Television Networks

The Election Bowl

Posted by admin on September 11, 2014
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Our favorite time of the year for commercials is fast approaching. Sorry I’m not talking about the Super Bowl. Stations are gearing up for the mid-term elections this November to expand coverage regardless of the fact that it is a non-presidential politics year.

Broadcasters are placing more emphasis on fact checking and fairness rather than acting as another outlet for talking points this election season. For example, the NBC affiliate station in Harford, CT, WVIT, has launched a new half-hour Sunday morning political show that will air weekly before Meet the Press through November 2. While broadcasters are looking to increase election coverage, they will be careful not to overdo it.

To learn more, read the three part special report on election coverage at tvnewsweek.com.

~ Sarah Thaler

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“C-Zero:” A New Ad Sales Strategy

Posted by admin on September 04, 2014
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As competition for commercial airtime continues to rise, one network has developed a new ad sales strategy to stand out in the marketplace. Scripps Networks is to begin selling ads in what it is calling the “C-Zero” window, where commercials will be seen live or on the same day they air. Scripps networks include Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel.

Recently, broadcasters are observing more viewers watching programming on a delay, due in part to the introduction of new technologies and DVR. Because several of Scripps’ networks are predominately watched live, its “C-Zero” strategy is appealing to advertisers who want their commercials seen right away. Timely commercials such as movie trailers or retailers promoting holiday specials can benefit because it gives these businesses another platform to negotiate on.

To learn more, view this AdAge article.

~ Sarah Thaler

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NBC Set to Make Ratings History on 2012 Summer Games

Posted by admin on August 03, 2012
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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.

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Introducing Google Fiber

Posted by admin on August 02, 2012
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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.

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Behind the Blackouts: Media Moguls Battle it Out

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.

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