Hollywood sites match up on Web

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Areas flex savvy muscles to sell tickets, promote films, attract ad dollars

Hollywood online and The Independent Film Channel are looking to bolster their brand-building on the Internet by offering separate movie listings services on their Web sites.

ONLINE PARTNERS

The trendsetting HOL, a subsidiary of Times Mirror, has established an alliance with the National Association of Theater Owners to provide nationwide movie listings on the Internet.

HOL and The Los Angeles Times, a Times Mirror newspaper that oversees the management of HOL, will affiliate with major regional newspaper and broadcast media outlets to create branded Web sites offering localized versions of the service, to launch this spring. Eventually, each regional subsite will offer a broader variety of entertainment info pertaining to its audience.

REGIONALIZE MOVIE LISTINGS

IFC owned by Rainbow Programming Group, is teaming with 777-FILM to offer regional film listings.

IFC has already established a hot link to 777-FILM's Web site, through which users can get movie info and buy tickets. Within six months, IFC's Web site will offer a feature that breaks out current films in release by genre.

MARKETING MUSCLE WILL WIN

Which service will be more widely used will depend on whose marketing is most effective. By summer, HOL will be promoting its service via movie trailers, posters and print advertising.

IFC has the benefit of the 777-FILM brand name and will get on-air support from its network siblings.

But given the niche nature of IFC's national promotional vehicles, looks like HOL has the edge.

"The trailers and posters will put Hollywood Online in front of all moviegoers. That's worth tens of millions of dollars in promotion," said Harry Chandler, director of new business development at the Los Angeles Times.

IFC is currently selling $150,000-a-year ad packages. Its first sponsorship deal is with Miramax, which just sponsored IFC's live cybercast of the The Independent Spirit Awards.

HOL, which has been selling advertising since its inception in 1993, is now developing a rate card for its listings feature.

Copyright March 1996 Crain Communications Inc.

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