Warner Bros., Sprynet ink co-marketing deal

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In a new kind of cross-promotion between the Internet and TV, Sprynet and Warner Bros. Online are expected to announce today a co-marketing agreement.

During "The People's Court" TV show, Internet service provider Sprynet will be promoted as the way for viewers to connect to the Court Web site to vote.

Viewers who sign up for Sprynet then receive software to sign onto the Internet, as well as custom "People's Court" content.


Sprynet has about 340,000 users and was bought three years ago by Compuserve, which was acquired this year by America Online. The ISP looks at this cross-promotion as a test, which will move to other Warner Bros. shows if successful.

"We operate as an independent business unit, however Compuserve is watching this and AOL is watching this. If it works as well as we think it will and people do enjoy this type of cross-promotion . . . you'll see a lot more of this activity," said Donna Rasmussen, Sprynet director of marketing.

Online advertising analyst Marc Johnson of Jupiter Communications was somewhat skeptical about the narrow focus between one show and the ISP, but said an expanded schedule makes more sense.


"Folks that are really into entertainment [would be interested] in Warner Bros. studio properties and the network of shows all coming to the front on an ISP, and promoted heavily across all WB properties," he said.

Sprynet will get first right of refusal as a cross-promoted ISP on "Love Connection," the next Warner Bros. interactive TV show which will debut this fall, said Jim Moloshok, senior VP of Warner Bros. Online. Viewers will get to vote over the Internet about successful dates on the show.

The Love Connection site now being created will include a commerce area featuring categories related to dating. Exclusive sponsorship deals will involve flowers, music, travel, credit cards and gift companies, said Mr. Moloshok.

Copyright April 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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