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Pumps Share News, Fuel

Gasoline stations use the television monitors to promote in-store offerings.
January 10, 2011

PITTSBURGH - Gasoline pumps have become more than just a place to fill up your tank�"some even provide the latest news and sports updates via monitors, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Gas Station TV and PumpTop TV are two companies that provide content to pump monitors. Sunoco recently announced that GSTV will be shown at many of its U.S. locations.

Content generally comes from well-known sources, such as ESPN, AccuWeather and NBC Universal. The programming runs in four- to five-minute loops, which is updated throughout the day. Interspersed with the programming are ads for the convenience store to promote its products, such as hot dogs, windshield fluid or coffee.

Not every retailer is ready to jump on the pump TV bandwagon, though. Giant Eagle said it will not be installing any televisions at its GetGo gasoline stations.

"Pump-utainment" started 10 years ago as a way to bring customers into the convenience store, said Jeff Lenard, NACS spokesperson. With gasoline margins razor thin, retailers wanted a way to remind customers of what the store had to offer inside. Convenience stores "make more on a 12-ounce cup of coffee than on a 12-gallon fillup," said Lenard.

The current gasoline station networks offer a good fit for both the retailer and the network. Some recent innovations that might be coming soon include spraying a coffee scent and a loyalty program that lets users connect Facebook or song picks.