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Anheuser-Busch To Invest $30 Million in; Launch in Feb 07

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The amount is chump change for the beer giant, but big from online video standards: Top U.S. brewer Anheuser-Busch will launch its own online entertainment network, Bud.TV, in February next year, the day after Super Bowl XLI . The seven-channel operation is costing an estimated $30 million to start…The money is being redirected from the budget for cable and late-night TV ads (something it has announced prior). This will bring online’s share of its $600 million annual ad budget to about 10 percent in 2007.
The channels will have short form 2-3 minutes clisp, themed around comedy, reality TV, user-gen video, etc. Overseeing Bud.TV will be James Schumacker, recently named VP digital marketing and branded entertainment.
NYTimes: Bud TV would also offer a desktop application that can be downloaded to deliver a program from the Happy Hour channel each day at 4:55 p.m..
Sources for the programs will include agencies that create advertising for AB like and DDB Worldwide; companies owned by Hollywood stars like LivePlanet (Ben Affleck and Matt Damon), (Kevin Spacey), and Wild West Picture Show Productions (Vince Vaughn); and production companies like Omelet and Seed. AB is in discussions with Joe Buck, the sportscaster, to develop a talk show.
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