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NBC Everywhere, the out-of-home unit of NBC Universal has formed a content and advertising partnership with Gas Station TV, operators of a digital network at the gas pump in 100 markets. As part of the agreement announced Monday (Aug. 31), NBCU will contribute both local and national news and entertainment content to GSTV's network across 100 markets. NBC will also act as the exclusive local sales agent for GSTV, and work with GSTV on some national sales.
While NBCU's partnership with GSTV is new, NBC Everywhere has been active in the growing gas station network medium since the beginning. Prior to GSTV, NBC provided content and exclusive sales representation to Outcast, which operates a network at the gas pump in 15 top markets and is GSTV's biggest competition in the space. Last week. Outcast announced it signed content agreements with CBS (which formerly provided content to GSTV), HGTV and CNET, while taking its ad sales inside the company.
"For us, this deal came down to scale and measurability," said Mark French, senior vp and general manager of NBC Everywhere, which also offers out-of-home advertising in taxis and on the New Jersey PATH trains. "This move mirrors our advertisers' desire for additional scale adjacent to NBCU's premium content, and allows us to provide the capabilities and Nielsen-confirmed metrics that our clients are looking for."
Strategically, the deal with GSTV allows NBC to leverage sales across all its local properties in the 10 top markets where NBC has owned-and-operated TV stations, including New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. In addition, NBC will be able to sell GSTV inventory in other top markets where the company has national sales offices. NBC will also work with GSTV to sell nationally across GSTV's network in 100 markets for prime time NBC advertisers interested in integrated campaigns.
Each GSTV screen airs a four-and-a-half minute mix of content from NBC and its other content partner, ESPN, with about 30 percent advertising. For content, NBC will rely on its local production unit, LX.TV to create segments best-suited for "fuelers" who spend on average five minutes at the pump. That might include customized news pieces hosted by a local TV station anchor or segments such as NBC Motor Matters, highlighting automotive news and tips.
"We won't just run re-purposed promos," said French. "You have to make the platform captive."