CBS Ad Sales Flying High

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CBS is taking over ad sales for its American Airlines in-flight programming, CBS Eye on American, and will be selling it at this year's upfront.

Not only does that mean new, exclusive-to-American content--including full show episodes of Paramount shows as well as CBS network offerings--but CBS will now be selling plugs as well as spots in the shows. Advertisers will also be able to put their brand on napkins, snack boxes, coffee cups and more. No word on whether that extends to air sickness bags.

CBS, which announed the expansion as part of the renewal of its programming deal with American, says the in-flight show reaches four million flyers a month.

The 90-minute inflight show/CBS programming promo will be expanded to include full episodes of Two and a Half Men and How I Met Your Mother in addition to segments from Letterman, Entertainment Tonight, 60 Minutes, Dr. Phil, Wheel, and Jeopardy.

Not on that list is content from top-rated talker, Oprah. CBS spokeswoman Beth Feldman said the show is not part of the deal, but that CBS is in discussions with producer Harpo, which also produced Dr. Phil.

Why one but not the other? Feldman points out that the CBS network has an ongoing relationship with Dr. Phil via several CBS prime time specials. "This [deal] fits perfectly with our company's strategy to find new platforms for programming and promotion as well as innovative ways for advertisers to engage with our content," says George Schweitzer, president of the CBS Marketing Group. He calls it "getting our message into the 'Outernet,'  the network's coined phrase for "reaching viewers outside their homes as they go about their daily lives."
Already CBS has struck deals for in-store programming, ads on Water Coolers, and also provides cruise ship TV.

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