Through the unusual distribution agreement, the companies work together to clear the show on selected broadcast stations while securing commercial time within the show for BBDO clients such as Pepsi-Cola Co. and Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.
"This is not barter," said Bert Cohen, Worldvision exec VP-chief operating officer. "We are not selling the ad time. We supply the show, and it is sold to BBDO as a licensee to air it on a specific channel. They pay us a premium over marketplace, and we get payments in U.S. dollars.
"The result is we can get program sales accomplished in a shorter amount of time."
Eric Scheck, BBDO international media supervisor, said the agency's interest in the deal is to become a marketing partner with the stations in other countries.
"This gives us an arrangement with a quality program our clients are interested in," he said, "and we can approach a station with a program and a budget instead of going in to buy straight ad time."
The companies have also started talks concerning a similar distribution deal for "Melrose Place."
The "90210" deal, however, is limited to the show's first two seasons so the partners can re-evaluate terms before moving forward.
Mr. Walley is New York bureau chief of Electronic Media.