Posts Tagged ‘cable’

South Park Hysterically Satirized Ad Blocking and Sponsored Content

November 19, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

South Park's 19th season has been unusually strong, thanks to a season-long storyline involving topics like political correctness and gentrification. "Sponsored Content," last night's episode of the Comedy Central hit, was one of its best yet in 2015. Show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone hilariously took on several of the issues advertisers have been grappling with, including ad blocking and sponsored content. In the episode, the elementary school's new principal, PC Principal, informs the student editor of the school newspaper, Jimmy, that he can no longer distribute the paper in school until the content is pre-approved. Jimmy refuses and instead delivers it door to door, to the delight of parents who are finally able to enjoy news stories that aren't obstructed by ads. "There's no ads, no sponsored content, no links to click on," says one overjoyed parent, Stephen. He then goes off on this rant about the insanity of reading content online: "Do you know how long it's been since I was just able to sit back and read the news? I got so used to getting news off the internet, but I feel like I'm always trying to chase the news somehow. It's like I'm in a black void trying to reach the news story, but then the next thing I know, I'm reading an ad for Geico.

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Trevor Noah Undergoes Emergency Appendectomy

November 4, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Daily Show host Trevor Noah was rushed this morning into emergency surgery, where the late-night comedian underwent an appendectomy. "We're happy to report that the procedure went well and he is currently recuperating from the surgery," Comedy Central said in a statement. Tonight's show will be a repeat, but Noah is expected back Thursday night. In an interview with Adweek for this week's cover story , the 31-year-old South African comedian talked about the rigors of hosting a new show every day. "Three things," he told us. "No. 1, having a great angle, covering the news, making it funny. The second thing is planning for the future while we're working on the present. You're doing that at the same time, and that's tough, because often creativity lives in the space of a very relaxed atmosphere. Third is, on a personal level, finding that you have to make your skin thicker and thicker every single day."

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Jon Stewart Picks His Post-Daily Show Landing Spot: HBO

November 3, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After spending 16 years at Comedy Central as host of The Daily Show, Jon Stewart has found a new network to call home: HBO. The comedian signed a four-year deal with the premium cable network, but he won't be making his debut on any of HBO's TV channels. Instead, Stewart will initially create short-form digital content, for platforms including HBO Go and OTT subscription service, HBO Now. The deal also has a first-look option for film and TV projects. HBO said Stewart is working with cloud graphics company OTOY Inc.

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With So Many Americans Dropping Cable, Will Cord Cutting Doom TV as We Know It?

October 27, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Cord cutting is happening; that much is not up for debate. Some 300,000 Americans dropped cable service last quarter, and analysts are calling it good news for providers because the number was just half the amount lost in the second quarter, according to Bloomberg estimates. While reports of the steady stream of households fleeing cable point to an industry in peril, some observers still believe linear TV is here to stay (at least for now). A recent study conducted by Leichtman Research Group found that the percentage of households that subscribe to a pay-TV service of some kind is actually higher in 2015 than it was in 2005. "The misdirection that people take with cord cutting is the idea that there's been a significant acceleration," noted Bruce Leichtman, president and principal analyst of his eponymous firm. While thousands of consumers are indeed abandoning the cable industry, 2010 marked a low point for those who chose to become what researchers once called "non-subs" or non-subscribers, and the number of subscribers has increased incrementally since then. Leichtman found that about 2.5 percent of TV households dropped their cable service in 2015

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Three Takeaways from Trevor Noah’s Daily Show Debut

September 29, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

That sound you just heard was Comedy Central exhaling. The Trevor Noah era of The Daily Show kicked off Monday night, and it felt like the summer of 2013 over again. Two years ago, John Oliver filled in for host Jon Stewart, and proved the program could still be funny and innovative, even with someone else in the anchor chair: The Daily Show, ultimately, was more than just Stewart. Noah proved that again Monday night, as he smoothly assumed his new role as host, presiding over a show that stuck to the same tried-and-true format that was so hilariously successful under Stewart. Viacom pulled out all the stops for his debut, simulcasting it across all its major networks (did CMT audiences know what they were in for?). From the first moments (the opening theme) to the last ("your moment of Zen"), it was clear that The Daily Show with Trevor Noah was going to bear a striking resemblance to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (even the pre-Stewart Craig Kilborn-hosted version had those familiar bookends)

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A+E Networks Shake-up Leads to a New History Chief

September 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Dirk Hoogstra is history at History. The evp and gm of History and H2, who has been overseeing the networks since June 2013, is out, effective immediately. His replacement is FYI and LMN president Jana Bennett, who has been named president and gm of History, A+E Networks announced today. Bennett, who joined the company in 2013, will now oversee all strategic planning, programming and marketing for History and H2. "Jana has one of the strongest track records building and shaping global brands—first at the BBC and now here at A+E Networks," said Nancy Dubuc, president and CEO, A+E Networks, in a statement. "She joined our company with the mandate to take our networks into new and exciting places and what she's done with FYI in such a short amount of time is remarkable. History and H2 will greatly benefit from her creative prowess and steady stewardship." "I have a passion for History—where we've come from and where we are headed," said Bennett in a statement. As head of FYI—a July 2014 rebranding of what was Bio—Bennett drove the network to double-digit ratings growth

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A French Company Is About to Become America’s 4th Largest Cable Provider

September 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After 42 years, the Dolan family will no longer control Cablevision. The New York-based cable operator announced this morning it has agreed to sell to Altice Group, a European telecom company controlled by French cable entrepreneur Patrick Drahi. Altice will pay $34.90 a share, making the deal worth $17.7 billion including debt. The acquisition also includes Newsday Media Group, publisher of Newsday and amNewYork, but does not include the Madison Square Garden Company, which owns the namesake arena and the New York Knicks and New York Rangers. It's the second U.S. deal for Altice this year. The company announced plans to acquire Suddenlink Communications, which operates in 17 midwestern and southern states, in May. Cablevision, which predominately serves the New York metro area and Long Island, has about 3.1 million subscribers. Altice says that with Suddenlink and Cablevision combined, it will be the fourth largest U.S. cable provider, behind Comcast, Charter and Time Warner Cable (the latter two of which are attempting to merge). "The deal underscores the increasingly global nature of premium video content and distribution, a trend that is also illustrated by the international growth path that Netflix is on," said Eric Schmitt, evp of TV and media at cross-channel marketing firm Allant. This morning's deal caps a frenzied two years of cable consolidation as subscribers continue to drop cable in favor of going over the top—Cablevision lost 16,000 cable homes in the second quarter while adding 14,000 Internet-only customers. And that's not going to make customers who are increasingly dissatisfied with their cable service any happier, notes Stephen Beck, founder and managing partner of management consultancy cg42. "Cablevision was not as bad from a brand vulnerability perspective as a Comcast or Time Warner, but they had substantial frustrations that customers were experiencing," said Beck, who has found 33 percent of cable customers are not happy with their service. "The frustration rates are higher than any category that we've studied," he said. "Will nontraditional players and OTT providers continue to benefit from the soup of misery that the cable companies seem to want to create for their customers?" Altice has invested heavily in broadband and Internet services for its other global operations. With Cablevision and Suddenlink, it hopes to have the heft to keep what it pays for programming in check. Schmitt said the heat is already high on networks, and this deal could bring it closer to a boiling point; Suddenlink dropped Viacom's channels earlier this year when the two couldn't come to carriage terms.

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Marsh Broflovski Cartman & McCormick: If South Park Were an Ad Agency

September 14, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

South Park begins its 19th season on Wednesday, which makes it older than plenty of notable ad agencies. (Droga5 isn't even 10 yet.) To celebrate the never-endingly awesome Comedy Central cartoon, Brooke Wylie, a copywriter at Denver agency Faction, imagined if South Park were an ad agency. Check out the results below—with Wylie's illustrations and write-ups. You might not hire them, but they'd probably produce some unforgettable work. Picture this.

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Two L.A. Ad Guys Welcome Zombies to Their Midst With ‘Cheer the Walking Dead’

August 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

"Just what Los Angeles needs. Fewer brains." Unfortunately, that's not a tagline for Fear the Walking Dead, which premieres this Sunday on AMC as the second series in the cable-television-eating Walking Dead zombie franchise. Rather, it's a line from two freelance L.A. creative directors, Charlie Noback and Brian Engleman, who are launching an Instagam called Cheer the Walking Dead. The idea is simple: Celebrate the arrival of the undead in their fair city by zombifying classic L.A. images. They've posted half a dozen so far, and are hoping to get submissions (via email) from other creatives. "There are so many overworked ad professionals right now, sometimes I think we're the real zombies," says Engleman

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In a Year of Poignant TV Farewells, Jon Stewart’s Topped Them All

August 7, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This past year has felt like an extended period of mourning for TV lovers, as one iconic legend or program after another has bowed out. David Letterman, Stephen Colbert (and his "Colbert" persona) and Craig Ferguson stepped down from their respective late-night talk shows after legendary runs, while several of the past decade's finest TV shows—including Mad Men, Justifed and Parks and Recreation—also headed into the television sunset. So by the time Jon Stewart got around to signing off of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Thursday night, capping a 16-year run that forever changed the role of comedy in political and current events, it may have seemed like there would be no tears left to shed and no possible way of topping all the memorable finales that had come before it. But—of course!—Stewart proved us wrong and took us by surprise one last time. His Daily Show finale was the finest, funniest and most poignant TV farewell of them all.

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