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."
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