Media conglomerate Turner Broadcasting System has joined forces with U.S. mall operator the Simon Property Group to create a new retail entertainment network.
The new net will reach consumers via a common area in each of SPG’s 256 malls and will offer a range of programming from TBS-owned nets, including Cartoon Network, as well as programming from nets owned by TBS parent company Time-Warner, such as the WB Network. Each common area will feature a Cartoon Network-branded family zone that will let kids view family-friendly programming, play video games, buy Cartoon Network licensed merch, as well as other products.
Drew Sheinman, senior VP of marketing and business development at Simon, says that in theory, the network would enable SPG to do live broadcasts of kids promotions and events that tie in with WB Studio Stores through each of its malls.
Common areas will also feature kiosks linked to the Web that the 100 million-plus shoppers who visit SPG malls every year can use to retrieve relevant information on sales and mall events, and to shop on-line. SPG and TBS plan to sell air time to national advertisers and mall tenants wishing to promote their companies on the net. Companies will also be able to run ads in S., SPG’s new mall magazine, which is slated to launch with the net. Testing of the as-yet-unnamed network is scheduled to begin at select SPG malls this spring.