A new underwriting avenue?

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Penn State Public Broadcasting is exploring taking underwriting into an additional and creative direction: Multiplatform opportunities. In a Jan. 14 session at the ongoing NETA conference in Tampa, Greg Petersen, WPSU director of programming services, said there may be room for underwriting spots on, say, streaming video or archived clips on the Internet. One attractive aspect is that Internet content doesn’t have noncomm restrictions, so the spots can actually suggest that viewers visit underwriters — more of a true ad. Petersen envisions, for instance, a spot before a video clip saying it’s sponsored by an underwriter. When pubcasters ponder multicasting, Petersen added, it takes “not thinking outside the box but thinking completely differently.” WPSU was also an early adapter of YouTube, with its own channel.