NBC installs mini-network on N.Y./N.J. Port Authority trains

Posted on June 4, 2009 by METRO Staff

In April, NBC Everywhere, in partnership with JCDecaux North America, installed digital LCD screens at three stations for Port Authority of New York and New Jersey PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) trains.

The system, called PATHVISION, is owned and operated by NBC Everywhere. A total of 3,000 screens will eventually be installed throughout the PATH system, with 2,700 of those on new trains and the rest installed at all 13 PATH stations.

Adding screens to new trains during the course of this year is part of Port Authority's major, multi-year investment to modernize PATH and to increase capacity, comfort and efficiency for the whole system, according to officials.

The screens will display customized "NBC in Transit" short-form content, which includes local and national news, as well as entertainment programming provided by NBC Universal (NBCU) and other partner networks. Local news and weather will come from local broadcast station WNBC. Segments will also be culled from MSNBC, CNBC and LX.TV - an NBCU-owned producer of local lifestyle content.

"'NBC in Transit' provides a great opportunity to inform and entertain PATH commuters while offering our clients a new digital platform to reach an upscale, on-the-go audience," said Mark French, GM and SVP of NBC Everywhere. "The ability to tailor PATH screens based on the time of day or train platform provides an innovative way for our advertisers to deliver their message alongside relevant, customized, and entertaining NBCU content." 

Hilton Hotels, Jet Blue and State Farm have signed on as inaugural "NBC in Transit" sponsors. NBC Everywhere will serve as the exclusive sales organization for PATHVISION.

"Initially, the revenues from PATHVISION advertising are less than [other PATH] advertising because NBCU expended millions of dollars on the capital program to invest in the monitors and system," said Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico. "The Port Authority then gets the benefit of getting its service announcements out via the system at no cost. Ultimately, as it's amortized over the years, the revenue amount to the Port Authority will go up."

"This is the type of Public-Private Partnership that increases services for travelers while containing costs,'' said Christopher O. Ward, the Port Authority's executive director. The PATHVISION mini-network helps diversify revenue streams for the agency, where other advertising opportunities include ads on the sides of train cars and turnstiles.

"NBC in Transit" is the latest addition to NBC Everywhere's New York-based digital out-of-home platforms. The group is already running content in 5,500 New York City taxicabs and on a screen in Times Square.


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