Translucis, the Diageo-backed youth satellite TV channel exclusive to licensed outlets, has signed up a package of NUS bars to its service as the new college term begins.
The deal puts the student bars in 11 universities, including Liverpool, Warwick, Brunel and Oxford, up against operators as Yates and Po Na Na, which are also running the service.
Competition for student spend is increasingly fierce between NUS-run bars, many of which have raised their game in recent years, and pub operators targeting the youth market.
Translucis appears to be the winner either way, with the union-run outlets bringing its total audience close to a million 18-to-24-year-old viewers a week.
Sue Aitken, marketing director at Translucis, said: "The ambience it creates enables the NUS to compete more effectively with the pub operators who have been gearing up to attract this increasingly lucrative market." Translucis offers a mix of editorial and advertising displayed on plasma screens and tailored according to the time of night, consumer mood and type of outlet.
Advertisers include Bacardi Breezer, Budweiser, Sol and Virgin DT.