McDonald’s is prepping the rollout of McDonald’s TV, the latest and possibly biggest move in in-store networks. The initial push is projected to reach 18 million-20 million viewers a month in its pilot Southern and Central California market — making it one of the largest daytime audiences in the region. The L.A. Times is reporting that Mark Burnett’s Vimby digital production outfit, BBC America and local KABC-TV Eyewitness News will provide content to the network, which will be customized to specific communities and include local news and entertainment features. A rollout led by ChannelPort Communications is set to be up in 800 restaurants in the region soon; a successful launch here almost certainly will result in a nationwide push. “The intention is to catch and engage the customer, and then enhance their experience,” Leland Edmondson, founder of ChannelPort, told the Times. “The McDonald’s customer is everyone, and we want not to be passive viewers but to be active and participatory with this network.”
The network already is undergoing trial runs in Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas, the Times said. Dining areas feature two HD screens that cover most of the restaurant, with “quiet zones” available for those who don’t want to see or hear the channel. Programming will appear in a one-hour cycle of “pods” lasting 20-22 minutes and include segments on high school and college local athletes; local moms juggling home life with careers in sports; a music report; and Burnett’s Vimby, covering fashion, art, music, night life, lifestyle and culture news.