The notion that Google could do for TV what it's done for the web is starting to gain some traction. Two months after signing up NBC Universal's cable networks as its first clients, Google TV Ads has a new network partner, Hallmark Channel.
Tag: NBC Universal
A group of 21 businesses and public interest organizations has formed The Coalition for Competition in Media to oppose Comcast's bid to acquire 51 percent of NBC Universal. On its Web site, competitioninmedia.org, the group claims that Comcast's controlling stake in NBCU would give it "unprecedented power nationally and in local cable markets around the country." Some of the members of the new coalition include: Bloomberg, National Telecommunications Cooperative Association, Free Press, Writers Guild of America and Media Access Project.
NBC Universal's new Dial Star, a 10-episode Web series sponsored by AT&T, is the latest proof of the media giant's growing commitment to branded entertainment. It also follows on rival moves, such as Orbit’s new DumbDumb campaign from former NBCU entertainment head Ben Silverman and actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett. Starring Annalynne McCord (above, of 90210 and Nip/Tuck fame), Dial Star aims to build an online following and viral buzz with its mix of Hollywood glitz and glamour, deception and identity theft.
NBC Universal Digital Studio, a two-year old production unit, is the only such operation funded by a major traditional film and television company. According to Adweek, while the studio has so far produced only two series each year, it plans to increase its production of digital shows—short-form programming and Web series, such as In Gayle We Trust—in the coming year.
General Electric Co. posted a 19% slump in fourth-quarter profit as it was again dinged by a big drop in earnings at its finance arm and substantial weakness at its NBC Universal media unit. But the overall results topped Wall Street expectations, and the conglomerate heralded "encouraging signs" at its infrastructure divisions. New orders for big-ticket equipment and services came in at $22.1 billion in the fourth quarter. The figure was off 3% from about $22.8 billion in the year-ago period, but up from $18.4 billion in the third quarter and from $18 billion in the second quarter.
At its height, NBC was the very model of what a television network should be. With iconic programming, enviable ratings and spectacular business success, the peacock network delivered plenty of laughs along the way with “The Cosby Show,” “Seinfeld” and “Friends.” Nobody is laughing anymore. Today the network is in shambles, brought down not just by the challenges facing broadcast television — fragmenting audiences, an advertising downturn — but also by a series of executive missteps that have made its prime-time lineup a perennial loser and, most recently, turned its late night programming schedule into a media circus that threatens the lucrative “Tonight Show” franchise.
Transactional advertising network provider Adgregate Markets, a finalist at the 2008 TechCrunch50 conference Adgregate Markets has struck a monumental deal with NBC Universal to power the media conglomerate’s mobile commerce ad campaign. Adgregate’s ShopAds enables customers to shop and complete secure transactions within Flash-based ad banners. The mobile version of these ads are similar. NBC is using ShopAds to advertise, publicize and sell the DVD release of movie Inglourious Basterds within rich media ad-units on mobile devices. Greystripe, which recently got an $2 million infusion from NBC Universal, will include the branded ShopAds on its rich-media mobile ad network.
From Studio 6B at 30 Rockefeller Center, NBC brought Milton Berle, Jack Parr and Johnny Carson into the nation’s living rooms, then broadcast local news to New York City for decades. Last Thursday, it was a stage for a cable takeover as Comcast announced a plan to acquire NBC Universal. There, in Studio 6B, a town hall meeting for NBC employees opened with Jeff Zucker, the NBC Universal chief executive, introducing “our new friends from Philadelphia,” and closed with a formal welcome to the Comcast family by Ralph Roberts, the cable operator’s 89-year-old patriarch. Mr. Roberts received a standing ovation. For employees of the oldest and most storied part of NBC Universal, the broadcast network, one question lingered: will we fit into this cable family?
Comcast's long-awaited bid for control of NBC Universal will value the joint venture with General Electric at a larger-than-expected $37.25bn, including a higher valuation on the US cable group's pay-television stations and the potential for a larger cash outlay than analysts had foreseen. Final terms of the deal had been settled in preparation for an announcement this morning, people familiar with the negotiations said, after months of haggling with GE, NBCU's 80 per cent owner, and Vivendi, the French media and telecoms group that holds a 20 per cent stake.
General Electric has reached a tentative agreement that clears the way for the sale of NBC Universal, including the flagship NBC network, to Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, people briefed on the deal said Monday. Under terms of the deal, G.E. will buy Vivendi’s 20 percent stake in NBC Universal for about $5.8 billion. It removes one of the few remaining hurdles in its plan to sell control of the television and movie company to Comcast in a $30 billion agreement that reflects the changing landscape of broadcast television.
NBC Universal is to undergo a complete rebranding of its international television business as the US company admits that it will not meet its target for overseas expansion. Jeff Zucker, NBCU chief executive, outlined in April 2007 an ambition of doubling revenues in international business from $2.5bn to $5bn within three years. Roma Khanna, the president of NBCU Networks and Digital Initiatives, said last week that, by that -target date, sales would be about $4.5bn and that the $5bn figure would be reached in 2011. She set out a new strategy in an interview with the Financial Times, saying the company would streamline its portfolio of nine different channels to five, all under the Universal Networks International name.
In a test of the viability of small online-ad companies, Quantcast has launched a new online ad-targeting service that is being closely watched by advertisers and investors. Quantcast, a high-profile San Francisco start-up, is one of dozens of young companies helping broker targeted display ads -- which typically contain both text and images, and are aimed at audiences selected for such characteristics as age, income or even probable personality traits.
In just a year, Hulu has morphed into what is arguably the most successful television network--online. The co-venture of NBC Universal and News Corp.'s Fox already is the sixth-most-viewed online video hub, providing insights into how consumers transfer their television viewing preferences and habits to the Web.
Is content still king? A panel of industry heavyweights agreed to disagree at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference on Wednesday. "It absolutely starts with good content," said Jason Kilar, CEO of Hulu, the joint video venture between NBC Universal and News Corp.