In January 2009 we wrote about one of the weirdest mergers we had witnessed in the digital our of home industry’ ‘Two UK Networks Merge To Become GymslipTV‘ where student union bar network owner Sub.tv merged with health club fitness network Gym Screen Media to form a new outdoor company strangely named Media 42.
The fact that Sub.tv was up for sale by the original owners at the time and could easily have gone to a better home didn’t seem to stop these strange bedfellows trying to spin this as a perfect deal.
Well it didn’t take long for them to see that a group like this would never work and have to sell, which is the only way that we read this story.
Here we see the original company Gym Screen Media being purchased from Media 42 group for an undisclosed sum by Zoom Media and Marketing.
UK Media buyers and planners will undoubtedly rejoice. Now they can deal with one company for Health and Fitness needs in the UK, as Dennis Roche, president of Zoom Media, told Media Week “amalgamating the Gym TV network with Zoom Media’s will allow the company to offer “critical mass of the gym audience for advertisers seeking to reach fitness members across the UK market”.
Gym Screen Media has digital screens in 160 venues, including fitness centres David Lloyd, Virgin Active and Total Fitness.
Under Jill Lee, Zoom Media and Marketing in the UK now offer advertisers a national network of 650 digital venues.
What is also interesting is what will become of sub.tv. The UK bar industry is rather under served at the moment what with the very recent demise of ASG Media (they only had 330 bars at the last count anyway) and Brightspace Media who have pretty much shut up shop on the Kaleidovision network.
Unless you count Sky’s Pub TV business (not a ‘network’ per se but we are nit-picking here) this effectively leaves sub.tv pretty much as the only bar network in town (albeit ‘student’ bars, not the all important 18-34 age group).
Outside the top 4 or 5 traditional media owners, has the UK digital out of home sector ever been in such a sorry state?