SBJ/August 6 - 12, 2007/This Weeks News

Turner touts Hot Corner ahead of playoffs

Turner is launching a broadband channel exclusively on MLB.com that will be patterned after the TNT Overtime channel it runs on NBA.com.

TBS Hot Corner will launch early next month, just before TBS’s first foray into postseason baseball. As part of a seven-year deal signed last summer, TBS will carry the Division Series and National League Championship Series games exclusively.

Broadband channel will have streaming video,
daily news updates and pregame webcasts.

“This is part of Turner Sports’ digital strategy,” said Turner Sports President David Levy, pointing to the fact that Turner has been expanding linear relationships with sports properties such as NASCAR, the PGA and NBA. “We want to leverage our infrastructure and aggregate new impressions.”

Though MLB’s broadband activities typically fall under its MLB Advanced Media division, Levy said TBS Hot Corner was part of the rights deal it signed last year.

Turner plans to wrap TBS Hot Corner into its overall sales approach to the MLB playoffs. Levy did not say which advertisers have signed on, but Turner has been in the ad market with the channel already and has seen interest.

The free broadband channel will be heavily promoted during TBS’s MLB telecasts, Levy said.

Much like its TNT Overtime broadband channel, TBS Hot Corner will rely on live and on-demand streaming video that will feature 90-second daily news updates from Monday to Friday and player interviews.

Once the playoffs start on Oct. 3, TBS will complement its television coverage with a live pregame webcast on Hot Corner and will supplement its game coverage with live cameras positioned in the dugout and other on-field areas. The broadband pregame show will be interactive, allowing users to chat with the host, who is still to be determined.

The broadband channel also will make TBS’s pregame studio show — with Ernie Johnson and Cal Ripken Jr. — available on demand following the live telecast.

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