NBC Universal has made its first foray into the lucrative outdoor-advertising market, which already features such other big broadcast media players as Viacom Inc. and Clear Channel Communications Inc.
NBC has teamed with "street furniture" company JCDecaux on a New York City RFP for 3,500 bus shelters and 330 newsstands in the city and the ads that go on them.
The new partnership, NBCDecaux, was created to win the NYC bid, which was submitted Tuesday, but it could extend to other cities.
JCDecaux will provide the furniture, and own 70% of the new venture, and NBC will provide the ad market know-how, including of the important Spanish-language market through its ownership of Telemundo.
NBC U stations could also be potential clients. Whether that carrot is part of the bid is unclear, since details of the bids, including what cut the city and the partnership would each get of the ad revenue, was still being held close to the vest.
Saying NBC was to in-home advertising what JCDecaux is to out-of-home, NBC U Chairman Bob Wright said of the new venture: "WNBC is the leading television station in the New York market. Putting the strength of WNBC and Telemundo's WNJU, our New York Spanish-language station, together with JCDecaux will allow NBCDecaux to better serve the public and give advertisers some extremely desirable settings in which they can reach a wide cross-section of New Yorkers."
A spokesman for Viacom Outdoor, which has also put in a bid, said:
"We are not at liberty to discuss the specifics of our proposal; however there is no company with a broader collection of media platforms in New York City than Viacom.In addition to WCBS-TV and our six radio stations, Viacom Outdoor has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial collaboration with the City through its management of the existing bus shelters; and with the MTA for its subways, buses and commuter rail systems, as well the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's PATH and Bus Terminal facilities among others."