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TV Network Websites Luring New Advertisers

The aim for websites of broadcast television networks is to drive visitors to their flagship broadcast channels -- as well as to grow revenue from online advertising.

JupiterResearch analyst Todd Chanko says another strategic goal should be establishing relationships with medium and smaller advertisers that don't ordinarily buy network TV commercials.

Automobile companies -- historically the major advertisers in broadcast TV -- are cutting ad budgets and shifting spending quickly to new media. Website advertising so far represents just a trickle of revenue to broadcast TV networks -- an advantage in attracting advertisers with modest ad budgets.

ABC Television is reportedly charging $100,000 for placing a single ad buy across a range of videos on their ABC.com site over a three-month period. That sum couldn't even purchase a single prime-time commercial during the regular TV season, as Kagan Research estimates a 30-second spot averaged $168,320 in 2005 on the 'Big Four' U.S. broadcast networks.

Chanko notes website ads have another attribute for luring new advertisers. Through dynamic ad insertion, networks can place ads by geography. According to comScore, ABC.com is the most visited website in the Entertainment-TV category.

Also, JupiterResearch notes that each online visitor averages more time perusing the websites of cable TV channels. According to a comScore analysis, the typical viewer of NBC.com averages just 99 pages viewed per month, while at Nickelodeon the average is 557 and ESPN a whopping 1,002.

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