Posts Tagged ‘network’

Here’s How The CW Is Forging Its Own Digital Path, Without Hulu

October 3, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This week, as The CW begins to debut its season premieres, viewers used to streaming those shows on Hulu will be in for a surprise. The network's five-year deal with the streaming service has lapsed, which means that for the first time, The CW's website and apps will have exclusive in-season streaming rights to its shows like Supergirl , which has migrated over from CBS, Jane the Virgin and The Flash . It's a brave new digital world for The CW, which created its CW Seed digital platform in 2013 in part so it would one day be prepared to go it alone without Hulu. Last week, the network rolled out its CW app on Roku, Apple TV, Xbox, Chromecast and Amazon Fire, and will be amping up marketing efforts to direct audiences to the new digital destinations. "When you know this is the only place you have to go, that makes a big difference, and it helps our business model," said network president Mark Pedowitz. While ABC, Fox and NBC, whose parent companies jointly own Hulu, were able to sell a big chunk of their ad inventory on the streaming service, The CW was not given the same access to Hulu ad revenue. (That did not change when Time Warner, which jointly owns The CW with CBS Corp., acquired a 10 percent stake in Hulu in August.) "We had none of it, and I'm sure a lot of advertisers went there to get our shows," said Rob Tuck, evp, national sales for The CW. "The advertisers had been looking for more from us because our inventory was somewhat constrained, and we now have been able to release it. We've got a lot more available to us, and clients definitely responded. Our digital growth this year was really significant." Sources close to Hulu counter that the company didn't want to pay more to renew its deal, and be required to take on the entire network's portfolio without in-season stacking rights to all episodes of a current season when only The Flash and Arrow were generating meaningful traffic on the site. In addition to being the only network to offer unauthenticated access via its apps ("our median age on digital is 23, and our viewer does not want to authenticate," explained Tuck), Pedowitz and Tuck have reduced The CW's digital ad load this season, from 12 minutes per hour, which mirrored the linear load, to seven-to-nine minutes per hour. "We're trying to figure out what is the right load so that viewers feel that they've had a great viewing experience," said Pedowitz. While The CW ended its partnership with one SVOD, it has enhanced its relationship with another. In July, the network signed a lucrative, multiyear deal with Netflix, giving that company exclusive streaming rights to full seasons of each CW series, beginning just eight days after its season finale. Under its previous CW deal, Netflix did not get streaming access until several months after a season had concluded

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How the Unlikely Alliance of Ovation’s ‘Versailles’ and Fiat Benefits Both Brands

September 26, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

There's a sexy, lavish new series coming to cable TV, set in the 17th century, that brings a distinctly modern style to the story of King Louis XIV and his royal court outside Paris. But as contemporary as Versailles may be, don't expect the Sun King to hop behind the wheel of a Fiat , though the brand is the exclusive auto partner for the 10-episode show airing on the Ovation network . The partnership between period piece and marketer is playing out in branded content and behind-the-scenes vignettes that weave together the attributes of both, with nary an in-show product placement. It's part of a trend on television where fantasy, sci-fi, period, animation and unscripted series are increasingly creating what might on the surface seem to be unlikely pairings with brands. For Versailles, which centers on the 28-year-old French ruler and his impossibly beautiful courtiers, there's a focus on design, art and fashion, along with the obligatory palace intrigue, backstabbing and bed-hopping. (Think The Tudors with less gore.) "Even though it's a period piece, there's nothing stodgy about it," said Liz Janneman, Ovation's evp, network strategy. "It's a fashion-forward modern classic with a twist for a cultured audience." As it happens, Fiat sees itself the same way, with the partners collaborating on nearly 100 pieces of content that promote both the show and the carmaker's new 500X crossover sports utility vehicle. Those will include exclusive set visits, deep dives with show creators and historical perspectives, but no Fiats ferrying corseted characters. The alliance with Fiat, which is also sponsoring the limited-commercial, two-hour premiere on Oct. 1, isn't about "the literal connection" but the thematic one, Janneman said. Putting two such bedfellows together is "more challenging, but the result is more interesting," she said. Versailles is one of many such examples where marketers might have thought there was no room for them but found instead, via some creative thinking, that even surreal-world shows can include brands. These are what Kevin McAuliffe, branded content veteran who now heads Francis Productions, calls "contextual opportunities" that match a TV property and a brand with "similar belief systems." He said, "It's been an evolution, but brands are less about integration now and more about connecting with a message. You're driving value instead of just being exposed." Geico has used costume-clad marauding men to intentionally comic effect for its recent ties to History's action drama, Vikings, and Fitbit chose an appropriately creepy zombie theme for its link with AMC's massive hit, The Walking Dead. Ford sidled up to The CW's time-traveling superhero show, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, and Fox's comic-based Gotham with commercials and digital shorts featuring the series' actors. The marriage doesn't even have to be within the same species or galaxy, said Marc DeBevoise, CBS Interactive president and COO, who noted that he's considering contemporary brands as partners for the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery. Or it could be closer to home.

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FX Will Show America’s Uncomfortable Truths in Its People v. O.J. Followup About Hurricane Katrina

September 19, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story has been more successful than even FX could have imagined. The miniseries won nine Emmys in all Sunday night, including outstanding limited series, and was watched by an average of 12.6 million people across all platforms. Now FX is shifting its focus to the second season of American Crime Story, which will focus on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The decision raised eyebrows when it was first revealed in January, given that the topic would seem to be less palatable to audiences than People v. O.J. was. Yet the network has never wavered in its Katrina plans, says FX Networks CEO John Landgraf, who noted that a 10-episode miniseries focusing on the Simpson trial was met with just as much initial skepticism as Katrina was. Katrina "was our only choice from the very beginning," said Landgraf. "If we're all honest—and I'll be honest on my behalf—when we heard they're going to make something based on The People v. O.J. Simpson, it was like, 'Really? Do we really need that?' Because essentially on its face, what we had is cheesy, self-serving, profit-seeking, poor narrative built around that story. The reason we wanted to do it was that we could see from Jeff Toobin's book and from [Scott] Alexander and [Larry] Karaszewski's scripts and through our producers, that actually it was something much richer and more humane and deeper." Then, after People v.

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All 5 Broadcast Network Presidents Share Their Fall TV Playbooks

September 18, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After a season where none of the five broadcast networks grew their 18-49 audience (and ABC, Fox and NBC lost viewers in that demo), they will try to reverse that trend in the 2016-17 season, which officially kicks off Sept. 19. Over the next six weeks, the nets will roll out 20 new shows, plus 61 returning series. Adweek sat down with each of the network chiefs to talk about their strategy for the new season. Adweek: What's your most improved time slot this fall? Glenn Geller, president, CBS Entertainment: We have a real opportunity this year to grow a number of time periods: Fridays at 8 [with MacGyver], Tuesdays at 9 and 10 [with Bull and the relocated NCIS: New Orleans] and Mondays at 8 [with Kevin Can Wait and Man With a Plan]. Robert Greenblatt, chairman, NBC Entertainment: Thursdays at 9. Thursday is a night that we're reconfiguring, and Chicago Med is a really strong show that I hope will bring an audience with it to that time period. It wasn't doing badly with [The] Blacklist, but with Blacklist at 10 and Chicago Med in front of it, that time period could be improved. Gary Newman, co-chairman and co-CEO, Fox Television Group: I would expect it to be Wednesdays at 8, with Lethal Weapon. Channing Dungey, president, ABC Entertainment: Wednesdays at 10, with Designated Survivor. Mark Pedowitz, president, The CW: Mondays at 8 [with Supergirl, which The CW picked up from CBS].

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ABC’s New President Is Making History, and She’s Focused on Making Waves This Fall

September 18, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The year 2016 has been a whirlwind for Channing Dungey, who was promoted to ABC Entertainment president in February, succeeding Paul Lee. Thrust into the job as pilot season was in full swing, Dungey responded by fielding a new lineup for the 2016-17 season that includes two of the most acclaimed new fall shows, Designated Survivor and Speechless, which she hopes will jolt ABC out of fourth place in the 18-49 demo. As she put the finishing touches on the new season, Dungey sat down with Adweek to talk about her first seven months on the job, making history as the first African-American woman to run a broadcast network, and what's next. Adweek: You started this job in the midst of pilot season, in February. Have you had a chance to take a breath yet? Channing Dungey: I feel like you have go through the whole cycle one time in a new role to really feel like you understand all of it. The television business has ebbs and flows, so I did get away for a week with my family and my parents and my sister, to have a little beach vacation. But for the most part, I've been really boots on the ground, wanting to take everything in as I go through this first cycle. What have these seven months on the job been like for you? They've been good. I have a fantastic team of people with whom I work. I'm very excited about that

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Mode Media Shuts Down, Leaving Freelancers Unpaid

September 16, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just two years ago, Mode Media founder and chief executive Samir Arora described his Silicon Valley startup (formerly known as Glam Media) as "a pioneer of native advertising and content marketing," and boasted that after just 10 years it had grown to become "the 7th largest U.S. media company, reaching 50 percent of the U.S. digital population." Thursday evening, The Wall Street Journal reported the lifestyle content company once valued at $1 billion had shut down operations—leaving a network of content creator "partners" owed tens of thousands of dollars. Crissy Page, an Ohio-based writer who served as a contributing editor for Mode Media's parenting vertical, Tend, says the company owes her $17,000. Page says the shutdown came without any warning. "Work was ongoing right up until the last moment. I was receiving feedback about content for clients as recently as two days ago, which tells me that the account managers had no idea that the doors would be closing." Calls to Mode late Thursday went unanswered. Page says she reached one company contact at home, who gave her little hope of ever being paid. "She told me that all employee email accounts were immediately cut off when they sent people home." The company has pulled some of its content off the web—along with access to financial documents that Mode Media's content partners used to track what they were owed. "Personally, I did not see this coming," said writer Jaleesa Howard.

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Why Don’t Movie Studios Produce Their Own Podcasts? Blame Paris Hilton (Maybe)

September 2, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When I saw Adweek was taking a look at how marketers and advertisers in various industries are using audio as part of the mix, I thought, "Great! There's plenty to talk about there when it comes to how movie studios do it." Yeah, not so much. Movie studios are great at two things when it comes to audio formats: 1) Getting their talent to appear on podcasts, which is really just an extension of getting them on terrestrial radio; and 2) Sponsoring podcasts, particularly to raise awareness of their new releases, specifically smaller movies or those with some level of prestige. In my research and experience, I could identify only two examples of originally produced, owned podcasts that were created to promote new theatrical releases. The first was back in 2005 which, if you'll remember, was the first time podcasts were considered the hot new media format. (Yes, millennials, podcasts were around before the first season of Serial. Let's move on.) It was, if you can believe it, produced to promote the remake of House of Wax starring Elisha Cuthbert, Chad Michael Murray and others, and was hosted—hang on here— by costar Paris Hilton. That's right. Jump in the Wayback Machine to a strange time when Paris Hilton was everywhere in the media. And someone paid her to "host" a podcast that was ostensibly about the movie but which, based on the few episodes I listened to, mentioned said movie only a couple of times.

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Sesame Street Fans No Longer Need HBO to Watch Elmo and Cookie Monster on TV

August 25, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For the past year, the only way to get to Sesame Street—and watch new episodes featuring Elmo, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and the rest of the gang—was by subscribing to HBO, which has exclusive rights to the show through 2020. But starting in September, Sprout is offering fans a new way to see two of those characters without subscribing to the premium cable network. Elmo and Cookie Monster will appear in The Furchester Hotel, a new series on Sprout from Sesame Workshop and the BBC's preschool children's channel, CBeebies. The show takes place at a hotel operated by a family of monsters, including Funella Furchester, husband Furgus Fuzz and daughter Phoebe Furchester-Fuzz. Elmo, who is Phoebe's cousin, is on "an extended visit," according to a release, while Cookie Monster works at the hotel as a room-service and dining-room waiter. Both Elmo and Cookie Monster will be regular characters on the show. Beginning Sept. 26, 11-minute episodes of The Furchester Hotel will air weekdays at 9 a.m. and weekends at 11 a.m. (the weekend time slot will shift to 7 a.m.

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Viceland Suffers From Low Ratings Despite Its Young Audience

August 23, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

When Viceland launched in February, the network struck an agreement with Nielsen to keep its ratings private for six months. Shortly before that window is set to lapse, the first look at those Nielsen ratings are out, revealing that while the audience is a lot younger than that of the channel it replaced, H2, it's also a lot smaller. Viceland's average 18-49 prime-time audience in July was just 45,000, less than half of the 92,000 that H2 averaged in the demo last July, according to Nielsen ratings obtained by The Wall Street Journal . The deal that Viceland, a partnership between Vice and A+E Networks, struck with Nielsen is a common arrangement for many new networks as they try to get their bearings in the first months after launching. Nielsen will still not be publicly releasing Viceland's ratings for at least another week as part of that deal. While Viceland's audience is much smaller than H2's, it's also younger. The median viewer age dropped 17 years between July 2015 and July 2016, from 57 to 40. And Nielsen data found that the average 18-49 prime-time audience for the network's July premieres was up significantly, from 59,000 for H2 to 102,000 for Viceland. Depsite the premiere spin, those 18-49 ratings seem disappointing, especially given the buzz around Viceland. However, A+E Networks president and CEO Nancy Dubuc said she is taking a long-term view. "You have to look at what is the promise of H2 10 years from now, versus what is the promise of Viceland 10 years from now," Dubuc told the Journal. Viceland looked to shake up TV advertising by running more native ads that look like editorial and reducing ad load. The network's programming has just eight minutes of national ad time per hour and two minutes of local time. Shortly after the network launched, execs were already trying to downplay linear ratings expectations. Guy Slattery, general manager for Viceland, told Adweek in March that Viceland content is available on the website, app and VOD in addition to the linear networks, but Nielsen's numbers only reflect its linear ratings. "It's an important metric, but it only captures one piece of the multiplatform approach that we have," Slattery said. "So we didn't want to make it all about that. The headlines tend to go to Nielsen ratings, and we don't feel they're going to capture the viewing of this network, particularly among the demo that we're going after

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NBC Gets Its Lowest Olympics Ratings Since Saturday, but Men’s Basketball Boosts NBCSN

August 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Wednesday night's Rio Olympics action featured a victory for U.S. beach volleyball stars Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross, another gold medal for legendary Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura, and a gold in the 200-meter freestyle relay for Katie Ledecky and the U.S. women. But the action Wednesday couldn't match Tuesday night's heroics, and early Nielsen ratings reflect that. The network delivered a 17.4 overnight rating (down 21 percent from the previous night) and an 8.9 prime-time rating in the 18-49 demo, which was down 11 percent from Tuesday night. They were the lowest figures since NBC Olympics' Saturday evening coverage. (Average total viewer figures will be released later this afternoon.) It was a positive evening for NBCSN, however. The U.S. men's basketball win over Australia and Brazil's defeat of Denmark in men's soccer gave the network a an Olympics-best 1.41 overnight rating. Salt Lake City (24.4) was once again the top local market for NBC Olympics evening coverage, followed by Denver (22.3), Indianapolis (20.0), St. Louis (19.4) and Columbus (19.2).

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