LOCAL TV OUTLETS
“PUBLIC ACCESS” CHANNEL
will broadcast your 3/4” tape free of charge, or at very low rates.
However, commercial content is not allowed. Suitable for larger businesses
that are already well known in the area (hospitals, for example).
Such companies only need to mention their name as sponsors, several times
per show, to create marketing value. Sometimes you can get away with
showing a website name for the entire length of the show. The subject
matter should be displayed almost continuously, to stop “channel surfers”
who are truly interested in that particular matter. “Public
Access” offers little control over the program scheduling, and sometimes
it entails substantial paperwork. Also, the show will run a limited
number of times in each area - and a few cable companies will run each
show only once. As a result, each tape should be distributed to all
the cable systems within a metro area - to justify the production effort.
The air time on local Public Access may be free, but one must also consider
the time needed to distribute the tapes everywhere. Then again, there
are companies that rely heavily on Public Access to make themselves known
- sending their tapes to cable operators all over the country.
“LEASED ACCESS” CHANNEL
contents is permitted, including “infomercials”. Prices may vary
from area to area and depending on airtime - anywhere from $50 to
$500 per hour. Sometimes it is difficult to find available airtime
at worthwhile hours. Low-cost, high-value segments may be available in
ongoing shows made by hungry producers - especially for ethnic audiences.
(You shouldn't look down at all on ethnic audiences! Ethnic programs
deliver, in some city areas, an audience ten times bigger than any other
cable channel. This is one of those "little big secrets" that very
few marketing experts know about).
Access” is ideal for products or services requiring longer presentations
in front of very large audiences. Also - it is ideal for someone
who wants to use “infomercials” for future national distribution - since
proven local results can be very attractive to investors or major merchandise
- full-length shows may take a long time to establish an audience, so they
should always be conceived as “series”. Broadcasting the show is
relatively inexpensive (about the price of a very small restaurant party
- for a possible audience of thousands). Just be sure that you can
afford such a "small party" every day, for several months.
this is a problem, we suggest starting with a simple videotape to
be distributed as VHS copies - to test your customer's response.
For many businesses, a VHS tape may be the best promotional tool anyway.
It can be duplicated in small numbers for about $3 a piece (much less in
large numbers). It can be sold for profit or offered as a premium
to qualified prospects. For some businesses it would also make sense
to LEND videotapes (like a hardware store offering training videos on how
to do things around the house, etc.) Many customers will pay an extra
visit just to return the cassette - and probably they'll buy something
else at that time.