Monday, October 29, 2007

The future may be “CW Now”

With television advertisers facing the ad-zapping power of the DVR, the CW Network has created a rather creative plan. Instead of worrying about losing audiences during commercial breaks, they have turned an entire 30-minute newsmagazine-type program into one long ad called “CW Now”. Since the entire show is sponsored by only a handful of advertisers, they don’t have to break for commercials - the show is about the sponsors’ products.

This is the latest in a history of sponsored programs. From the variety shows of television’s earliest days to Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, and today the Acura Half-Time Report and Heroes presented with limited commercials all by Mazda.

Even infomercials are whole programs from one sponsor.

Some may complain that “CW Now” is a commercial masquerading as a news program. To that I ask, have you ever watched the Today Show, on which they spend most of the program cross-promoting NBC/Universal stars, movies, and shows.

I will be keeping an eye on the CW Network to see where they go with this idea. And because the CW is jointly owned by CBS and Time Warner, will the idea move to other media, too?

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