Texas Student Television is hosting a live marathon for 24 hours every day for a week. The marathon started Sunday at midnight and will go on until 11:59 p.m. Saturday.
“The last time TSTV did this was five years ago, so we decided to try it again,” said Derek Lewis, TSTV assistant staff director and journalism senior. “We thought it would be a good way to promote the TSTV brand as well as bring in more advertisers.”
The members of TSTV have full control of what they want to focus on, and the shows are generally geared towards events and issues that relate to the typical UT student. Lewis and one of his colleagues decided to host a show to give advice about relationships.
“I usually do sports so it was interesting to get out of that realm and try something else,” Lewis said. “Our show ran three hours longer than we had planned, and it was my first time doing an off-the-cuff type of show, so it was definitely a learning experience.”
Many of the shows are similar to talk shows where the hosts focus on a certain subject and have callers comment or bring up things related to that issue.
“You have to be careful about what you say during the show because people will call and try to get you to talk about controversial or tricky issues,” Lewis said.
The marathon will also be helpful for TSTV’s advertising department as there are more opportunities for advertisers to market their products since the shows run all day. Many of the advertisers are affiliated with UT, such as MunchyMart, an online convenience store started by two UT students, and Milto’s Mediterranean Cafe, a restaurant near campus.
“We’ve already increased our number of advertisers in just one day, and we’ve had a lot of social media attention,” said Morgan Williams, assistant TSTV marketing director and journalism junior. “We really try to help marketers by doing things such as creating the videos that will air on TV for them.”
Most of the shows airing during the marathon are test runs for the fall. They are all written by TSTV members, although the slots are open to any student interested in doing a show.
“The marathon is definitely going to bring more publicity to TSTV, which we have already seen in Twitter,” said Steven Zurita, TSTV station manager and radio-television-film senior. “Being on 24 hours forces us to be really creative and try new shows like a pie-eating show.”
Printed on Monday, April 23, 2012 as: TSTV's 24-hour programming to attract advertisers, branding