On the day that Macrovision announced it was selling TV Guide’s to OpenGate for $1, TV Guide was nice enough to give me a call and assure me that, for now, it was “business as usual” at the magazine.
Just to prove it, they sent out a press release on the same day, declaring that the magazine would be giving away free downloads of the 30 Rock Season 3 premiere. All 3 million+ copies of the October 27th issue of TV Guide – which hits newsstands on Thursday, October 23rd – will contain a download code. Readers will be able to get the download right away – a whole week before the show premieres on NBC.
I think this promotion is savvy on many levels:
1) It’s a show of strength: the magazine is still promoting itself, as ever. On top of that, it’s showing that TV Guide can still be Web-connected, even though the sale separated it from its Web site.
2) The online/download stuff reaches out to a younger audience — a plus for nearly any magazine.
3) With the wave that Tina Fey and 30 Rock are riding — thanks to recent Emmy wins and Fey’s SNL appearances as Sarah Palin — there aren’t too many better promotional buddies on TV right now (except for maybe the actual Palin, but since she has yet to win an Emmy, maybe not).