A connection for Granite, ACI.

Author:Davis, Eileen
Position:Granite Broadcasting Corp., Audio Communications Inc. form venture
 
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Granite Broadcasting Corp. and Audio Communications Inc. (ACI) recently formed a joint venture to offer customized free and pay-per-call services for Granite's four television properties. The deal represents the first time a television group will offer such services as an ongoing part of its local programming schedules.

Granite and ACI forged the July agreement because executives felt that audiotext--delivering information and entertainment via telephone--could be used to extend a station's franchise while creating an additional revenue stream. Las Vegasbased ACI will act as the creative and technical experts in the partnership. New York-based Granite, ranked No. 24 on the 1992 BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 with sales of nearly $40 million, will create the sales opportunities. The Corporate Trust and Agency Group, a division of Bankers Trust, will serve as financial and administrative adviser.

Alan Zaretsky, ACI's director of sales and marketing, says ACI will finance the projected $50,000 cost of setting up the new call-in services. Pay-per-call services such as updated sports scores, subscription sales and merchandise coupon books will be offered, along with 800 numbers for basic information, such as weather and traffic.

"We want to be ubiquitous in the household," says Granite Chairman Don Cornwell. "This is another means of putting our products into channels of distribution...

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