Native peoples network launches in Canada

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WINNIPEG, Manitoba--A new Native TV network is taking to the airwaves in Canada with a handful of advertisers. Aboriginal PeoplesTelevision Network aims to reach an estimated 20,000 viewers aged between 25 and 54 years.

Programs for and about Canada's aboriginal people will be transmitted in several languages, with 60% in English, 15% in French and the remaining 25% in a variety of aboriginal languages including Inuktitut and Cree.

Demographic information on Canada's Native market is scarce, but according to the network's research, 79% of Canadians polled were interested in the network and 48% would tune in once a week, while 7% would watch daily.

Ad revenue is targeted at $530,000 according to Nicholas Bianchi, director of advertising sales at Specialized Media Sales. The price for a primetime 30-second spot on the network is roughly $93. Its CPM is $4.65.

"Without any Nielsen numbers it's very difficult to go in and sell something. [But] response is better than we thought it would be. There's nothing like this (network) anywhere else in the world," says Mr. Bianchi.

The biggest of the four marketers initially advertising on the new network is major coffee and baked goods chain Tim Hortons, owned by U.S. fastfood giant Wendy's International.

Tim Hortons sees Aboriginal Peoples Television Network as a way to promote its outlets in the regional capital cities in Canada's northern territories, where much of the regular audience is expected to tune in by satellite.

"We're quite pleased to have the opportunity to advertise to the local area on a network that's designed to serve the people of that region," says Tim Hortons spokeswoman Patti Jameson.

Other advertisers are the Canadian government and two small Native-oriented financial institutions that specialize in serving Native customers.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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