McTV… The McDonald’s In-Store TV Channel

17Oct11

Article: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/tv/la-et-mcdonalds-channel-20111017,0,303650.store

Kaitlynn Newland, 7, and her father, Terry Newland, 49, of Downey eat food at a McDonald's in Norwalk. (Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times / October 15, 2011)

Well, McDonalds is launching their new in-store television station, which will include  local school sports, movie previews, heartwarming human interest stories, segments like “Mighty Moms” and “The McDonald’s Achievers”, “McDonald’s Channel Music News”, and 8 minutes of ads per hour.  However, “McDonald’s ad participation will be only a minute and a half, Edmondson (the founder of ChannelPort) said: ‘This network is not intended to be all about McDonald’s. It is all about the consumer.'”

The channel will “soon be up in 800 McDonald’s restaurants in Southern and Central California, is being spearheaded by ChannelPort Communications LLC, a Los Angeles-based company specializing in entertainment content, technology and brand management. Programming will be anything but low-key and grass-roots: Reality TV mogul Mark Burnett (“Survivor,” “”The Apprentice,” “The Sing-Off”), BBC America and KABC-TV Eyewitness News are on board to provide content for the new network.”  Monthly, this network will supposedly reach 18 to 20 million people.

The dining areas of participating restaurants will be fitted with two high-definition 42- to 46-inch screens that will be visible from 70% of eating areas. Audio will be heard from the screen or ceiling speakers. Those who do not want to see or hear the channel will be able to eat in “quiet zones.”

So, is this going to be the new trend?  People are already constantly exposed to media, and this will only add to that.  Will it be effective, or will McDonald’s customers just down it out?  Personally, I would be interested in some of the local stuff, but overall I would rather not have the background distractions.  A few years ago when McDonald’s renovated most of its locations and started branding as more of a coffeeshop rather than a fast food joint I think they were on the right track.  This will steer them in another direction- not sure what the long-term effect will be!

~Emmalyn Helge

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