Pending Deals Put Cable Net on Hold

CHICAGO Today’s launch of the new digital TV cable network Brief Original Broadcasts has been delayed as executives ponder more advertising sponsorships and possible ownership deals.

BOB was formed last summer as a forum for brief independent films. Anheuser-Busch in July 2002 signed a multiyear deal to be the official alcoholic-beverage sponsor of the network. DDB Chicago created an eight-minute short called Best Man to be aired on the network as part of Budweiser’s “True” campaign. The St. Louis brewer, however, decided to run the film on a new Web site, Triggerstreet.com, which features short films from across the country. But its deal with BOB has not changed.

The popularity of the new network has caught the attention of major network executives, who are showing interest in purchasing the venture and having it be a part of their programming, said Kathy Schofield, senior vice president of marketing and co-founder of BOB.

BOB has also gained appeal with other advertisers and a major deal is set to close in weeks with an undisclosed company, Schofield said. “We have lots of different irons in the fire right now,” Schofield said. BOB will launch later this year, she said.

The network is part of a growing trend with advertisers that are looking for creative alternatives to reach consumers beyond traditional marketing methods. BMW, for instance, was successful in creating its own films. One of its first films featured Madonna being tossed around in a BMW as her driver speeds through a city.