Sony TV gets celebs' help in digital push


LAS VEGAS -- Sony Pictures Television trotted out A-list talent including Jerry Seinfeld and Tony Bennett at the Consumer Electronics Show on Monday to tout a renewed push to drive advertising sales across digital platforms.

The former sitcom star and the Sony BMG music legend joined other high-profile employees including Vanna White and Alex Trebek to highlight a deep library the company is poised to exploit online and in mobile, including 150,000 TV episodes and 4,000 films.

"At Sony Pictures Television, we have great things for everything that has a screen," SPT president Steve Mosko said. "Whether it's network television, cable, mobile or the Internet, we have it covered."

While SPT was short on specifics, it did disclose new research from the Nielsen Co. that showed nearly two-thirds of young, technology-oriented consumers took in Sony content. The statistic is intended as the first of more research from the company's NielsenConnect division that combines TV and Internet measurement data to yield new metrics.

SPT announced a deal with YouTube that will introduce new advertising-supported channels to the online hub. Sony's Minisode Network will be the first of the branded channels, which launched Monday.

Minisode Network, which delivers condensed versions of TV episodes from Sony's library, struck its first deal for non-Sony content. World Events Prods. will contribute series it distributes to Minisode, including "Voltron" and "Saber Rider."

SPT also will add more series to Minisode including its own "Married ... With Children" and "NewsRadio" and its own animation block, bringing the current Minisode offerings to 21.

SPT, which made waves by moving from NATPE to CES this year, recommitted to having a presence at CES next year, and in grander fashion. Trebek announced that "Jeopardy!" will tape its "Tournament of Champions" at the 2009 CES, including a special edition of "Celebrity Jeopardy!"

Sony's event also featured Seinfeld performing a few minutes of stand-up comedy and Bennett crooning "The Best Is Yet to Come."