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Fill Up with News at Gas Station TV

June 6, 2006

LOS ANGELES — Motorists cringing at the cost of fuel can now at least fill up on current news and information while tethered to the pump.

Internet-enabled Gas Station TV formally launched its digital television network Monday featuring ABC programming and original content including local news, sports, weather and traffic. The network will air constantly updated content to refueling motorists on 20-inch high-definition LCD monitors embedded in gas dispensers.

GSTV already has conducted a test pilot in Dallas and expects to reach 100 locations of the Wal-Mart-based retail gasoline chain Murphy USA by September and 400 stations in the top 10 U.S. markets by next year.

“We’re very focused on creating an enjoyable and informative experience for the average of four minutes the user spends at the pump with content that has a sense of purpose and that can help them,” GSTV CEO David Leider said, describing the venture as based on an advertising revenue model.

Current content includes “News You Can Use” segments from ABC’s “Good Morning America” along with news, weather forecasts and traffic updates from ABC-owned stations as well as promotional material. Rotating ads from such retail brands as Pepsi, Frito-Lay and US Tobacco are woven into the segments and geared toward driving the consumer back into the convenience store.

GSTV president Adam Bleibtreu said future collaborations with other content providers are imminent.

“We view this as a great distribution platform to provide the appropriate mix of content,” Bleibtreu said. “This is a truly captive audience that we have — those stuck at the pump — and this is a great opportunity to engage them.”

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter




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