Talk of the day

By Times Staff Writer
Published February 1, 2008

Domino's puts your pizza on strict schedule

The next time Domino's Pizza tells you a pie is on the way, they might be able to prove it. Pizza Tracker, available at 3,200 stores through its Web site, gives customers an up-to-the-minute view of when their order is processed at the store, put in the oven, placed in a delivery bag and sent out for delivery. Domino's aims to have it in more than 90 percent of its 5,000 U.S. stores within a few months to compete with Papa John's and Pizza Hut as Internet-savvy customers expect faster delivery. The real-time tracking started testing in December, and it's available to customers ordering by phone starting today. Pizza Tracker, for which Domino's said it filed a patent application, is accurate to within 40 seconds, the company said.

Ad revenue primed to bowl over Fox

News Corp.'s Fox network may get as much as $215-million in advertising revenue for its Super Bowl broadcast on Feb. 3 between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants, including pre- and post-game shows, according to a person with knowledge of the sales. The contest itself may take in $170-million, said the person, who asked not to be named because the sales numbers aren't public. The 63 30-second slots went for an average price of $2.7-million each. The four-hour pre-game show and post-game programming is likely to bring in about $45-million.

GM: Volt debut to be high-powered

General Motors Corp., vying with Toyota Motor Corp. for the global sales lead, plans to build "tens of thousands" Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid electric cars within a year of starting production in 2010. "We're not doing the Volt to sell 500 or 1,000" cars, Jon Lauckner, GM's vice president for global program management, said Thursday. "We're talking about tens of thousands and more than that within the year." The Volt, being designed as a plug-in hybrid vehicle that can go 40 miles without recharging, "will meet global safety standards to be able to sell around the world," Lauckner said. A high-volume debut for the Volt matches GM's strategy of using technological advances to gain ground on Toyota, which has a decade-long hybrid lead with its Prius, the world's best-selling gasoline-electric car.

Amazon hopes deal speaks volumes

Internet retailer Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday it will buy online audiobook provider Audible Inc. to expand its reach in digital audio content. Amazon expects the deal, valued at about $300-million, will help bring to a broader audience Audible.com's more than 80,000 programs, which include audiobooks and spoken-word audio content from news outlets such as the New York Times and the New Yorker. The deal is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2008. Under the agreement, Amazon will buy all outstanding Audible shares for $11.50 apiece and take on the company's outstanding stock-based awards. Most of Audible's customers download audio to their computers and then transfer the audio to digital media players, personal digital assistants or to smart mobile devices for listening on the go.