SBD/17/Sports Media

SELLING NATIONAL AD TIME BY CONNECTING LOCAL SPORTS OUTLETS

     The success Major Market Network (MMN) in starting up a
basketball unwired network is examined by INSIDE MEDIA's Wayne
Friedman & Langdon Brockington.  MMN, a division of Cox
Enterprises, is an unwired network that pools together ad
slots/spots from TV stations and/or regional cable networks and
packages them into a national advertising buy.  The company is
better known for its network for baseball.  According to MMN
VP/GM Jerry Puccio, the basketball network has "enjoyed modest
success.  Deals have been made with six advertisers," but Puccio
declined to identify the sponsors.  For the past few years
organizations such as Group W sports Marketing and Rainbow Sports
Sales "have been selling a variety of unwired basketball
networks, consisting primarily of regional cable networks."  But
the problem for some advertisers is that those unwired networks
are "largely dependent on cable time slots, on average they
garner" only 50% of U.S. TV households.  MMN promises 83-87%
reach, "thanks to healthy coverage via broadcast stations."  A
major component of the lineup is WGN-Chicago, which reaches 37%
of the country.  Every NBA team has signed up with MMN except the
Blazers and Jazz.  Both of those clubs' broadcast games are
completely sold out.  MMN promises a 5.5 Nielsen national rating,
selling each spot for $75,000.  "Media buyers say that if MMN can
deliver that rating," the cost-per-minute for its ads would be
comparable to those on NBC's NBA telecasts.  MMN has had a hard
time selling baseball this year.  So far Puccio has six incumbent
advertisers that bought packages at the normal rate, which is
$80,000 a spot for an 11 rating.  Last year, MMN signed up 25
advertisers, pulling in $12M (COWLES BUSINESS MEDIA, 3/16).
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Related Topics:

NBA, NBC, Nielsen, Media, Utah Jazz

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