BRAVO INKS DEAL WITH PAYPAL TO BE AMONG THE FIRST COMPANIES TO OFFER MOBILE TELEPHONE PAYMENTS
BRAVO BROADENS ITS MERCHANDISING OPPORTUNITIES FOR VIEWERS AND LAUNCHES TEXT TO BUY SERVICE -- NEW TEXT MESSAGE-BASED PAYMENT SERVICE -- ON "TOP CHEF" STARTING WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, PEGGED TO THE GRAND OPENING OF THE "TOP CHEF" ONLINE STORE ON BRAVOTV.COM
NEW YORK -- April 6, 2006 -- Bravo will be among the first entertainment companies to offer PayPal Mobile, the new text message-based service which will allow viewers to purchase products anytime, from anywhere, using their mobile telephones. This landmark new Text to Buy service will launch on Bravo on Wednesday, April 12 with the channel's new original competitive reality series, "Top Chef". This new feature will coincide with the launch of the "Top Chef" online store on BravoTV.com. The announcement was made today by Lauren Zalaznick, President, Bravo.
"Bravo continues to be a pioneer and leader during these shifting times by teaming up with PayPal on this exciting initiative," said Zalaznick. "We saw record viewer response from all of our other interactive text messaging initiatives, from the voting during Project Runway's finale, to getting text messaged from Top Chef characters during the show. We strongly believe this new feature will be equally embraced by our savvy audience."
"Text To Buy gives our passionate viewers yet another way to connect to their favorite Bravo shows," said Jason Klarman, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Brand Strategy. "We continue to look for new ways to engage, activate and serve their insatiable appetite for being on the forefront of what's next."
Viewers will be prompted on-screen during the show to what products are available for purchase, and will be able to buy these items utilizing the text message feature on their cell phones. To use PayPal Mobile, viewers must have an active PayPal account and can then register their mobile telephone numbers at . After registering their cell number and choosing a Personal Identification Number (PIN), they are ready to use the Text to Buy service to purchase items. The following merchandise will be available for purchase on Top Chef on April 12, with new merchandise being offered throughout the run of the series.
TOP CHEF APRON Text: TCA to 63336 $36.00
TOP CHEF KITCHEN TOWELS Text: TCT to 63336 $29.00
The Text to Buy service launches in conjunction with the grand opening of BravoTV.com's Top Chef Online store, which provides viewers with the opportunity to buy products seen on the series online.
PayPal Mobile users make payments by sending an item's product code to PayPal. PayPal sends a text message back to the user to confirm the mobile payment, and then sends the money to the merchant. In the case of a Text to Buy purchase, after the merchant receives the payment, the item is shipped to the address already saved in the user's PayPal account.
Every PayPal Mobile payment is PIN-protected and backed by PayPal's state-of-the-art fraud prevention system. With PayPal Mobile, financial information is never shared with the recipient. Each user's financial information is stored on PayPal's secure servers, not on the mobile telephone, so even if the telephone is lost or stolen, the user's PayPal account remains secure. PayPal enables any individual or business with an email address to send and receive payments online and via mobile phone securely and easily using a bank account, credit card or stored balance.
Bravo will promote the PayPal Mobile Text to Buy service via on-air spots during "Top Chef" and on BravoTV.com. The price of all items will include tax and shipping to ensure viewers will have a one-stop and simplified process for this new feature.
About "Top Chef"
From the producers of "Project Runway," Bravo's reality competition series "Top Chef" offers a fascinating window into the competitive, pressure-filled environment of world-class cookery and the restaurant business. The series features some of the best up-and-coming chefs in the country who head to San Francisco for their shot at culinary stardom. Each episode holds two challenges for the chefs. The first is a quickfire test of their basic abilities and the second is a more involved elimination challenge designed to test the versatility and invention of the chefs as they take on unique culinary trials such as working with unusual and exotic foods or catering for a range of demanding clients. Katie Lee Joel is the host, and renowned chef Tom Colicchio serves as lead judge/head chef. Food expert Gail Simmons from Food & Wine magazine lends her expertise as a regular judge. The competing chefs will live and breathe the high-pressure lifestyle that comes with being a master chef, and each week someone will be asked to "pack up their knives" and go home. The winning chef will receive $100,000 in seed money to help encourage their culinary career, be featured in Food & Wine magazine, appear at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in June 2006, and most importantly, earn the prestigious title of "Top Chef."
Bravo is the cable network that plugs people into arts, entertainment and pop culture with original programming, acclaimed drama series, movies, comedy and music specials, and by showing a whole different side of celebrities. Currently available in more than 80 million homes, Bravo is known for breaking exciting new personalities, shaking up the way we look at style, media, fame and Hollywood, pulling back the curtain on the creative process and making influential and inventive original programming. Its critically acclaimed and award-winning original programming includes "Blow Out", "Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List", "Inside the Actors Studio," "Celebrity Poker Showdown," as well as the 2004 Emmy winner for Outstanding Reality Program, "Queer Eye" and the Emmy-nominated hit competition series, "Project Runway."
Bravo is a program service of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, a division of NBC Universal one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Bravo has been a NBC Cable Network since December 2002 and was the first television service dedicated to film and the performing arts when it launched in December 1980. For more information visit www.bravotv.com .