ABC COURTS ADVERTISERS FOR MILLENNIUM PACKAGE: NETWORK COULD BAG $65 MIL FROM MULTIMEDIA PLAN

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ABC is pitching advertisers on a millennium-theme package that includes ad buys on its TV and radio networks, Web sites and owned-and-operated TV stations, as well as a presence on the Jumbotron screen in New York's Times Square.

The network is looking to sign some 20 advertisers for the New Year's Eve countdown package at an asking price of $3.25 million each, for a total take of $65 million.

The sales effort is just beginning. An ABC insider said one deal may have already been signed with a marketer in the import auto category.

OLDER SKEW

"For the right advertiser, an auto, a financial institution-your usual news and Sunday public affairs shows audience-it looks like a good package," said one ad agency media buyer who has seen the pitch. "It'll skew older."

ABC follows on the heels of CBS, which continues to produce a series of millennium-theme programs in conjunction with Time.

On the ABC network, live coverage begins Dec. 30 at 11:30 p.m., with a programming block titled "Countdown" that starts with an expanded "Nightline" and lasts until 5:50 a.m. (ET). Next is "Dawn of a New Age," a 4-hour block hosted by Barbara Walters and featuring New Year's celebrations from Australia, New Zealand and Tonga, the places that greet the year 2000 first. Then it's off to a "Far East" feature until 4:50 p.m., along with what is being called an "ABC Daytime Party."

Ted Koppel then returns for an hour focusing on New Year's in the Middle East, followed by 2 hours with Peter Jennings hosting celebrations in Europe. From 7:50 p.m. until 4 a.m., Dick Clark emcees an expanded New Year's Eve special. Performers will include Celine Dion, Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand.

SPOT OPPORTUNITIES

Each ABC 2000 ad package includes 28 30-second spots during the network's Dec. 30 to Jan. 1 coverage.

On ABC's 10 owned-and-operated TV stations, advertisers get 12 :30s, about 27 30-second branded promotional spots and 10 branded tune-in ads. The local TV spots start airing in December. On the radio network, marketers get 50 :30s and 50 billboards, all placed in features about the 20th century airing on 200 stations.

The Web package includes ads on the abcnews.com and abc.com sites, beginning in October.

ABC is estimating 200 gross ratings points for adults 18 to 49, a 43 reach and average frequency of 4.7. For adults 25 to 54, estimates are 235 GRPs, a 49

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