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CBS Opens TV Research Center in Las Vegas

Entertainment: Network's site at MGM Grand will tout programming and test new shows.

April 19, 2001|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The CBS Television Network this week opened a combination tourist draw and TV audience research center in the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

The center allows television executives from both coasts to observe and direct research with focus groups via videoconferencing, CBS executives said. Although CBS will be the primary user, the center also will conduct research for other Viacom Inc. television entities--MTV, Nickelodeon, Showtime and TNN--and their sponsors.

The center, dubbed Television City, has been in development since September and opened this week in the Studio Walk--the walkway that connects the hotel and casino to its convention center, pool and Grand Garden arena.

The center, which includes two screening rooms for program testing, is an outgrowth of the network's years of experience in testing television pilots before Las Vegas audiences, CBS spokesman Dana McClintock said.

"The results were so representative of our audiences and various demographics of the country, we just wanted to expand on it," McClintock said. "We started putting together all the different concepts that went into television research and put it into one research hub, and this is it."

The center also is a marketing tool for Viacom and features more than 40 video display units that play the company's programs. It also has a home theater with a high-definition television and a store selling a variety of merchandise tied to Viacom programs.

Partners in the center, whose cost was not disclosed, include MGM Grand, Sony Corp. and ACNielsen Corp.

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