Warner Bros., NBC launch "ER" Web site

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Warner Bros. and NBC are looking for advertisers to sponsor www.ERLive.com, a site debuting Sept. 22 to promote the season premiere live-airing of "ER" on Sept. 25.

In a marketing effort launched Sept. 15, advertisers are being asked to ante up $60,000 for sponsorships, which include logo opportunities on the 1 million banners the companies are placing on the Web to promote the event, according to an ad agency that was contacted about the site.

And though the site will, for all intents and purposes, have a usefulness of only four days, NBC and Warner Bros. think it will be popular enough to justify the sponsorship price.

The fact that Warner Bros., the producer of the No. 1-rated show on TV, and NBC, which airs the series, are collaborating on the site is surprising in itself; usually networks and studios stay a polite distance from each other in Web series sites, despite the obvious mutual interest they share in the shows.

Using chat software Talk City, ERLive.com will feature moderated fan chat forums and auditorium chats with various "ER" stars.

For those users with RealAudio and RealVideo capabilities, the site will offer the behind-the-scenes preparations from the set of the show, the ad executive said.

NBC will run 10-second spots promoting both the show and the Web site. In addition to impressions on the site, sponsors will get impressions on www.NBC.com, www.warnerbros.com, and America Online (Warner Bros. has a major presence on AOL). In total, the companies are estimating 2 million impressions.

The site will stay up for a yet-to-be determined amount of time after the live airing, with a digital gallery taken from the show.

Copyright September 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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