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Renault TV Launches Today

First broadcast channel from an automaker?

by on Jan.28, 2010

The maker is the message and the medium.

Renault TV debuted this morning with the claim it is the first international television station from an automaker.

Renault TV in France is on channel 349 on Canalsat, and in the UK on Sky Guide 883. The potential audience is 30 million.

Whether British viewers take this as another Norman invasion is subject to wry speculation on our part.

The channel offers news on the latest models and has “magazines and entertainment” for all audiences.

“Renault is not a brand like the others – Renault innovates for everybody, not just the privileged few! It is a real ‘people-centric’ brand, perhaps the only one of its kind in the world today,” claims Stephen Norman, Senior Vice President, Global Marketing at Renault.

Renault TV is an extension of www.renault.tv, which launched in March 2009. The company claims that its average visit time of 15 minutes, rivals with the best video program sites on the internet, citing 20 minutes for BBC iPlayer.

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Auto TV!

The latest broadcast TV development is counter to the major trend among automakers, who are increasingly abandoning television in favor of what is thought to be more targeted, and therefore more efficient, internet marketing.

Mixing commercial content with TV programming is one way broadcasters are attempting to retain fleeing advertisers, and is thought to offer a marketing advantage, if — big if — viewers aren’t turned off by the self-serving programming and ignore it.

Renault TV is the next step – taking over an entire channel.

BMW is an example of just one of many companies expanding its web presence with a TV like format. Since last fall, BMW is offering a more sophisticated version of a previous venture, IPTV. Complementing the German version (www.bmw.tv/de), twelve additional languages are in the process of appearing online. There is an English version at www.bmw.tv/com. The website concentrates on the fields of motoring, innovation, lifestyle and sports.

Renault TV will broadcast 24 hours a day with what sounds like the same formula.

The content, not reviewed by us, consists of:

  • News, with road tests of Renault models and behind-the-scenes reports on the company
  • Motor sports and access to World Series by Renault and Formula One coverage
  • Special access to the brand’s “big events”
  • Time travel, through Renault archives, looking back over a century of history
  • True stories, with portraits of people who live the “Renault experience” every day
  • Entertainment, with original “ideas” broadcast every evening in prime time

Renault TV also features a number of personalities:

  • Actor and former football player Eric Cantona
  • Figure skating world champion Gwendal Peizerat
  • Rugby player Benjamin Kaiser

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