When NBC bid for the right to broadcast the 2012 Summer Olympics, it anticipated a loss of more than $100 million, stemming from a loss of over $233 million from the 2012 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver. The ratings have skyrocketed, though, giving NBC the possibility of actually breaking even on the games, even with the controversial system of delaying high profile events until prime-time.
NBC planned to have 5,535 hours of Olympics coverage across 9 channels this year, bringing production costs, including staffing, to a whopping $1.3 billion. With a price tag like that, losses were anticipated, but the wild card turned out to be the interest in advertisers to online video and lower-profile sports, which are broadcast on the additional channels.
The London games have hit record ratings numbers, surpassing Beijing in just their first night. Through Tuesday, NBC averaged 35.6 million viewers on the first five nights, 10% above Beijing and 23% above Athens. NBC is now even selling air-time it had held back for make-goods.
With even more swimming and gymnastics to come, and the US Medal Count reaching 37 today, NBC doesn’t see the ratings roller coaster slowing down anytime soon.
You can read more at adweek.com.
A thousand times faster Internet, crystal clear HD channels & DVR? That’s Google Fiber. Fiber is a new provider for Internet and TV, but it’s also away to connect your data seamlessly from one device to another. And at $120 per month, Fiber has competitive pricing against Comcast & AT&T U-Verse. Fiber is currently only available in Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS, but more cities are set to launch soon.
Fiber currently offers 3 packages: TV and Internet, just Internet, and free Internet. The free package doesn’t run as fast as the paid packages, but still offers the seamless integration between devices. With the Internet & TV package, you also get a free Google Android Tablet (The Nexus 7) which can be used to stream, surf, or even as your remote. Fiber already comes with over 150 channels of HD, including Starz and Showtime, which you don’t have to pay extra for. The DVR even lets you record up to 8 shows simultaneously.
With tablets, phones, computers and TVs all connected, and the Google name to lean on, Fiber is surely a game changer in the cable service provider industry.
You can read more at google.com.
So far this year, there have been three battles between TV distributors and Media companies, in part due to the lack of new subscribers to TV, and the rising cost of carrying many channels to these satellite providers. Companies such as Viacom have become more profitable since 2010, while satellite TV providers profits have plateaued as they fight each other for new subscribers. The result has been bitter legal battles over carriage fees between companies like Disney, Tribune, DirecTV and Dish Network.
In March, Tribune pulled its programming from DirecTV after the two media giants failed to reach a settlement during contract negotiations. The result was the loss of local CW and Fox affiliates, including shows like “American Idol,” “Glee,” “New Girl” and “Gossip Girl.” Baseball fans were also in the dark, as they lost the Cubs and White Sox via WGN America, the Mets via WPIX-TV in New York, and the Phillies on WPHL-TV in Philadelphia. The deal was later resolved, but not without public scrutiny for both sides.
At the end of June, Dish Network dropped AMC Networks, which include channels AMC, IFC, We TV, because AMC Networks forced Dish to carry IFC and We, which Dish stated did not get sufficient ratings. AMC claims this is all just because of an unrelated lawsuit between the two companies; nonetheless, loyal Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead viewers are out of luck as the dispute continues.
And just Tuesday, Viacom pulled its channels from DirecTV after they failed to agree to a 30% carriage fee increase. Viacom’s channels, which include Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and many others, have gone black on their respective DirecTV stations. The result has been a scathing advertising battle, in which Viacom is now advising people to switch carriers, a negotiation tactic to get their 30% increase, says DirecTV.
DirecTV refuses to cave on the fee increase, and says Viacom is making a mistake and its ratings will suffer. Ms. Denson of Viacom countered that, ”in the long term, DirecTV will endure long-term asset loss from customers leaving or customers never coming on in the first place.”
Whatever the outcome ends up, we’ve been taking note of the bitter battles between satellite carriers and TV giants, and the industry’s cost pressures could mean the battles are likely to continue.
You can read more at abcnews.com.
NBCUniversal joined a growing number of media giants hosting digital upfronts this week as it hosted its originally named “New Front” Tuesday Night in New York. At the “New Front,” NBCU unveiled new video content features, a new site tailored directly to cross content engagement, and an entire new executive team, all solely focused on marketing to women.
The new video related initiatives include a new web addition, called Oxygen Connect, that will allow viewers of it’s hit show “The Glee Project” to unlock exclusive interviews and chats through a series of online challenges. NBCU also owns iVillage, which will now add an original series, called My Best Idea, consisting of content curated by site editors and tips directly from iVillage users. The last of NBCU’s ideas is “StyleCandy,” a “a partnership between its Style Media and DailyCandy properties that will produce original video content featured on both the Style Network as well as social media platforms,” Says Ross Fadner of Online Media Daily.
The new advisory team responsible for creating and upkeep of all this is a specifically appointed board of senior executives from companies like Universal, Gilt, Neo@Ogilvy, and Google. NBCU is far from the first media mogul to pitch it’s digital content through an upfront, but it is certainly the first to tailor the entire thing to women. It will be interesting to see how these initiatives work; Oxygen may just give Bravo a run for its money.
You can read more at mediapost.com.
Two new social media apps have already been unveiled for the 2012 summer Olympic games. Samsung debuted its “Olympic Genome” app at SXSW earlier this year, and The International Olympic Committee launched the “Olympic Athlete’s Hub” just today. Samsung’s facebook app allows fans to cross-reference their facebook pages (interests, hometowns, etc) with Olympians facebook pages, and discover what they have in common with them. This gives Olympic viewers a new chance to connect to athletes they may otherwise have not followed, or even heard of.
As users connect with more Olympians, they earn points to be used towards how-to videos posted by the athletes, Visa gift cards for merchandise, or even a trip to the next summer games. Samsung says the app tested well, and there is already a pre-registration page up on their website.
The second app to be announced this week comes from the Olympic Committee itself. It won’t run through facebook or twitter, but user’s accounts will be linked to them. Similar to Samsung’s, fans using this app will connect with Olympians and earn points, but will also be to view real time scores, status updates, and even participate in live chats with the athletes through their preferred media.
This is really the first Olympics we are going to see go viral, and these two new apps are the tip of the iceberg. The Olympics is going to be everywhere now, and fans are going to be more connected than ever to the Olympians. At 100 days away, we can’t wait.
You can read more at adweek.com.
Due to a recent agreement with Comcast, OWN will see an increase in distribution, adding 3 million viewers for the network. Increased distribution is always a benefit to DRTV marketers, who may have experienced less than optimal results with the network in the past.
Recently, the SNL Kagan report, suggested due to estimated losses that co-owner Discovery might step away from the network.
To learn how David Leavy, a Discovery spokesperson, clarifies this statement, click here.
User-generated content is reaching far and wide and television is not immune to its long-reaching tentacles. Former, Vice President, Al Gore, is working with Current Media to develop viewer-developed programming and advertising for the TV marketplace. The goal here is to operate much like that of YouTube, allowing viewers to become producers to make more content relevant to audiences. Current TV is not a stranger to American households, with 60 million viewers under their wing; the implementation of this program would be far reaching. User-generated programming could be used to a direct response advertisers benefit, by being able to better target its audiences by understanding what types of programming and products are of interest to them. Helping them to better craft a message that speaks to their target audience, thus making advertisers less of a salesman, and more of a friendly advisor. Relevancy is after all the core message to all things advertising and programming today! Read more at MediaDaily News.com.
Most brand advertisers plan to step up their media spending on television for the 2010-2011 season, according to a recent survey by Advertiser Perceptions, Inc. However, they are being strategic about their spending, and allocating it to larger networks, and slimming down spend in broadcast markets to allocate budget toward more digital avenues.
This is important for DR Advertisers, who intend to keep their media within budget and still reach their target audiences. Reaching audiences through broadcast markets can be done. The execution needs to be strategic, timely, and with enough frequency to pique consumer interest. Highly targeted demographics can be reached through the broadcast avenue. While the larger networks will still have available DR time available, more brand advertisers entering this space means higher rates. To stay in budget a strategic broadcast focus could keep a DR Advertiser in budget and still meet demographic goals. To learn more about Upfront Spending go to Media Daily News.
Microsoft has announced that XBox will become a player in the bidding war for advertisers dollars, and would like a digital upfront for advertisers to begin targeting their programming to its online users. The multimedia-set-top-box, is in 20 million homes, 72% of which are in the USA. Adding yet another avenue for a highly targeted media campaign. To read more go to TVWeek.com.
Tower Media is the new exlusive representative of CLTV paid programming. To read more go to INewswire.com.