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NBC Cable to Help MSOs Leap Olympic Hurdles

To help them through what may be an Olympian task, NBC Cable is assisting cable operators with their Olympic Games local-ad-sales efforts for the 2004 Summer Games in Athens.

This year, MSOs will be able to sell ad time for the Games across three NBC-owned networks: MSNBC, CNBC and, for the first time, Bravo.

The Olympics, says NBC Cable VP of Affiliate Ad Sales and Promotions Brian Hunt, is prime way for MSOs "to generate some incremental revenue in 2004."

Combined, the three networks will offer 500 hours of Olympic coverage. That breaks down to about 30 hours a day, with much of that is slated to be live. The channels are getting a share of marquee events too, with about 100 gold medal finals.

NBC Cable is also giving operators an extra minute of ad time on Bravo during the Olympics, bringing the inventory up to three minutes per hour. NBC also plans to generously promote the cable coverage on the broadcast network.

To help with the sales pitch for the Athens Games, NBC Cable is outfitting the MSOs ad sales forces with an extensive sales guide (it even includes pat answers to frequently asked negative questions), plenty of premiums and promotional spots.