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Samsung, CTAM Team On HDTV Promotion

New York – Samsung and the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM) announced here on March 15 the launch of joint promotion bringing together Samsung digital televisions and the high-definition cable services of eight promoted multi-system operators (MSOs).

The joint “eight-figure” advertising and promotion effort will help to promote awareness of high-definition television in general and the HDTV products of Samsung and programming services of the cable MSOs specifically, during the “March Madness” NCAA basketball tournament.

The CTAM organization, which works with the cable industry to market and promote cable services around the country, selected Samsung from a number of television manufacturers in “a request for proposals process.” The selection was based, in part, on Samsung’s leadership status as one of the first companies to market a fully integrated HDTV set in 1998, and its market leading position in “premium priced” [$3,000 and up] high-definition projection TVs, said Seth Morrision, CTAM marketing senior VP.

Due to the timing of the promotion, and the fact that Samsung will launch its uni-directional CableCARD-enabled HDTV sets later this spring and fall, the promotion will focus most on HDTV monitors that can connect with a proprietary HD cable set-top box from one of CTAM’s member MSOs.

The eight cable companies, which agreed to join the effort, were brought on board with Samsung’s recent recruitment efforts. They are said to represent 95 percent of cable subscribers in the United States. Participating MSOs include the following: Adelphia Cable Communications, Bright House Networks, Charter Communications, Comcast Cable Communications, Cox Communications, Insight Communications, Mediacom Communications, and Time Warner Cable.

Samsung is calling the effort “the Coming Of Age” of high definition TV. Through the program, the company will send a team of detailers to 65 percent of its retail storefronts over the next 30 days to educate and motivate sales people to sell Samsung HDTVs in a package with local cable HDTV services.

Samsung will provide a HDTV educational Web site to help consumers become familiar with the terms and issues in purchasing HDTVs and will offer them up to $100 in cable gift certificates for the purchase of any Samsung HDTV. Purchasers must add or maintain a current HDTV cable program following the purchase. The offer is good, whether or not, a retailer informs the consumer of the program at the point of sale. Gift certificates will be available online.

The campaign, designed to drive the digital transition in the home, gives consumers an affordable means to sample HDTV. Coinciding with the NCAA basketball tournament, the promotion will raise awareness of HD services with TV spots airing on cable, ads in national daily newspapers, a far-reaching on-line campaign and point-of-purchase initiatives at retail.