Carnival Corp. is backing three new television shows about travel that will air Saturday mornings on the ABC, NBC and CW networks -- a first for the cruise industry.
The shows, which begin Oct. 1, are part of a broader strategy by Chief Executive Officer Arnold Donald to change perceptions about cruising and generate new customers for the Miami-based company, the world's largest cruise line operator. Carnival ran its first Super Bowl commercial last year and asked the general public to pick which ads they think the company should air.
The new programs begin just before the "wave season," the first three months of the year, in which cruise customers typically book trips.
"We have taken great care to develop TV shows that we believe families and people of all ages will truly enjoy watching," Mr. Donald said in a statement.
The half-hour shows include ABC's "Ocean Treks With Jeff Corwin," which follows its host on adventures such as zip-lining through a rainforest. "The
Almost 80 episodes were created in a partnership with Litton Entertainment, which also produces "Sea Rescue," a Saturday morning show on ABC that's made in conjunction with SeaWorld Entertainment. "Dream Cruises," a show airing on the AWE cable channel, features Royal Caribbean Cruises ships as well as others.
Carnival is paying the production costs for the shows, which will feature all 10 of its cruise lines. The company, whose brands include Holland America and Seabourn, will also run commercials during the programs. Carnival declined to disclose how much it's spending.
Carnival's Princess Cruises provided the setting for the 1970-80s TV show "The Love Boat," which helped raise the profile of the cruise industry. Carnival recently has been using that show's stars, including Gavin MacLeod and Ted Lange, in its promotions.
-- Bloomberg News