Friday, January 05, 2007

WSJ on Turner's New Media Strategy and Super Deluxe

From yesterday's subscription required article, we get some more insight into the Turner new media strategy for '07.

From the article:

"In recent months, the team has launched ACC Select, a subscription site which airs Atlantic Coast Conference basketball games along with other college sports; CNN Pipeline, a subscription-based online news video service; and another such service, Very Funny Ads, which shows humorous television commercials. This month, the company plans to launch SuperDeluxe, a site with original short-form comedy clips.

"We're building businesses outside our core that allow us to compete for other pools of money," says Turner Entertainment Group President Mark Lazarus. Turner's cable networks are performing better than those of many rivals, but the gradual decline in cable advertising growth to just 3% in the first nine months of 2006 from more than 25% annually a decade ago, has forced the company and its rivals to look hard for other revenue streams."

And some more info from our friend David Rudolph:

"Late last year, David Rudolph, the Turner executive who heads the Atlanta development team, challenged his colleagues to conceive and implement a new business concept in 30 days. "The goal was to say within the company that it doesn't take years to go from idea to launch," he says.

Mr. Rudolph wanted to see if it would be possible to film college athletic events and create a "TV-like experience" on the Web on a production budget of $1,000 per game. The idea was to focus on sports that aren't covered by broadcast and cable networks but have a small and loyal following. Using off-the-shelf video components, the team assembled a game kit with four cameras for about $35,000. In May, ACC Select covered its first event, a Georgia Tech baseball game. The production cost: just under $1,000.

The service launched in September and now covers about 100 live events per month at a cost of about $1,200 per game. Users pay about $5.95 per month or $3.95 per game to watch."

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