Fox Taps WorldLink for Saturday Morning Account

Fox has tapped WorldLink to manage inventory on the broadcaster’s new Saturday morning paid-programming block.

Per terms of the deal, WorldLink will serve as the exclusive ad sales representative for the two-hour “Weekend Marketplace” block, which bows Jan. 3, 2009. The agency will oversee what amounts to infomercial and direct-response business for Fox’s Saturday morning (10 a.m.-noon) slot.

WorldLink did not identify the first run of clients, although it’s likely that the usual suspects––Baby Can Read, Crunchless Abs––may be represented, at least in the near term.

“Fox is an exceptional brand and with Weekend Marketplace, they have created a unique and powerful opportunity that we are excited to represent,” said Toni Knight, founder and CEO of WorldLink. “Marketers who air in Weekend Marketplace will be showcasing their products in a high-profile daypart on television’s No. 1 network. Moreover, this block offers marketers incredibly broad reach at a time when viewership is increasingly fragmented.”
The Weekend Marketplace initiative marks the first time a broadcaster has set aside a viable daypart exclusively for infomercials/DRM. Fox in November announced it was ending its long-standing time-buy deal with programmer 4KidsTV, effectively pulling the plug on its four-hour Saturday morning kids’ block. The broadcaster returned the 8-10 a.m. block to its affiliates, while earmarking the latter two hours for its new infomercial initiative.

By throwing in the towel on the kids’ business, Fox has eliminated 64 traditional Saturday-morning avails. The Fox 4Kids lineup included the animated strips Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Shaman King.

The Weekend Marketplace block is cleared on 95 percent of Fox affiliates.