcast their content in Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores throughout the country.

"Discovery Health Channel is a developing network," said Peter Jacobstein, vice president of Content Partnerships for DHC. "We're rapidly emerging, but we're not visible everywhere we want to be yet. Our association with PRN puts us in contact with millions of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club Store customers."

What made DHC, which produces programs on a variety of health-related issues, target these specific audiences? "The sheer numbers, for one thing. Both of these chains attract an enormous amount of customers. Simply reaching this many people is a great plus for us," said Jacobstein. "We've been in existence since August of 1998, and are dedicated to providing health care information on a broad array of health topics, including medicine, nutrition, and wellness."

Both DHC and TechTV have strategies that use websites to augment the information consumers receive at point-of-purchase locations. "Our programming is totally synched up with our website, discoveryhealth.com," said Jacobstein. "Consumers will find more in-depth material on the Web."

In addition to its website, and its presence in stores, there is a third component to DHC. "We're also a traditional cable channel. Our goal is to use the PRN connection and the website to make people aware of our channel and tune into it," said Jacobstein.

Dee Dee Atta, TechTV's head of Business Development, says her company's alliance with PRN fits into a clearly defined communications strategy. "We have a traditional TV network that reaches 25 million households daily, and we're carried in the top 20 markets. We also have a companion website."

With such a highly developed presence, why partner with PRN at this time? "In addition to Wal-Mart and Sam's Club Stores, PRN also has relationships with Circuit City and Best Buy," said Atta. "These are two major retailers for consumer electronic products. TechTV is a network for the digital lifestyle."

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