Nick hits the high spots with Starcom

Media buy includes Web, research

The kids upfront marketplace kicked into motion Thursday with a wide-ranging deal between Nickelodeon and Starcom.

The media buy spans all of Nick's multiplatform tentacles, including the cable network, VOD and such Web sites as Neopets and Addicting Games. As part of the deal, the Chicago-based media buying agency will team with the Viacom division on research about kids' media consumption habits.

The advertising buy will be based on quarterly hour program ratings, in contrast to the minute-by-minute deals coming into vogue at the broadcast level. However, part of the research will focus on minute-by-minute ratings.

"Starcom is a valued partner that shares our unremitting audience focus, and we're thrilled to move forward with them in learning more about how today's kids are navigating the multiplatform world," said Hank Close, president of U.S. ad sales at MTV Networks.

This is Starcom's second major deal of the month, having previously struck an agreement with Discovery Communications.