WB to Premiere New TV Show as Web Video

Entire First Episode of 'Supernatural' Debuts on Yahoo

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In an effort to lure consumers to its most-touted fall offering, Supernatural, the WB network has done a deal with Yahoo to make the entire first episode available online seven days before the show's Sept. 13 TV debut.

The entire first episode of 'Supernatural' is appearing on Yahoo without advertisements.
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"We are in a TV landscape where 150 shows will premier in the next couple of weeks," said Garth Ancier, chairman of the WB. "There's no question that with the average person getting [over a hundred] channels in their house, with this many choices you need something to break away from the clutter."

'Editorial play'
Described as a "content and editorial play" by Yahoo's head of sports and entertainment, David Katz, the approximate 40-minute-long episode will be streamed from the Yahoo TV section free of any advertising. "They've given us a unique, exclusive window to premier a television episode before it runs on television," Mr. Katz said. "In exchange for that, we are promoting this feature on Yahoo TV and throughout the network because we think it's compelling to users."

The demographics of the WB audience is about the same as Yahoo's audience, the executives said. WB's median age is 31 years old, and its viewing audience is 18 to 31. Yahoos unique visitors skew slightly more male than WB's does, Mr. Ancier said.

Yahoo will promote Supernatural on the Yahoo TV home page with a video ad "in the most prominent position above the fold on that page," Mr. Katz said. The Web pages for Supernatural will also be enriched with interviews with cast members, a slide show, a trailer, pilot, information about the show and links to the program's official Web site. Additional promotional ads will appear on Yahoo's home page and throughout the network.

Majority expected to sample show
Asked if he thought the online showing would dilute interest in the premier on TV, Mr. Ancier said, "I think the nature of streaming is such that generally it's more for awareness than actual viewing. There will be some people who will watch it on their small PC screen, but the majority of people will [just] sample it."

WB has some experience streaming entire TV shows. It made available the entire first episode of Jack and Bobby a year ago on Time Warner sibling AOL. Some 700,000 views were streamed. "Jack and Bobby's first episode was the highest rated episode of the year," Mr. Ancier said. "I think the AOL streaming had a lot to do with generating interest in it."

Yahoo last provided the stream of an entire TV show when it made available the first episode of Fat Actress after the program had premiered on the Showtime cable network.

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