Keith Pelley: Brand extensions key to Rogers Media success

Following yesterday’s upfront presentation, the Rogers Media president talks to Etan Vlessing about the company’s cross-platform strategy.

Amid all the new US shows Keith Pelley unveiled Monday for his Citytv and OMNI networks, the Rogers Media president was quick to tell advertisers his Rogers empire has a giant, yet sprawling series of consumer touch-points that his rivals can’t match.

“The biggest opportunity is we have a very robust portfolio, but it is very diverse at the same time,” Pelley told Playback Daily about the company’s efforts to bring those vertical destinations into a central hub.

While at the Los Angeles Screenings, Rogers Media programmers secured digital cross-platform rights to all new US shows to drive the content to a range of channels, from Rogers Sportsnet and The Shopping Channel to radio, publishing and online.

“You put them all together and it’s a powerful [combination] for advertisers, and for ourselves, to activate our brands,” Pelley said.

An example: parent co Rogers Communications owns the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club, and brought Rogers Media’s varied assets together behind the recent season launch.

That included a 19-page season preview in Macleans magazine and on its website to help cover all bases.

“As everyone gets behind it, it becomes important in the minds of Canadians, and we’re able to communicate how exciting the season was,” Pelley explained.

The results included improved TV ratings and stadium attendance for the Blue Jays this season.

“We were a little bit a part of that in terms of the integration,” Pelley insisted.

Uniting the varied strands of the Rogers empire is complicated by its size, the Rogers Media topper concedes.

“It’s much easier if you have two verticals. The minute you add more verticals, the need to be horizontal becomes critical, but is not easy to do,” Pelley said.

Efforts to centralize the empire around recognizable brands includes Rogers Media extending its Sportsnet TV brand to radio by renaming The Fan as Sportsnet Radio and launching a Sportsnet magazine.

Once advertisers get their heads round the Rogers’ constellation of brands, the media group will see added dividends from the latest slate of US shows acquired in Los Angeles, Pelley argued.

“We believe that the future is not television, but content. People want to watch what they want, when they want and how they want. That’s our goal,” he said. “Even with the assets that we have, the promotion we can build for the shows and platforms is unmatched.”

From Playback Daily