CBS Outernet To Kill Its Grocery Business

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

It’s rumoured in the US that CBS Outernet are having significant problems and as a result are likely to kill off their Grocery TV business in the coming weeks. If they do close it of course that really just leaves them with GameStop (albeit 5,500 locations) and AutoNet TV.

With game sales dropping something like 25% during the recession that particular network is probably a tough sell, especially with regards footfall and we cannot believe that AutoNet TV would be any better with regard traffic.

We don’t need to tell you that the US economy is really biting now and we are likely to see many companies pull back from the market and networks disappear.

It’s rumoured also that Ripple TV may be in trouble and only have a few weeks left to live without some sort of new financial investment / fund raising. Ripple however have a habit of pulling a rabbit out of the hat at the last minute, see Manolo’s story back in March ‘Ripple TV Raises Another $4M‘ for example where he told us then that this was the “third time they had gone back to the money well”

If they need to do that for a fourth time there’s actually no betting against them.

About CBS Outernet

CBS Outernet, a division of CBS Corporation (NYSE: CBS.A and CBS), is a leading provider of customized digital video networks in highly trafficked retail environments. Its grocery network, encompassing network services, programming and advertising sales, is currently installed in over 1,500 stores nationwide, reaching approximately 80 million shoppers each month. The company’s grocery banners include Supervalu’s Albertsons, Acme, Shaw’s and Jewel, along with leading regional grocers SaveMart, Pathmark, Price Chopper, Big Y and Ukrop’s. Its GameStop TV network reaches over 4,300 nationwide GameStop stores trafficked by 24 million gaming and entertainment enthusiast shoppers each month. Through AutoNet TV, the company reaches over 5,000 auto service centers nationwide. CBS Outernet’s in-store TV networks now span over 10,800 locations reaching over 100 million monthly consumers. Additionally, the company reaches hundreds of millions of monthly viewers through programming and/or sales relationships with the Automotive Broadcasting Network (car dealership/service center waiting rooms), Atlanta’s MARTA commuter trains, Gas Station TV (gas station pump tops and convenience stores), The Healium Network (doctor and dentist offices), The Bite Network (quick service restaurants), the Mall of America, Simon Malls, Royal Caribbean Cruises and The Salon Channel, among others.

3 Responses to “CBS Outernet To Kill Its Grocery Business”

  1. Charles Ansley Says:

    My view is this is a very major negative event for the retail/advertising part of the Digital Signage industry in the USA. When a company, as well run from a DS prospective as I suspect CBS Outernet is today, is not be making profits from size of the networks they manage, that can not be a good story for any part of the DS industry. I sure hope the forecast of pending doom for their Grocery TV network is wrong.

    Does anyone else see this as a potential major event or am I off base?

  2. David Murphy Says:

    As in everything there are two sides to the coin. Yes it would be an extremely negative event for those companies that rely on ad revenue to cover hardware and content development, that model has always been difficult and the ditches are littered with the remains of companies that have tried.

    For those of us that believe in what the content can do for a retailer or other public space; this will be an opportunity to educate the retailers and be paid for raising their environment to a higher level, engaging the consumers, and lifting sales.

  3. Dean Says:

    2 sides indeed. The network was purchased from SignStory and expanded from a successful local sales concept and refocused on national sales. While local sales stayed strong and profitable, the expected windfall from national sales contracts failed dspite multipe national sales manager changes. Infighting and corporate power grabs even had some wanting to see the venture fail. The network lives on, in the Big Y Chain, based on the local sales model that made it successful in the beginning. It is a simple idea. Local businesses can target local shoppers with great reach and frequency. The multi million dollar contracts from national advertisers (and their agencies) didn’t happen. They didn’t want to be bothered with limited neighborhood specific campaigns.

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