Posts Tagged ‘cable’

Will a Wide Audience Tune In to Hockey’s Most Rugged Game of the Year?

December 16, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Every New Year, the National Hockey League takes one of its regular-season games outdoors—an old-school showdown in the freezing-cold elements. And this time, it's looking for innovative ways to draw fans to the Winter Classic. The promotion begins at 10 tonight with the first of a four-part reality series called 2015 Road to the Winter Classic. In the past, the special aired on HBO, available only to subscribers. But after negotiations broke down with HBO over that point, the NHL decided to take its show to Epix—and a wider audience. Viewers will get a fly-on-the-wall look at the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals as they work their way toward a New Year's Day game at Washington, D.C.'s Nationals Park. In addition to airing on Epix, a relative newcomer that stands to benefit from hockey's 60 million U.S. fans, the series will be available to stream on the teams' websites, Epix.com, and NHL.com. Fans can also easily find the show through both company's Facebook pages; the NHL App for Android and iPhone; and the Epix App for Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, Roku and Windows 8

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Presenting the Winners of the Television Hot List

December 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Michael Lombardo President of Programming, HBO HBO’s Lombardo continues to win the cable programming game in an age of intense competition for every single promising script, often by exploring uncharted territory. True, we’d seen serial killer shows before, but rarely as atmospheric as Nic Pizzolatto’s True Detective, and never as simultaneously perverse and otherworldly as Game of Thrones. That willingness to experiment—whether bringing back cult favorite The Comeback or robbing The Daily Show of John Oliver for Last Week Tonight—ensures Lombardo will remain every writer’s dream meeting (assuming his agent can get one).

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Newly Released FCC Documents Show Just How Frustrated Comcast Is With Netflix

December 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Comcast is tired of Netflix, that's for sure. The cable giant had to answer a number of difficult questions from the Federal Communications Commission last week after Netflix objected in the strongest possible terms to a pending merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The cable giant's answers are now redacted and available for all to see . And one of the most talked-about entities is Netflix: Its name comes up some 179 times over the course of the document, including in the footnotes. It's a complicated case , but Netflix's objections come down to this: Comcast and Time Warner should not be allowed to turn the Web into cable TV. " Unsurprisingly, given their dominance in the cable television marketplace," Netflix representatives stated in

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Ex-Fox Chairman Lands a Top Job at Turner Running TNT and TBS

November 4, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Kevin Reilly, the former chairman of Fox, has been out of a job since just after the upfronts in May. Now, he's landed one of the most interesting gigs in cable television—running TNT and TBS. The executive has been named chief content officer.

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AMC Gets Big Piece of BBC America for $200 Million

October 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

AMC is taking over BBC America, buying a piece of the U.K. broadcasting property for a reported $200 million. The deal gives control to AMC, but BBC Worldwide will retain a 50.1 percent stake in the cable channel. The companies will invest in BBC productions, and AMC will enjoy free rein pursuing U.S. advertising for BBC America and BBC World News. BBC America is available in 80 million U.S. homes. Its programs include the long-running classic Dr. Who, the over-the-top motor enthusiast show Top Gear, the dramas Orphan Black, Luther and Broadchurch, and the Planet Earth natural history series. BBC Worldwide and AMC have collaborated before—on the drama Top of the Lake and the spy thriller The Honourable Woman, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal which aired on the BBC in the U.K. The BBC said, "AMC will run (BBC America) consistent with BBC’s editorial standards and policies."

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AMC Gets Big Piece of BBC America for $200 Million

October 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

AMC is taking over BBC America, buying a piece of the U.K. broadcasting property for a reported $200 million. The deal gives control to AMC, but BBC Worldwide will retain a 50.1 percent stake in the cable channel. The companies will invest in BBC productions, and AMC will enjoy free rein pursuing U.S. advertising for BBC America and BBC World News. BBC America is available in 80 million U.S. homes. Its programs include the long-running classic Dr. Who, the over-the-top motor enthusiast show Top Gear, the dramas Orphan Black, Luther and Broadchurch, and the Planet Earth natural history series. BBC Worldwide and AMC have collaborated before—on the drama Top of the Lake and the spy thriller The Honourable Woman, starring Maggie Gyllenhaal which aired on the BBC in the U.K. The BBC said, "AMC will run (BBC America) consistent with BBC’s editorial standards and policies."

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You’ll Be Able to Get HBO Go Without a Cable Subscription Next Year

October 15, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

HBO Go has finally done what subscribers have been begging for since the announcement of the streaming service: it's going cable-sub-free. The over-the-top streaming network will be available without a cable package starting next year, HBO CEO Richard Plepler announced at Time Warner's investor day on Wednesday morning. This has been in the air for a while—HBO Go has been available on progressively smaller and smaller cable pacakges over recent months, but never totally subscription-free. But there's a fairly large burden of proof on Time Warner today, as it fends off angry stakeholders still sore over the company's rejection of 21st Century Fox's $85-a-share offer for the company (the stock sits at $71.85 at the time of this writing, down from a high of $87 and change just before the Fox deal collapsed). The goal today is to give investors a sense that the company has strong growth prospects without consolidation; HBO remains the companys most lucrative single asset outside its movie studio division and is a point of focus during the proceedings; also at issue (though less pleasant for Time Warner) is the problem of declining ratings at Turner. The subdivision is in the midst of a major round of layoffs during which 10 percent of its workforce is expected to leave. “It is time to remove all barriers to those who want HBO, " Plepler told investors. "So, in 2015, we will launch a stand-alone, over-the-top, HBO service in the United States. We will work with our current partners, and we will explore models with new partners. All in all, there are 80 million homes that do not have HBO and we will use all means at our disposal to go after them.” Much of this territory has been colonized by Netflix and it remains to be seen whether people will want another streaming service on top of their current offerings; but HBO Go has been very popular and is frequently spread across users without cable subs through password sharing. This gives HBO a chance to monetize some of that spread, and to clamp down on pirates while providing an alternative

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Walking Dead, Killer Clown Top TV Twitter Ratings

October 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Twitter users turned their attention away from Scandal and Washington D.C machinations to zombies and freak shows in this week’s Twitter TV top ten list provided by Nielsen. AMC’s The Walking Dead trampled the competition with 1.32 million tweets reaching an audience of 7.4 million twitter accounts. The show even sacked NBC’s Sunday Night Football by attracting 17.3 million viewers in the 18-49 old demographic. The season five premiere of the zombie drama picked up after the season four cliffhanger at the Terminus which saw the main characters locked up in a train car to feed the undead hordes. Fans were certainly happy to have the zombie fighting crew back together. My weekends actually have a meaning again ❤️ @WalkingDead_AMC #thewalkingdead — Danny (@iversdr) October 13, 2014 So happy to have @WalkingDead_AMC back! I almost cried just now! This episode was awesome and the reunion just now was everything! Everybody back together again!!! #TheWalkingDead — Nat King Troll (@MrMaalyMal) October 13, 2014 FX’s American Horror Story: Freak Show finished a respectable second in the Twitter top ten, producing just over a million tweets seen by 6.4 million Twitter accounts. The season four premiere featured a murderous clown that killed parents and robbed little kids. Scary? TV critics thought it was the scariest episode yet and fans took a real liking to Twisty the clown. . I do not like that clown..good job AHS. I will be having nightmares tonight. @AHSFX #americanhorrorstory #AHS — Taylor Leigh (@TayLor___Leigh) October 9, 2014 " @John_Yarbrough2 : I already hate clowns, then this guy comes around. #americanhorrorstoryfreakshow #twistytheclown pic.twitter.com/ghLrBmOTqg — ❥.HollyWo0d&Co. (@Qween_Wezt) October 9, 2014

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The Walking Dead Ate the Face off Everything on Broadcast This Season So Far

October 13, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Walking Dead is back, and with it, viewers in the dollar demo. Broadcast watchers have stayed away in droves this season. But with the dead resurrected yet again, everyone who loves TV stayed home Sunday night to see what would happen to Rick and the gang during "No Sanctuary," the huge premiere episode for the fifth season of the show. (It involved face-eating. Also fire.) Oh yeah, and the ratings? An 8.7 in the demo with 17.3 million total viewers tuning in (in actual people, that 8.7 works out to 11 million 18- to 49-year-olds). The series was already the biggest show on TV; now it's the biggest show on TV in a walk, with declines for Duck Dynasty. FX is also doing very well with American Horror Story, and of course HBO's various projects, but the latter aren't ad-supported. October's crop of scary stuff is clearly resonating a lot more strongly with viewers than anything else on the dial. We outlined earlier today

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Outlander’s Ron Moore on Time-Travel, Pern and Everything Scottish

September 26, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Does anybody remember when we stopped thinking of the typical sci-fi and fantasy fan as a basement-dwelling male virgin and started admitting that women comprise a huge chunk—frequently the majority—of the audience? It's hard to put a timestamp on that one, but you can be pretty sure that Ronald D. Moore was there for it. Moore is probably as close to speculative fiction royalty as TV showrunners can get these days, and the writer-producer's most recent project is a shoot-the-works adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's bestselling Outlander series of fantasy novels, a twistily plotted story of time travel and romantic intrigue in 18th-century Scotland and postwar (very recently postwar, in fact) Britain. The show's mid-season finale, The Garrison Commander, airs Saturday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m E.T.; Starz announced Friday that the show would go on hiatus until April 4, when it comes back with episode 9. Moore, now in Scotland, took time out of the season 1.5 shooting schedule speak to us about the series, the work of adapting several large and complicated novels into a compelling narrative, and the show's instant popularity among feminists. Adweek: So this show gets a lot of love from women's sites like Jezebel that aren't necessarily speculative-fiction-focused or even TV-focused for its portrayal of a very complicated lead character. Is there any way to take into account and serve that audience specifically as you see it grow? Ron Moore: I mean, to be honest, I don’t really think of it in those terms—I’ve had this question a few times. I just write for an audience. We have a fairly large female demographic, but we don’t talk in terms of “the audience is female and you should think about it in those terms.” That’s how I’ve approached the project since I read the book. It’s just a big adventure story.

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