Gas Station TV Network Inks ABC Deal

DALLAS Gas Station TV, which provides digital broadcasts on LCD-equipped fuel pumps, has signed a deal to deliver ABC TV content, company officials said today.

Though currently available only at Murphy USA stations in Dallas, GSTV has signed a long-term exclusive contract to install its service at 100 Murphy locations by September; it plans to have a presence at 400 of the company’s service stations in the top 10 U.S. markets by January. (Murphy owns 900 stations nationwide, including many in Wal-Mart parking lots.)

Telecasts on high-definition, daylight-visible screens will include local news, sports, weather and traffic reports. The content is updated several times per day so that it remains relevant each time a customer visits the station.

“We are creating the most valuable, out of home, digital network, with the greatest entertainment value for customers and significant return on investment for advertisers,” said David Leider, CEO of GSTV.

Using templates from major brands, GSTV customizes the content for specific station locations. Each station can also program its own displays to promote specific products.

Based in Detroit, GSTV was formed by executives from Yahoo! and WPP Group. (Chief financial officer Stephen Kuehn was previously CFO at WPP.)

GSTV currently features ads from Allstate, Chevrolet,, Goodyear, Pepsi and the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company.

The deal with ABC comes on the heels of a controversy over a rival network offered by truck-stop chain Flying J called “Plaza TV.” Federal lawsuits filed by Disney, ABC and CBS and seek to stop Flying J from inserting its own commercials in content delivered through the Dish satellite network.

The lawsuit, filed in April in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, charges the company with copyright infringement and unfair competition for replacing regularly scheduled TV commercials with ads specifically targeting truckers.

GSTV is not facing such challenges because of agreements with the content providers.

In addition to providing content, ABC will sell ads for the screens, primarily from local affiliates. Terms were not disclosed.

In March, CBS network agreed to a similar arrangement with SignStorey Inc., a Fairfield, Conn., company that has installed video screens in 1,300 supermarkets.