Airport International News - September 2012

CNN's Airport Dominance at Risk

Posted by Victoria Knowles - Airport International Reporter on 05/09/2012 - 06:25:00

CNN's Airport Dominance at Risk

Cable network rival Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings may threaten CNN's dominance, after being the sole TV provider in US airports for 21 years.

Advertising company Clear Channel Outdoor has partnered with over 100 major TV networks including Fox, CBS and NBC to provide entertainment content to give travellers viewing options, including customized sports, music and hit shows such as ‘The Voice' and ‘America's Got Talent'.

Clear Channel Outdoor is the second largest outdoor advertising company beneath JC Decaux. The company is in discussions with around 20 airports, with their ‘ClearVision' service first arriving in Raleigh-Durham International Airport in North Carolina in November, according to Clear Channel's head of airports, Toby Sturek. However, they are also targeting large airports where CNN has its TVs.

CNN Airport Dominance

'The airports want something that's different and they want something where they can have a variety of content that they can provide the passengers,' Mr Sturek said.

CNN's screens inhabit 49 of the busiest US airports, including Chicago O'Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth, reaching 248 million customers annually in airports.

A CNN spokeswoman asserts that its network has been "a valued brand for over 21 years" and a "reliable source of current news programming and localized custom content for busy, on-the-go travelers."

Though airport advertising revenues more than $10 million a year for CNN, the oldest news network is suffering from 20-year low ratings. This latest blow will hurt the reach of CNN, which is now behind in ratings to News Corp's Fox News and Comcast Corp's MSNBC.

CNN is also seeking a new president; due to chief Jim Walton announcing he would depart at the end of 2012, after 30 years in the role. Initially, ClearVision would be placed in medium-sized airports, said Mr Sturek. The company plans to win over customers with their wide range of programming and air shows.

They also aim to improve the service by allowing travellers to connect their mobile devices to the TV sets during the first part of next year. Eventually, passengers will be able to select from different channels on their own screens. "So, one traveler can watch news while a person sitting next to them can watch America's Got Talent," Mr Sturek said.

Image Copyright Doug Letterman Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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