NBC content to stream in 1,200 Phila. taxis

As part of the "NBC Everywhere" initiative, the venture aims to broaden the reach of NBC-owned TV and deliver content to new digital platforms.
As part of the "NBC Everywhere" initiative, the venture aims to broaden the reach of NBC-owned TV and deliver content to new digital platforms.
Posted: February 06, 2013

Philly taxis now have a New York feel to them, thanks to NBC.

The Comcast Corp.-owned TV network, in partnership with VeriFone, the payment processor, is equipping 1,200 Philadelphia taxis with video screens that stream NBC10 news updates, weather, CNBC business news, and NBCUniversal entertainment to cab hoppers.

NBC10 is expected to make the announcement Tuesday on the 1,200 taxis, up from about 100 taxis a year ago.

The venture is part of the "NBC Everywhere" initiative that aims to broaden the reach of NBC-owned TV and customize NBCUniversal content to new digital platforms. The campaign also plans for more video screens at gas stations and train stations.

Comcast, as part of its cable-TV distribution business, has a similar venture called "TV Everywhere," which streams cable channels and live sports to electronic tablets and smart phones - also a project to reach TV viewers beyond the living room couch.

Nationwide, NBC content is available in 12,000 cabs, with more than half of them in New York City. Other cities participating in the taxi program are Boston, Miami, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Chicago, and Dallas.

"Each market is a little different," said Shawn Makhijani, senior vice president of business development for NBC-owned stations. He said an advertiser can receive 500,000 advertising impressions - or eyeballs - over a month when they purchase a 15- or 30-second spot in 1,200 Philadelphia taxis. "We think the average taxi will do 10 rides a day with 1.4 passengers per ride," he said. The average taxi ride in Philadelphia is 13 minutes.

The taxi video initially will contain a 70-30 mix of editorial or entertainment content to advertising, but that will change over time to a 50-50 mix, he said.

Comcast said when it purchased a controlling stake in NBCUniversal, a deal that closed in early 2011 after government approvals, that it was committed to growing the NBC broadcast-TV business.

NBC has been attempting to rebuild NBC10. A new president, Eric Lerner, was hired last March, and a vice president of news, Anzio Williams, was hired last July.

NBC10 films and then uploads updates for the taxi video loop at 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. These are news bites merged with entertainment snippets. Said Williams: "You are only going to be in the taxi a short period of time. This is not 60 Minutes."


Contact Bob Fernandez at 215-854-5897 or bob.fernandez@phillynews.com or follow on Twitter @bobfernandez1.

 

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