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NBC Bows Digital Out-of-Home Net

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NEW YORK NBC officially rolled out its NBC Everywhere network of digital out-of-home platforms at a presentation attended by more than 200 agency and client executives here on Wednesday.

NBC disclosed the addition of fitness centers and college campuses to the mix. That brings the total to nine nontraditional digital platforms that now carry NBC content that are available for advertiser messages.

Announced at the presentation were deals with IdeaCast (for NBC@The Gym) and with the University Network (for NBC on Campus).

Visitors at 900 fitness centers nationwide that offer IdeaCast-provided digital delivery of content and advertising, will see programming from MSNBC and CNBC on large screens strategically located within the gyms' cardio areas. Advertisers will be able to run spots within the content or take part in sponsored vignettes, such as workout tips, which air during program breaks. IdeaCast and NBC will jointly sell the ads.

The deal with University Network allows NBC content to be shown on 180 campuses nationwide where UN has deployed screens in high-traffic locations. The in-house NBC Agency will create specific content targeting the college demographic; young stars of the network's shows host the segments. Marketers will be able to buy advertising that appears on a portion of the screen while the content is airing.

Another platform discussed at the presentation was the FuelCast Network powered by NBC. Now at 480 gas stations around the country, the special gas pump is connected to a digital screen that is activated only when gas begins to be pumped. After every 30 seconds of NBC content, a 15-second ad message runs. The FuelCast Network is currently in Shell, Conoco and Phillips gas stations in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Miami. (Advertisers can buy specific time periods in specific markets for specific products each day.)

Advertisers will be able to access the platforms as national buys across the entire network, pick and choose among the nine platforms or buy specific local markets. Also, advertisers can buy ads through NBC's national ad sales staff, through the NBC Everywhere sales team or through the local NBC TV stations in each market where the platforms are available.

Other digital platforms are located at supermarket checkouts in chains such as Shop Rite, Albertson's and Pathmark; at arena and stadium concession stands; in taxi cabs in New York; on commuter trains between New York and New Jersey; in Times Square on a jumbo screen; in Internet-enabled video games; and in hospital maternity wards on the NBC-owned Newborn Channel.

There will be 3,000 screens on the transit trains that will run content loops (25 minutes each) containing only one commercial every two-and-a-half minutes. No commercials will appear back-to-back.

Mark French, gm, svp of NBC Everywhere, said the goal is to offer advertisers the ability to reach viewers beyond traditional TV in public areas where there is a captive audience, and where viewers can watch for longer than a minute at a time.

French said advertisers could also get category exclusivity. And between 60-80 percent of the viewers seeing the commercial messages via all the platforms are within the 18-49 demo.

While many advertisers can use the NBC Everywhere platforms to augment their TV buys, some marketers already using the digital network are not national TV advertisers, he added.