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Gas Station Video Networks Pump Up Branded Programming

Posted by Dale Buss on February 29, 2012 02:01 PM

It's not exactly Coke vs. Pepsi, or Chevy vs. Ford, but the intensifying battle of the gas-pump TV networks just got a little more interesting.

Outcast just signed an exclusive deal with Fox News Channel to distribute its programming to more than 13,000 screens at gas station in 130 U.S. markets via its PumpTop TV network. Its rival, Gas Station TV (GSTV), has been adding branded content as well, including news reports from Bloomberg TV.

In the distribution battle to win valuable eyeball-level distribution via gas stations, expect more exclusive programming deals with big media brands as the duelling "networks" spread across America. It's also good news for brand marketers, expanding the quality of "place-based" or out-of-home opportunities to reach drivers.

"Fox makes a terrific complement to our audience, the on-the-go consumer," Nathan Gill, chief revenue officer of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Outcast, told brandchannel. At the same time, he said, Fox News recognized the value in partnering with Outcast "because the on-the-go consumer is hard to reach."

Outcast recently added NFL Network content to PumpTop TV's programming lineup, while Birmingham, Mich-based GSTV announced a deal with Turner Broadcasting to deliver news and entertainment segments from HLN and Showbiz Tonight.

"It's a never-ending thing for us," Gill said. "We'll continue to add new partnerships."

Gill said that rising gasoline prices actually work in favor of PumpTop TV and its rival in terms of engaging viewers while they're dispensing gasoline. "People pay a lot more attention to the pump when gas prices go up," he said. "They're paying more attention to the overall experience because the investment they're making is higher now than it normally is."

But while consumers may enjoy being more fully engaged with TV at the pump, they could probably do without the other part of the experience: watching the numbers on their gasoline tab rise ever more quickly.

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