Hollywood on the Line - Broadcasting & Cable

Hollywood on the Line

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Enjoying happy hour or exercising at the gym is no reason to miss celebrity news. For the latest on Hollywood heavyweights, grab your cellphone. Your T-Mobile
cellphone. Paramount's The Insider
favors the T-Mobile, repped in ads by Oscar-winner Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Early on, Paramount decided to hook up The Insider
with an interactive component, much as Fox's American Idol
intimately connects with fans via phone-in and text-messaged voting. Entertainment Tonight
also delivers branded content to the entertainment-obsessed via push client Instant ET, as well as ET
Online on Yahoo!

After shopping the idea to several cellphone companies, Paramount Domestic Television President John Nogawski tapped T-Mobile: "They immediately got what we wanted to do."

Says Mike Belcher, T-Mobile director of sponsorships and promotions, "This property was enticing to us based on the success of ET. It goes 52 weeks a year, and it's rare to associate yourself with something that runs year-round."

The most important component of the deal is a daily T-Mobile–sponsored Instapoll. An entertainment-related question will be posed on The Insider: for example, "Who should win the Emmy for best female performer in a comedy?" Results will show up during the next day's show.

The poll does double duty: It makes Insider
viewers feel more tied in to the show, and it gives Paramount access to demographic information about who is watching. Viewers who text-message their poll responses will be automatically entered into a sweepstakes to win one of five trips to Hollywood to visit Paramount and a live taping on the Insider
set.

Celebrity-news diehards can even subscribe to an add-on Insider
package for an extra $2.99 a month. Subscribers will get exclusive content and breaking news delivered to their wireless devices 24/7.

"This is a great selling tool for our retail sales force," Belcher says. "It demonstrates how you can get more from T-Mobile by staying connected to the show and getting the latest news in the entertainment world."

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