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New Music, High Speed Star in MTV2's Promos

MTV2 has been scoring with operators on its two major affiliate efforts — the second annual "Spankin' New Music
Promotion" in conjunction with Gateway Inc. and its monthly "2$Bill" concerts.

MTV2, MTV: Music Television's younger sibling, is awaiting final tabulation on the Spankin'
promotion aimed at driving affiliates' high-speed Internet access service before Gateway will decide on a return in 2003, according to MTV2 general manager David Cohn.

As for the 2$Bill concerts — which began last Feb. 2 as a celebration of the network's anniversary and continued on the second day of each subsequent month — Cohn said, "We may dial that back to quarterly specials; it's very labor-intensive as a monthly special."

For the new-music promotion, MTV and MTV2 in early November ran network programming under the Spankin' New Music
banner, while Gateway worked with MSOs in key local markets. Some 200 systems owned by Adelphia Communications Corp., Comcast Corp., Cox Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable participated.

The objective was for operators to drive Gateway's retail store traffic and boost its high-speed Internet service sales by targeting the networks' young early-adopter audience, Cohn said.

The operators also used the October to November promotion to boost traffic and high-speed interest at their own retail outlets or kiosks.

Early reports indicated that store traffic was up, and the number of "MTV2 Handpicked" compilation CDs given to consumers who bought a cable-powered Internet connection or asked for an in-store demonstration grew to 30,000 this year from 25,000 last year when 200 systems also were involved.


MTV reported that Spankin' New Music
programming boosted viewership among its core 12-to-34 viewers by 11 percent and households by 50 percent over a year ago, with Total Request Live
alone drawing 19 million people during the week of Nov. 4, its highest-rated week so far.

The 2$Bill concerts, tied to an affiliate partner, each drew more than 800 people in the various markets. The biggest was the Nov. 2 event in Philadelphia starring the Foo Fighters, which attracted some 2,000 fans.

MTV2 has aired each concert as a live special at 10 p.m., sponsored nationally by Levi Strauss & Co., Virgin Mobile and Truth.

Comcast's CN8 didn't get to simulcast the Foo Fighters concert, but Cohn said MTV2 is looking into offering a future concert that could be shown on that local network.

Comcast Eastern Division vice president of sales and marketing Michael Snyder said the concert promotion was bolstered by a radio station tie-in that broadened awareness beyond cable subscribers. The MSO ran a sweepstakes ticket offer, as well as an on-site raffle giving away a digital-cable subscription and a home-theater system.

Since the Foo Fighters gig, Comcast has set Philly concerts with some of MTV's sister networks: Martina McBride via CMT: Country Music Television and Patti LaBelle through Black Entertainment Television.

"We'd love to continue to bring to the markets we serve talent that doesn't normally get there or doesn't have tickets at such low prices," said Snyder, whose group wasn't involved with the Gateway promo.

The final concert event for 2002 is Snoop Dogg & Friends on Dec. 2 in Louisville, Ky., where Insight Communications Co. will tie-in, Cohn said.