Exclusive: Verizon Takes Role at TCM Film Festival

Verizon is ready for its close-up. The telco is sponsoring
the TCM Classic Film Festival this year. As a sponsor, Verizon will have a
presence at the event.

Festival pass holders will be able to check email and update
social media statuses and generally get a feel for Verizon's FiOS service at a
booth in the courtyard of the Egyptian Theater, where they can also win prizes
in classic movie trivia contests.

Verizon will also
have logos at the festival and on its website, on print ads for the festival
and on-screen when films are shown.

TCM has eight sponsors for the event – including Delta Air
Lines, Vanity Fair, Barco, Disney's D23 and Bonhams Auction House – but it
doesn't look at sponsorship as a money maker, according to Dennis Adamovich, senior VP of brand
activation and GM of festivals for TCM, TBS and TNT. In fact, he describes the
relationship as a strategic marketing partnership.

"We're never going
to be able to pay this festival down. We always knew this was going to be an
expense," Adamovich said. "Our revenue stream is through the cable
operators. We're subscription based, so everything we do links into our cable
operators' initiatives."

TCM promotes the festival on air. It also mentions its
sponsors on air, but only briefly. The network is commercial-free and needs to
maintain that posture. "We're clearly sensitive that we don't want to have
advertisers on our air," Adamovich said. "In all of the consumer feedback we
hear that's why they love Turner Classic movies, because we're uncut; we're
commercial-free. We try to keep that unique, rich experience for the fans."

This year's festival runs from April 12 to April 15 and is
headquartered at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey
will appear a gala opening night screening of a newly-restored

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.