Even if you’re the sort of rarified American sportstard who thought all last year that Tom Brady was somehow associated with a 70’s sitcom, you still should succumb to the spectacle of the Super Bowl.
Forget about the clicks and check-ins so commonly associated with what many marketers call the "second screen" experience, which typically involves use of a tablet or smartphone while the user watches anything from "The Voice" to "Hoarders." Marketers are starting to use the medium with more in mind than just sparking idle talk.
Miracle Whip is launching "a brutally honest and expensive TV commercial on that popular show on FOX that begins at 8pm EST. It's about how much people love us. Or can't stand us."
The big question for anyone in television is how to get in front of - rather than be trampled by - the onslaught of seminal change coming from a multitude of places. This year's fall television season unfolds against an increasingly connected world and consumer indifference to how and where they access network fare. Many will access the programs they want to see streaming online from network Web sites and third parties, such as Apple's iTunes.
A year ago, as television executives prepared for the 2009-10 season, they suffered double-digit percentage losses in advertising revenue because the economy weakened demand among marketers for commercial time. Now, as those executives get ready for the 2010-11 season, they are optimistic for a rebound in revenue, and higher rates, because demand has improved in recent months.
After years of touting their own green accomplishments, marketers have a new message for consumers as this year's Earth Day approaches: "It's not us. It's you." The focus of most green advertising has primarily centered on marketers' own products and process changes to reduce waste and environmental impact. But a growing number of marketers are shifting the focus toward consumer behavior, either in their sustainability PR efforts, their advertising or both.
In a headline grabbing move, Conan O’Brien is jumping the network ship and moving to TBS. Beginning in November, his new show will air Monday through Thursday at 11pm, bumping George Lopez to a midnight start, and locking up a solid two hours of comedy for the network whose tagline is “Very Funny."
Despite a laggard economy and tepid ratings for the sport in 2009, advertisers are returning to Major League Baseball telecasts for the coming season, which begins this week, and baseball’s TV rights holders are close to selling out commercial time on their first few months of games, both at the national and local levels. Buoyed by a doubling in automotive ad dollars and a 75 percent hike in financial advertising compared to this time last season for its Saturday afternoon games and two prime-time contests, Fox is virtually sold out for April and May. Turner has taken in 15 percent to 20 percent more ad dollars than it did last year for its Sunday afternoon MLB games.
"Glee" is ostensibly a show about a group of high-school misfits and nerds whose common love of song helps them get through the trials of adolescence. Yet in the real world, the cast -- and its songs -- are winning a popularity contest. Tied to the show's storylines, the cast's performances become so sellable that the program's production studio, News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox, believes it could have a new TV-show model on its hands, not unlike the kind of revenue juggernaut "American Idol" introduced.
When Time Warner Cable was tussling over fees with the News Corporation, it did something that would have been unthinkable in the backrooms where deals were once struck: it hired a political consultant to mount a public campaign against its own client.
Conan O'Brien's exit from NBC may allow the Fox network to jump back into late-night television. But first Fox has to sell the idea to its corporate brass and to the managers of the 205 Fox stations, some of whom have reservations. Fox has been mulling a late-night talk show with Mr. O'Brien, who is likely to host his last episode of "The Tonight Show" on Friday after a dispute with NBC over plans to push back the show's air time by half an hour. Fox has said it won't broach the subject in earnest until Mr. O'Brien leaves NBC, which is finalizing the terms of the comedian's departure.
The Winter Olympics start in 23 days, and NBC expects to lose $200 million on them. But it didn’t have to be that way — even with an economy that has shredded NBC’s advertising assumptions. In June 2003, executives from NBC, ESPN and Fox gathered at the International Olympic Committee’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, to bid for the television rights to the 2010 Winter Games, which had not yet been awarded to Vancouver, and the 2012 Summer Games, which would be given to London.
Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. pulled its Food Network and HGTV channels off Cablevision Systems Corp. early Friday morning after the two companies were unable to reach an agreement in a year-end negotiations over carriage fees. Cablevision's agreement to carry the Scripps channels expired at midnight Thursday, and Scripps warned subscribers Thursday that its Food Network and HGTV channels may be "dropped from your TV lineup," as another contentious negotiation over programming fees spilled into public view.
The nightmare scenario for cable companies is that customers drop their TV subscriptions and grab their video directly from the Web, turning the cable guys into mere providers of "dumb pipes." But here's a comprehensive set of instructions from a big cable company showing its customers how to do just that.
Time Warner Cable Inc. and News Corp. traded barbs on Wednesday as they face a New Year's deadline in their landmark fight over TV-programming fees. If the fight remains unresolved it will threaten millions of cable-TV subscribers with the loss of Fox broadcast programs, including big football games, in coming days.
The nation's biggest broadcast-TV networks are fighting with local TV stations for a share of viewers' monthly cable bills, with each side claiming the cash is crucial to its survival. CBS Corp., Fox owner News Corp. and ABC owner Walt Disney Co. are asking independently owned TV stations that carry their programming for a cut of the payments the stations get from cable, satellite and telecommunications companies, according to people familiar with the discussions. In some cases, networks want half or more of the compensation their affiliated stations receive.
This week Microsoft pulled the plug on plans to sponsor a half-hour variety show produced by Seth MacFarlane, creator of the Fox comedy Family Guy. The idea was to promote its latest operating system, Windows 7, on what was tentatively called Family Guy Presents: Seth & Alex's Almost Live Comedy Show, without commercial interruption. But after attending an Oct. 16 taping, and feeling the brunt of its characteristic off-color humor, Microsoft execs got cold feet. "It became clear that the content was not a fit with the Windows brand," says a Microsoft spokesperson, who won't disclose details about the nature of the sponsorship. Fox still plans to run the show, but with another, as yet unnamed, sponsor.
Even for Hollywood, where long odds and high stakes are staples of storytelling, the plotline is a doozy: A couple of old business rivals facing the threat of a lifetime agree to put aside their differences and join forces on a half-baked experiment that makes them laughingstocks. (We're thinking Jack Nicholson and Warren Beatty.) And who do they put in charge? A young guy, a newbie to the biz. He promptly cleans house and hires an even younger guy who's halfway around the globe. These renegades throw out the rule book -- and they pull it off. Their idea kills. The naysayers feast on crow. This pitch meeting would not end well. Cue Ari Gold: Nobody'll believe it, not in a million years. Are you nuts? Get the %*#$ out of my office! Yet this is the tale of Jason Kilar and a company called Hulu, costarring the heads of NBC and Fox, with guest appearances by Andy Samberg, Tina Fey, Jeff Bezos, and Walt Disney.
Why were so many people in the technology world wrong about Hulu? It was an idea that seemed like a relic of the worst excesses of the dot-com era: a portal for content run by a joint venture of media companies. Could any venture have more going against it?
Hulu, the online TV service launched two years ago by Fox and NBC, has enjoyed incredible success with viewers — too much, it may turn out.
On Jan. 30, the Fox ratings juggernaut will launch an Idol-branded locale within Habbo, one of a handful of increasingly popular virtual worlds aimed at teens. The virtual world within a virtual world will serve as headquarters for the tween-girl-heavy community’s collection of Idol fans, hosting various contests and special events during the show’s 2009 run. Appearances by former Idol contenders are also possible.