Posts Tagged ‘network’

Independent Cable Networks Don’t Agree on Comcast-TWC Merger

February 21, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As Comcast prepares to add millions more subscribers to its already vast base, there's one group particularly vulnerable to the newest and biggest kid on the block: independent cable networks. These folks don't have the leverage of channels owned by a Viacom or an ABC-Disney—they have to negotiate on their own individual merits, rather than as a value-add (or an additional burden, depending on whether the network or the MSO is talking) to the two or three must-have networks in a portfolio. Eric Sherman, CEO of health and lifestyle network Veria Living, is unimpressed with the merger, which will give Comcast nearly a one-third share of the 100 million subscriber cable market. "Over our history, consolidation hasn't been beneficial, and I can't imagine more consolidation providing new opportunities," Sherman told Adweek. "I think there needs to be an aggressive approach from the government in putting conditions on this merger. If you're going to give someone so much power in the marketplace, you have to make sure it's fair." Sherman points to the recent court victory effectively jeopardizing net neutrality laws and the ease of Comcast's purchase of NBCUniversal as evidence that cable and satellite operators are trying to collude against networks and ultimately, consumers. "The Comcast-NBC merger [was going to provide] more opportunity for minorities, supposedly," he said. "That doesn't appear to have happened." Comcast's FCC-mandated minority-owned networks are mostly underdistributed outside Comcast and barely programmed, though El Rey in particular is seeking to break out with leg up from Univision, ironically a prime competitor of Comcast's own Telemundo. Aspire airs reruns of The Bill Cosby Show, The Flip Wilson Show, and Julia four times a day each. For Sherman, the new deal will seem like another win for the big guy over the little guy unless there's more stringent regulation. "We're going to explore our options with the FCC, with the DoJ, with other government groups so that consolidation doesn't stop diversity in the industry and our growth specifically," he said.

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Moonves: Big Bang Theory Will Move to Accommodate NFL Games

February 13, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In a bid to accommodate the hulking bruiser that is the National Football League, Leonard, Sheldon, Penny and the rest of The Big Bang Theory crew next fall will be moving out of the Nerdvana of Thursday night for a slot earlier in the week. Speaking to investors during CBS Corp.’s fourth quarter earnings call, CEO Les Moonves confirmed that broadcast’s No. 1 scripted show would temporarily step aside to make way for the network’s new eight-game NFL package . “What we will do with our Thursday night is, we have some big shows, such as The Big Bang Theory … and we’re not going to wait until November to launch that,” Moonves said. “That’s going to be on the air on some other night, which will grow the ratings and the rates on some other night.” (That answers one question .) Moonves added that the sophomore drama Elementary is also likely to shift to another night, and while he did not offer a specific target destination, the smart money’s on Monday. Such a move would be a homecoming of sorts for Big Bang, which in its first three seasons occupied various time slots during the night before moving to the Thursday anchor position in fall 2010. CBS could also use a boost from Elementary, which if nothing else might stanch the bleeding in the network’s Monday 10 p.m. slot. In a rare stumble, two new CBS dramas have faltered in that position; the serialized thriller Hostages averaged just 5.16 million live-plus-same-day viewers and a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49, while successor Intelligence is faring only slightly better against NBC’s The Blacklist. While no decisions have been made on its Thursday freshman comedies The Millers and The Crazy Ones, CBS is all but certain to cancel the long-in-the-tooth Two and a Half Men. Now in its eleventh season, the Chuck Lorre sitcom has plummeted 44 percent in the demo and features one of TV’s priciest casts. (Leads Ashton Kutcher commands on the order of $700,000 per episode for his work on Men, while Jon Cryer rakes in $600,000 for any given show.) After acknowledging that the competition for the new Thursday night NFL show case was “pretty fierce,” Moonves suggested that CBS was really the only proper fit for the league’s purposes. “At the end of the day, it really wasn’t about money,” he said. “The NFL was more interested in establishing their Thursday night and being in partnership with a brand, a company, a network that would do a better job of establishing that into the future.” Moonves went on to note that much as it does already on Sunday afternoons, football will serve as a powerful promotional vehicle for CBS’ fall schedule. He then added that the network hopes to extend the deal beyond the single year for which CBS is contracted. (The NFL has the right to add a second season of Thursday Night Football at its discretion.) “I am extremely pleased to have this.

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NHL Network Preps Olympics Highlights Show

February 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While the Winter Olympics has put the NHL ’s 2013-14 campaign on ice for the next two weeks, the league’s in-house cable network hasn’t exactly been idle. In fact, beginning Feb. 12, NHL Network will begin production on a special live highlights show that will run immediately following the Latvia-Switzerland telecast on MSNBC. NHL Tonight: 2014 Sochi Edition will debut tomorrow at 3 p.m. EST, shortly after the two Group C teams conclude their opening game. NHL Net has landed McDonald’s as the presenting sponsor of the half-hour show, which is designed to complement NBCUniversal’s coverage of the men’s hockey tournament. NHL Net’s Kathryn Tappen will host the live show from Sochi, while her regular NHL Tonight co-hosts E.J. Hradek and Mark Roe and analysts Mike Johnson, Jamie McLennan and Kevin Weekes will pitch in from the channel’s Toronto studios. The live show will run through the end of the gold medal round on Feb.

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Adult Swim Is Now Touring U.S. Colleges With an Inflatable Fun House

February 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Yes, you read that correctly: Adult Swim is making the rounds with a gigantic black-and-pink blow-up castle filled with (sponsored) attractions like a KFC-branded rotating mirror-tunnel, a cage in which participants are required to sing for their freedom—that one belongs to Ice Breakers—and sundry other extremely weird attractions. We saw this nonsense last summer at San Diego Comic Con, and it's a good time. I don't remember the Tippy Tunnel, but the again, I don't remember much about the experience generally, and have only a T-shirt to prove I was there. Yes, the T-shirts will be a feature of the revitalized Fun House, too. From February to May, the castle will tour colleges around the U.S., notably U.C. Riverside, Texas A&M, Auburn and some others—10 schools over 12 weeks, in all. It's an unorthodox ad buy, to put it mildly, but KFC and Hershey (which makes Ice Breakers) are getting spots on the network as part of their sponsorship of the various dizzy-making attractions. Those spots will also promote awareness of the Fun House on air, beginning rotation on Adult Swim on Feb. 24.

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HLN Refocuses on Viral, Social Content

February 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

HLN is drastically switching focus from salacious court coverage to viral-hopeful segments and upbeat coverage of stories like " Is America Ready for a Gay NFL Player? " (not coincidentally also the front-page story on BuzzFeed, which broke news of the major rebrand this morning). The network is making its website a friendlier place to find whatever's a big deal on Facebook or Twitter at the moment, and Turner (which owns HLN) announced this morning that it would be replacing What Would You Do, its 10 p.m. hidden-camera show, with a syndicated series called RightThisMinute. WWYD will continue running at 5 p.m. The new show will find "the most captivating web videos and the stories behind them as they break," with the aspiration of locating videos before they go viral.

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CNN Pulls Anderson Cooper’s ‘AC360 Later’ From Primetime

February 7, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

CNN has taken the relatively new ‘AC360 Later,” a second primetime hour for popular anchor Anderson Cooper, off its primetime schedule for the foreseeable future, a spokeswoman for the network confirmed Friday. Cooper, who recently signed a new deal with the Time Warner-owned cable-news outlet, is entrenched at the network, and is already the anchor... Read more

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Terry Bradshaw to Sit Out Super Bowl

February 2, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fox studio analyst Terry Bradshaw will sit out the network’s coverage of Sunday’s Super Bowl, as he mourns the passing of his father,

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Viacom Sees a Softer Scatter Market in November, Recovers in December

January 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Viacom's Q4 earnings call included the first discussion of scatter cable prices so far, with the company reporting a 3 percent increase in the market "tempered somewhat by ratings at MTV in a softer marketplace in the month of November," according to Philippe Dauman, president and CEO of the company. Dauman pointed instead to the international market, which is growing at a faster clip than domestic and helped to offset some of the losses. He also talked up the new integrated ad unit , Viacom Velocity, run by Dario Spina and Neils Schuurmans, which was announced last week. "This is an area where we've considerably increased our resources over the past several years," Dauman said of Viacom Velocity. When pressed on the softer November ad revenue, Dauman said, "Remember, we were coming out of the continued budget discussions in Washington as we were coming out of October, and that just created a lot of uncertainty in the business community." Clients, he said, were "feeling uncertain" and trying to make sure their annual budgets came through. There was good news on the viewership front, too: ratings at Nickelodeon seem largely to have rebounded—Nielsen ratings for adults 18-49 and women 18-49 both increased by 12 percent for 2013 and the network is back on top among kids 2-11 for December, a fact Dauman was quick to point out. A few line items on the company's 10-Q go unexplained, notably the $14 million in severance payments itemized after the company's restructuring—$8 million for the television networks. The most public personnel announcement from the quarter would seem to be Viacom's restructure of its ad sales division, billed as a streamlining to allow synergy between networks. Dauman also discussed the appearance of a "virtual MVPD" with whom Viacom appeared to be in negotiations. "I don't control what companies do," he told an analyst who asked about Sony's proposed streaming TV service , "but based on a variety of discussions that we're having, I do believe that there'll be at least one virtual MVPD player commencing operations in 2014." Does that mean we can expect Viacom content on connected devices that have Sony's new service? Not necessarily, but it doesn't necessarily not

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Fox Renews ‘Bones,’ Will Move it Back to Mondays in March

January 29, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

“Bones,” Fox’s longest-running current drama, has been renewed for a 10th season, the network announced Wednesday. Also, the crimer is shifting back to Monday nights for its final episodes of this season. After airing on Fridays for a couple of months, “Bones” will take over the Monday 8 p.m. slot currently occupied by “Almost Human,”... Read more

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Hearst Sets Launch for First Issue of Dr. Oz, The Good Life

January 27, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Hearst Magazines will roll out its newest title , Dr. Oz, The Good Life, Feb. 4. With 800,000 copies being distributed, including 375,000 copies on newsstands for $3.99 and another 425,000 going to subscribers of other Hearst titles, The Good Life could well be the biggest consumer magazine launch this year. With The Good Life, Hearst hopes to replicate the stratospheric rise of its other mass, celebrity-based titles. Food Network Magazine rose to a circulation of 1.7 million from a launch distribution of 300,000, while HGTV Magazine grew to 1.1 million from 350,000 at launch. With celebrity-based magazines, there's no guarantee the allure will last, though, as Hearst well knows; O, the Oprah Magazine, while still one of its biggest titles with a 2.4 million circulation, has struggled on the newsstand lately.

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