Launched originally in September 1999 as the Report on Business
Television (ROBtv), the 24/7 business news specialty channel was
rebranded in March 2007 and renamed the Business News Network
(BNN). A wholly owned subsidiary of CTV Inc., a division of
CTVglobemedia, day to day operations are managed by CTV News out
of CTV’s Toronto-based network headquarters.
Faced with a “programming” prime time schedule that works in inverse relation to most TV viewing habits (business and financial news occurs largely during working hours), BNN has a hard time reaching its core target audience through traditional TV
Simply stated, BNN had to find ways to reach those viewers outside the home who couldn’t get in front of a TV set during office hours, but who wanted “live” access to the business news and market updates in real time and were willing to pay for those services. “The Internet was the ideal method to reach our target audience during the work hours, as most viewers don’t have a TV at their office” said BNN.ca General Manager, Jack Fleischmann.
The INSINC Solution:
Having previously established a relationship with INSINC during the first season of CTV’s Canadian Idol in 2003, BNN’s parent web-based division CTV.ca, was well aware of INSINC’s capabilities and existing track record.
INSINC's experience with pay-per-view specialty offerings suggested that BNN could offer live web-casting on a pay-per-view basis and generate a new revenue stream and viewership. "What BNN was trying to do was target specific niche audiences like offices and Canadian “snowbirds” vacationing in the US or Mexico during the winter months who couldn’t access the channel on TV " stated INSINC President, Hugh Dobbie.
Under the new scenario, BNN provided a digitized and compressed news feed, saving any network fees, while INSINC distributed the feed over its own servers and handled all billing and fulfillment.
Fees for the service ranged from $4.95 for dial up to $6.95/mo. or $59.95/year for broadband. To sign up, users clicked on the Live Video icon at the main BNN.ca site, and the followed the prompts to access the streamed content.
BNN and INSINC entered into an innovative agreement. Instead of contracting out the service to INSINC for an upfront fee, BNN and INSINC are sharing the revenues. Subscriptions continue to experience double digit growth and BNN has successfully turned a cost centre into an additional source of revenue.
BNN avoided costly start up charges normally associated with the deployment of pay-per-view video processing and security infrastructures and was able to participate in a no-risk venture that provided them with a timely ROI.
“ I love the service. I can watch it anywhere It sure beats having another monitor/terminal on my desk!” Jim Best.
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