McDonald's customers will soon be able to have local school sports, movie previews and heartwarming human interest stories to go with their fries — McTV is here and in high definition.
In one of the most unusual twists in niche programming, the global fast-food chain is launching the McDonald's Channel, a digital network of exclusive original content targeted at dine-in customers. The programming will be customized to specific communities around the individual restaurants, and will include local news and entertainment features, such as spotlights on upcoming films, albums and TV shows.
The McDonald's channel, being rolled out slowly during the next few months and will soon be up in 800 McDonald's restaurants in Southern and Central California, is being spearheaded by ChannelPort Communications LLC, a Los Angeles-based company specializing in entertainment content, technology and brand management. Programming will be anything but low-key and grass-roots: Reality TV mogul Mark Burnett ("Survivor," ""The Apprentice," "The Sing-Off"), BBC America and KABC-TV Eyewitness News are on board to provide content for the new network.
The venture, which has already been tested in L.A., San Diego and Las Vegas, is expected to reach 18 million to 20 million people a month, which ChannelPort executives said would be one of the largest daytime audiences in the region. If successful, the project, which will also include interactive elements on Web and mobile platforms, may expand nationwide.
Related: Analyst opinions: McD TV could boost dine-in business