McDonald's customers will soon be getting a side order of the weather forecast and the latest sports scores while dining in the Golden Arches with the launch of a new 'McTV.'
With programming from BBC America and reality TV producer Mark Burnett, whose shows include The Apprentice and Survivor, the McDonald's Channel will be a digital network of original content that will be aired for the eat-in diner, reported The Los Angeles Times October 17.
The venture, spearheaded by ChannelPort Communications LLC., has already been tested in LA, Las Vegas and San Diego, and will roll out to the rest of California to reach an estimated 18 to 20 million people a month. If successful, the program will expand nationally across the US.Programming will be a mix of entertainment features, previews of upcoming films, albums and TV shows, and have a special emphasis on local news, reports the LA Times. Segments will include profiles of local high school and college athletes and "Mighty Moms." Burnett's web studio series "Vimby" -- Video in My Backyard -- will cover fashion, art, music, and culture news.
The new digital channel is the company's attempt to grab -- and maintain -- the attention of a captive audience while it can. While waiting to place their order, customers will have nowhere to hide, experts point out.
In addition to traditional cable channels, consumers are now divided between alternative channels like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Facebook, the story points out.
This summer, Taco Bell announced its own partnership with Indoor Direct Inc. which produces The Restaurant Entertainment Network, a partnership that will see all 5,600 locations in the US broadcast a digital channel for their eat-in diners by 2015.
Fast food chain Krystal Restaurants, popular in the southern US, also deployed a digital network at its 1950s-style drive-thru restaurants. Drivers pull up to place their order from a digital menuboard while passengers can watch a live TV feed.