Dogs and Cats Living Together: Ratings Dip for NCAA Finals

April 9, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In winning its fourth NCAA Men’s basketball title in 16 years, the University of Connecticut on Monday night took its rightful place among the greatest college hoops programs of the modern era. It’s only a shame that more people weren’t watching. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, UConn’s 60-54 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats delivered 21.2 million viewers and a 12.4 household rating/20 share. In other words, one-fifth of all TV sets in use last night were tuned in to CBS’ coverage of the March Madness final. The broadcast peaked between 11 p.m. and 11:24 p.m.

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HBO Renews Game of Thrones for Two Additional Seasons

April 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

HBO isn’t “dragon” its feet on a Game of Thrones renewal. The premium cable network on Tuesday announced it has committed to a fifth and sixth season of the hit series, news that arrives on the heels of Thrones’ triumphant Sunday night return. Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the Season 4 premiere averaged a towering 6.64 million viewers and a 3.6 in the adults 18-49 demo , making it the most-watched episode in GOT history and HBO’s biggest single telecast since the June 10, 2007 finale of The Sopranos (11.9 million). Thrones also was the single highest-rated show on television Sunday night, which means that broadcasters who were happy to see The Walking Dead stagger off for the next six months are unlikely to get much in the way of a respite after all. “Game of Thrones is a phenomenon like no other,” said HBO programming president Michael Lombardo, by way of announcing the renewal. “[Showrunners and co-creators] David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with their talented collaborators, continue to surpass themselves, and we look forward to more of their dazzling storytelling.” Based on George R. R. Martin’s novel cycle, A Song of Ice and Fire , Game of Thrones stars

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Oxygen Rebranding and Bravo Boosts Scripted at Dual Upfront Presentation

April 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Bravo has not one but two scripted series green-lit and ready to go this coming season, and Oxygen is going through a full-blown rebrand starting by the end of the year, with only reality series Preachers of L.A. on the list of returning series promoted at the event. That's not to say that others won't show up eventually—flagship show Bad Girls Club is slated to return in May—but Oxygen does appear to be starting from a relatively clean slate as it tries to shift into a more positive, upbeat mode. An Oxygen spokeswoman said that

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How Do You Find the Right Scream for an Angry Goat in Your Ad?

April 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Getting the right scream for an angry goat in a Doritos crowdsourced Super Bowl spot was just part of the job for the musicians at Tunewelders, a 5-year-old music production company in Atlanta. The shop specializes in customized music and sounds for brands and programming, ranging from goofy to solemn, such as a patriotic melody underlining NFL players reading the Declaration of Independence—another promo Tunewelders did for this year’s Super Bowl audience. Guitarist Ben Holst is co-founder, producer and creative director of Tunewelders. He and co-founder Jeremy Gilbertson work with Jason Shannon and Vic Stafford to tap into what he calls the backlash against “overcomputed, overprocessed” music and the movement toward “organic and authentic” sounds coming from real instruments. What makes your music studio different from the legion of others out there? We do emotional Americana using instruments like acoustic guitars and Hammond organs. We play and record real instruments, and we do music by hand. How is the role of music and sound changing in ads and branded content? Music has traditionally been treated as an afterthought in making an ad.

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Horizon Media Teams Up With Ex-Tennis Pros for a Big Sports Sponsor Play

April 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In producing tennis events, former pros Jim Courier and Jon Venison have built a solid business, with revenue expected to exceed $10 million this year. Courier and Venison have grander ambitions, however, and to realize them, they’ve hitched their wagon to Horizon Media . Horizon has acquired the duo’s company, InsideOut Sports + Entertainment , for an undisclosed sum, and put them in charge of event production as co- presidents of a new unit called, naturally, InsideOut. The deal bolsters Horizon’s event capabilities and creates a sponsorship platform for clients like Geico and Capital One. Big picture, the move illustrates the hunger among marketers—and agencies—to create brand experiences. CAA Sports did a similar deal in February when it bought an event production firm. “More and more clients today are looking to have unique positions in content and events,” explained Horizon CEO Bill Koenigsberg. “And that’s the expertise these guys bring to the table.” InsideOut produces about 20 events a year, including its retired pro series, PowerShares, Venison said. And while its full-time staff numbers just eight, the company employs up to 100 part-timers in peak periods. Courier and Venison now hope to branch into other sports and simply entertaining events, albeit in the form of competitions.

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NBCU’s Steve Burke Declares Victory

April 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

“We don’t want you to think that we were trying to hide or conceal anything but we didn’t want to talk about what we were doing. [We wanted] instead [to] talk about what we had done,” said NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke in his introductory remarks to press this afternoon at a lunch at 30 Rock. The executive touted the company’s performance in recent months, saying that, for the first time in 10 years, NBC was going to be on the top of the broadcast heap at the end of the season. Burke allowed that the Olympics had helped boost performance, but noted that “even four years ago in Vancouver, we weren’t at the levels we are now.” Per Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, NBC's coverage of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games averaged

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And That’s a Hat Trick for HBO Go Meltdowns

April 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Turns out if you just shrug when faced with rampant password sharing, your bandwidth takes a major hit during big-ticket episodes: HBO's wildly popular streaming service HBO Go coughed blood and keeled over (oh, come on, if that happened on the show it'd be the least violent thing on the screen) during the much-anticipated premiere of fantasy series Game of Thrones on Sunday night, leading to reactions like this: Noooooooo!! @HBOGO is down for #GOT #hbogo #gameofthrones pic.twitter.com/hpx9hWGepV — Hughie Stone Fish (@Hughiestonefish) April 7, 2014 Alas, Hughie Stone Fish was not alone. I think this sums up #GoT fans’ fears about @HBOGO tonight #GoTSeason4 pic.twitter.com/SP7ndhzEnu — Omar Kasrawi (@kasrawiNYC) April 7, 2014 The Internet, of course, is the first place anyone with an opinion goes to express his or her displeasure, but this is the third time the app has crashed under viewer strain in less than a year—most recently during the True Detective finale, and before that during the finale of last season's Game of Thrones.

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Dead Air: Zombies or No Zombies, Sunday Broadcast Ratings Continue to Slump

April 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Now that The Walking Dead has staggered off for its customary six-month between-seasons break, broadcasters last night may have hoped to regain some of their lost potency in the Sunday 9 p.m. time slot. Didn’t happen. According to Nielsen fast national data, the three regularly-scheduled broadcast series that had previously gone head-to-head with AMC’s zombie apocaypse drama were either down or flat versus last week. On ABC, the supernatural drama Resurrection averaged 7.54 million viewers and a series-low 2.1 in the dollar demo, down 13 percent from a week ago. Fox’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey was flat with a 1.5 rating, while NBC’s midseason drama Believe continued to drop, notching a series-low 1.0 in the demo. (Since bowing to a torrid 3.8 rating on March 9, Resurrection has lost 45 percent of its target demo.) Instead of a new episode of The Good Wife , CBS at 9 p.m. aired the second hour of the 49th Academy of Country Music Awards. The middle third of the broadcast delivered 14.7 million viewers and a 3.6 rating, doubling the 1.8 rating served up by last week’s installment of The Good Wife.

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Kentucky-Wisconsin Final Four Tilt Sets Cable Ratings Record

April 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The second of TBS’ historic Final Four telecasts, a white-knuckle battle between No. 8 seed Kentucky and the No. 2 Wisconsin Badgers, put up record numbers, making it the all-time most-watched nonfootball sporting event on cable. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the Kentucky-Wisco nail-biter drew 16.3 million total viewers and a whopping 9.2 household rating, easily outgunning the previous cable record holder. (ESPN’s telecast of the Japan-USA Women’s World Cup Final in 2011 had set the previous high-water mark with an average draw of 13.5 million viewers.) The late game, which Kentucky clinched on yet another late three-pointer from Aaron Harrison, was down only slightly from last year’s analogous matchup on CBS. The Michigan-Syracuse broadcast drew 17.1 million viewers and a 10.2 rating, making it the most-watched, highest-rated Final Four game since 2005. Kentucky’s 74-73 victory scared up the fifth biggest Final Four delivery and rating in the last 10 years

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Dick Clark Productions Is Dramatically Increasing Its Output

April 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This year, dick clark productions will present some 100 televised musical performances, most of them live and in prime time. Roughly double 2013’s count, that tally includes regulars such as the American Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards and signature Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Years Eve , and newcomers such as the Hollywood Film Awards on CBS, the People Magazine Awards on NBC and the U.S. version of Israeli singing competition Rising Star on ABC. Adweek spoke with Allen Shapiro, CEO of dcp, and company president Mike Mahan, about sponsors, social media and the live TV revival. (Disclosure: dick clark productions and Adweek are owned by affiliates of Guggenheim Partners.)

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