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TNS Seeks 100 'Hispanic Heritage' Ops

Turner Network Sales executive Heather Baldino is intent on gaining more than marketing acumen from her trip to the Cable & Telecommunications Marketing Association Summit in Seattle this week.

"We'll be pushing hard" to finalize sign-ups for TNS's non-subscriber acquisition campaign, linked to this September's "Hispanic Heritage Month," said Baldino, TNS's vice president of network marketing and operations.

She's planning to hold a number of meetings with MSOs and other cable systems during the gathering in Seattle, with an affiliate deadline set for July 23.

Participation in this campaign — titled "Make the Right Moves" — will be limited to the first 100 affiliates. The effort begins in September and will extend into November, to drive Hispanic business this autumn.

For the first time, operators will have the option to choose direct mail or free-standing inserts (FSIs) in newspapers — an option TNS had not previously offered, Baldino noted.

Operators can select the Turner networks of their choice to highlight within the marketing effort. Affiliates also can choose HBO Latino or other Hispanic-targeted services not owned by Turner or AOL Time Warner for inclusion in one panel of the marketing materials.

Another new wrinkle: A local-ad-sales component that Baldino said operators can sell to a local client, as a panel in either the mailing or the free-standing insert.

The Turner networks on the Heritage list include CNN en Español; Boomerang's SAP feed; TBS Superstation's SAP feed of Pacific 10 and Big 12 college football games; and Turner Network Television's "NBA en Español on TNT" coverage.

Spanish-language play by play will be available for 52 regular season NBA on TNT games, Baldino said. In its promotional literature to operators — headlined "Scoring Opportunity" — TNS noted that the NBA is "U.S. Hispanics' second-favorite sport, with 67% expressing interest."

All told, Baldino said TNS will offer 23 different versions of the direct mailers and inserts, all of which include NBA en Español on TNT.

Participants that feature HBO Latino in the effort will be able to incorporate a $20 customer rebate offer, she added.

Spelling out the details, Baldino said affiliates that choose direct mail will get up to 25,000 customizable, bilingual mail pieces per market. For those opting for FSIs, she said, TNS will supply up to 50,000 inserts to be tipped into the leading Latino newspapers in each market.

TNS will reimburse 50% of postage or all of the FSI insertion costs for systems that commit to the NBA on TNT cross-channel promos by running 400 tune-in spots from Oct. 20 through Nov. 7, and that supply results by Nov. 30.