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PBS ANNOUNCES JOINT VENTURE TO OFFER NATIONAL ONLINE AND BROADCAST SPONSORSHIPS
PBS Sponsorship Group, National Public Broadcasting and Online Advertising Firm L90 To Work Together
ALEXANDRIA, VA - February 14, 2000 - The Public Broadcasting Service, an acknowledged leader in the convergence of television, video and Web content, today announced an agreement with the PBS Sponsorship Group (PBSSG), National Public Broadcasting (NPB) and the Internet advertising and direct marketing solutions firm L90 (NASDQ: LNTY) to create a one-stop shop for sponsorships on PBS television and the PBS.org network of Web sites.
The sales forces of these three organizations will among them represent not only national PBS television and the PBS.org Web sites, but also Web sites of certain local PBS stations, multi-market PBS television opportunities and underwriting on public radio stations. This will enable underwriters to easily take advantage of "cross-media" opportunities in public television, radio and the Internet.
Under the agreement, PBSSG, NPB and L90 will seek sponsorships and underwriting for the broad range of content available on the PBS Web site. PBS.org houses a large inventory of more than 400 Web sites and more than 85,000 pages of information, including comprehensive companion sites for PBS television programs as well as substantial Web-only content. PBS.org features 10 "neighborhoods" aggregating PBS-branded content into easily navigable environments that cater to visitors' specific interests, including Arts, News & Views, History, Science & Technology, Business & Finance and Home & How-To.
Individual sites and neighborhood homepages on PBS.org will be available for interactive sponsorships through the PBSSG-NPB-L90 collaborative. The "on-air, online" cross-media sales strategy is designed to increase revenue to PBS.org, introduce new revenue opportunities for PBS's 180 member-station Web sites and increase the ability of national program underwriters to be associated both with TV programming of the highest quality and its accompanying Web sites. In addition, by virtue of NPB's multi-market representation of public television and radio stations across the country, and the Sponsorship Group's representation of the national programs of PBS and six leading stations, the PBSSG-NPB-L90 collaborative will permit a comprehensive underwriting and sponsorship approach to online and broadcast audiences throughout the United States.
"We're delighted with this new relationship and are convinced that it brings to PBS.org an experienced group of professionals with an in-depth understanding of the unique strengths of our national and local content," said John Hollar, executive vice president, PBS Learning Ventures. "Their demonstrated experience and success in sponsorships and underwriting in other areas of public broadcasting make them the ideal set of partners for PBS.org."
"The PBS stations like this decision," said Burnie Clarke, president and chief executive officer of KCTS, Seattle, and a board member of NPB. "The re-launch creates new opportunities for stations to work with PBS Online. PBSSG and NPB are experienced in presenting PBS to national companies and they also understand how to work with the stations to maximize joint opportunities with PBS.org."
PBS.org generates approximately 78 million page views a month, attracts more than 7.9 million unique visitors a month and won the prestigious Webby award in 1997, 1998 and 1999 as the best television Web site. On January 3, 2000, Yahoo! named PBS.org first on its "millennium list" of the best Internet sites of all time. Last month, PBS and America Online announced a comprehensive 3-year strategic alliance under which links to PBS's Web content will be prominently promoted across most of AOL's brands, including the AOL and CompuServe subscription services, AOL.com, Shop@AOL, AOL@School and Netscape Netcenter.com.
About the PBS Sponsorship Group
The PBS Sponsorship Group was formed in 1997 as a one-stop, client-responsive gateway to national corporate sponsorship of PBS programs. Partners in the Sponsorship Group are KCET Hollywood, Maryland Public Television, PBS, WETA Washington, D.C., WGBH Boston, WNET New York and WTTW Chicago. For more information about underwriting opportunities, visit sponsorship.pbs.org. The portfolio includes such signature programs as AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, AMERICAN MASTERS, ARTHUR, FRONTLINE, THE LIVING EDENS, NATURE, NOVA, TELETUBBIES, WASHINGTON WEEK IN REVIEW, ZOBOOMAFOO and ZOOM. These and other programs are available for sponsorship individually or in packages.
"National sponsors are creating entire budgets for 'cross-media' packages, and we intend to provide them with relevant 'cross-media' opportunities wherever we can," said Peter Greene, executive director of PBSSG. "PBS program content lends itself particularly well to this kind of strategy."
About National Public Broadcasting
National Public Broadcasting, LLC (NPB) is the multi-market underwriting and sponsorship sales representative for public television and radio stations. The company was formed in 1997 by WNET New York, KCET Los Angeles, WTTW Chicago, WHYY Philadelphia, KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston, KERA Dallas, WETA, Washington, DC, WTVS Detroit, KCTS Seattle, Pacific Mountain Network and ABRY Partners, LLC, Boston, to position stations competitively in the media marketplace while maintaining the distinctive heritage of public broadcasting. For more information on the markets and stations represented by NPB, visit npb.com.
"The public broadcasting audience is extremely attractive to many marketers. By offering an easy way for marketers to communicate with our audience on-air and online, we've taken the next logical step in simplifying the process for all of our clients," said Donald Ershow, senior vice president, NPB.
L90 is a leading provider of comprehensive online advertising and direct marketing solutions for advertisers and Web publishers. L90 designs, develops and implements sophisticated advertising campaigns that go beyond traditional banner advertising to include sponsorships, co-branded microsites, content integration, sweepstakes, rich media, viral marketing programs, e-mail marketing and other innovative Internet marketing techniques. adMonitor, L90's proprietary ad serving and tracking technology, offers advertisers and Web publishers the ability to selectively target ads to Web users based upon their specific interests and characteristics. Headquartered in Los Angeles, L90 has additional offices in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Detroit.
"We're delighted to work with PBSSG and NPB to build PBS.org's revenue base," said John Bohan, president and chief executive officer of L90. "We look forward to leveraging the PBS brand to develop and sell innovative marketing campaigns and custom sponsorships across PBS's many exciting online properties."
Statements included within this press release, which are not historical in nature, constitute forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements involve risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described herein. Careful consideration should be given to cautionary statements made in L90 documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in particular L90's prospectus dated January 28, 2000.
About the Public Broadcasting Service
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by its 346 member public television stations. A trusted community resource, PBS uses the power of noncommercial television, the Internet and other media to enrich the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services that inform, inspire and delight. Available to 99 percent of American homes with televisions and to an increasing number of digital multimedia households, PBS serves nearly 100 million people each week. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org.
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