Bravo Seeks a Hand

NEW YORK-The Bravo Channel is shopping for an agency to handle media buying and possibly creative duties for an account estimated at $5-10 million, sources said.
Best known for its series Inside the Actors Studio and for showcasing quality foreign and domestic art-house films, Bravo is dwarfed in prime-time ratings by its ad-rich cable rival, the A&E Network.
A Bravo representative confirmed the review but would not disclose the agencies involved.
A first cut is expected within three weeks; a decision is expected in six weeks, a source said.
The client has had an uphill climb in its bid to attract subscribers. In April, Bravo reached 30 million homes compared with A&E’s 72 million. Bravo had a rating of 0.2 in April, compared to A&E’s 1.4 rating.
One agency source said of Bravo’s market position, “There is an awareness building element that needs to be accomplished. They can’t just count on channel surfing to attract viewers. They need to drive ratings growth.”
Part of that drive will require off-channel advertising, which has prompted the client to go outside for a shop that can handle media, another source said.
Bravo is owned by Bethpage, N.Y.-based Rainbow Media Holdings and became an advertiser-supported outfit last September; previously, its income was derived almost solely from station fees that it charged to cable operators.
Bravo is also adding original programming to boost ratings. Last year, the client’s in-house shop spent $1.1 million on media, according to Competitive Media Reporting.