SBD/Issue 236/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Hopping Online: A-B To Launch Entertainment-Based Web Site

Bud.TV Should Go Live
After Super Bowl XLI
Anheuser-Busch plans to launch an “online entertainment network” called Bud.TV to “get the attention of beer-drinking young men who are spending more and more of their time” on the Internet, according to Suzanne Vranica of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The program is expected to go live the day after Super Bowl XLI and will include “at least seven types of programming, including sports, stand-up comedy acts and programs that will aim to be TV-quality.” A-B plans to spend “‘double-digit’ millions of dollars on the online push, with some of the money coming from its network and cable-TV broadcast ad budgets.” The company will dedicate about 10% of its ‘07 U.S. ad budget to its online efforts, “about double” this year’s spending. A-B spent around $606.7M on U.S. advertising in ’05. The brewer “will use its promotional relationships with sporting leagues and teams to get content for Bud.TV.” However, sports leagues “have their own Web sites and deals with major media outlets, which could make it difficult for [A-B] to secure programming.” A-B VP/Global Media & Sports Marketing Tony Ponturo said, “Everything comes with a price” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/6). USA TODAY’s Theresa Howard reports the seven-channel operation will cost an estimated $30M to launch (USA TODAY, 9/6). A-B VP/Creative Development & Branded Entertainment James Schumacker said that the company “is in discussions with [Fox’] Joe Buck ... to develop a talk show” for Bud.TV (N.Y. TIMES, 9/6). Ponturo added, “We’re taking our expertise in the 30-second commercial world and expanding it into entertainment” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/6).

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