'Uprising' DRTV Spots Test NBC-ShopNBC Partnership

The NBC miniseries “Uprising” became available this week through DRTV spots that will test a budding partnership between the broadcaster and television shopping network ShopNBC.

Uprising, which aired Nov. 4-5 on NBC, can be purchased through a toll-free number and at the ShopNBC.com Web site for $19.98. The airing of each episode of the miniseries ended with an offer of the home video version of the four-hour miniseries. Twenty-second and 30-second DRTV spots for the video will continue to air on MSNBC, CNBC and ShopNBC, which reaches 48 million homes, during the next two to three weeks, said Anthony Giombetti, spokesman for ShopNBC, Eden Prairie, MN.

ShopNBC, which is 40 percent owned by NBC parent General Electric, was prepared to take 10,000 to 15,000 calls simultaneously in response to the spots. Giombetti would not say what the volume has been, but said teleservices representatives had been able to handle the inbound call volume.

“Direct response is such an impulse buy, you've got to be able to be there for them,” Giombetti said. “We have been.”

In addition to providing inbound teleservices support, ShopNBC will provide fulfillment and customer service for the product.

Uprising, which stars David Schwimmer, Jon Voight and Donald Sutherland in the true story about Jewish resistance fighters in the Warsaw ghetto in Poland during World War II, represents the first time NBC and ShopNBC have used their recently formed partnership to market home video of an already-aired NBC program. ShopNBC, which formerly was known as ValueVision TV, entered into a 10-year licensing and trademark agreement with NBC in November 2000, and in June changed its name and look to utilize the NBC brand.

The broadcast network's goal is to generate more revenue out of its content than strictly advertising dollars. The partnership also will serve to raise NBC's brand awareness among consumers.

“We are able to reach consumers on a variety of levels and maximize their awareness of the 'Uprising' home video,” said Kim Niemi, vice president of business development at NBC Enterprises, Burbank, CA.

The companies declined to release initial sales figures. No other joint marketing efforts are currently planned, but Giombetti said the two companies were exploring future possibilities for further marketing efforts.

“Both of us will explore these sorts of opportunities as appropriate and as they present themselves,” Giombetti said.

NBC and ShopNBC's previous partnership efforts include an online auction Nov. 2-5 to benefit Sept. 11 disaster victims. Dubbed “NBC Soap FanHelp,” the auction featured items from the NBC daytime dramas “Days of Our Lives” and “Passions.”

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