Posts Tagged ‘network’

TVGN Is Gunning for E! With New Program Slate

April 29, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

At a breakfast at the Ace Hotel in Manhattan this morning, TVGN (which isn't using the full name TV Guide Network anymore) announced a slate of unscripted shows, along with the news that it had gone "full screen"—as in, no scrolling network listings—in its 83 million homes. The network is following the traditional cable model of acquired content and movies with a slate of originals on top of them, with one crucial difference: CBS and Lionsgate are providing the acquired shows and films in question. TVGN has cable premiere windows on many Lionsgate films throughout the year, including Arbitrage, The Lincoln Lawyer and Man on Wire, as well as early windows on others.

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MTV’s Newest Series Include the Amazingly Titled Slednecks

April 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

MTV isn't getting off the kids-behaving-badly kick: after Jersey Shore and Buckwild, the network is going for a third locale filled with colorful young people, set in Alaska, called Slednecks. The network also has Beyond Dance, a dancing competition series, and One Bad Choice, a Teen Mom-style series about people who made a poor decision and then dealt with the consequences. The upfront was music-heavy, as befitting the M in the network's name, with performances by Bastille and Zed, among others. But it also included an unexpected part of the Viacom portfolio: LGBT-themed network Logo (which, oddly, Viacom called a "brand" in its boilerplate, rather than a network), which has a new series called The Secret Guide to Fabulous Living. It's unclear what kind of change might come from the conflation of the two networks—is Viacom consolidating?—but MTV said the show would be about "not how to have it all, but what to do with what you have," which seems to be of a piece with MTV's working-class subject matter these days. Scripted series returning included, of course, Teen Wolf , and Rob Drydek's Ridiculousness. The network's summer slate will show exclusively on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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FCC Net Neutrality Proposal Still Fuzzy

April 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The Federal Communications Commission did damage control today to try to convince critics that the chairman's net neutrality proposal would not create a "payola Internet,” would not end the end the Internet as we know it, and would not lead to a host of Internet price increases for consumers. "This notice decides nothing," an FCC official explained during a call with reporters that followed a tsunami of negative press . Even after the commission votes May 15 to proceed with the notice of proposed rulemaking, there will still be plenty of unanswered questions, including what would constitute a net neutrality violation. The public will have plenty of time to comment before the FCC finalizes the rules by the end of the year. Let's take the easy part of chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal first. The FCC proposes to reinstate the 2010 "no blocking" rule for legal content and enhance the 2010 rule that requires ISPs to disclose their network policies and practices. The biggest question, and what remains unclear in Wheeler's proposal, is how the FCC will determine what fast lane agreements between ISPs and content providers is "commercially reasonable." "We don't know, the rulemaking will decide it," said an FCC official. "We want a broad public debate before we make those kinds of decisions. We'll ask first and answer later," he said. So depending on a bunch of details that haven't been written yet, that could mean the FCC might allow deals that give some Internet content priority over another. But no one at the FCC seems to know how that will work, except that each deal will be reviewed on a "case-by-case basis." In his blog post , Wheeler said the FCC "will propose rules that establish a high bar for what is 'commercially reasonable.'" "The allegation that it will result in anti-competitive price increases for consumers is also unfounded. That is exactly what the 'commercially reasonable' test will protect against: harm to competition and consumers stemming from abusive market activity," Wheeler wrote. When asked if that means a deal between Netflix and Comcast that raises prices for consumers would be a violation, the FCC official responded that: "if it limits competition, that's a problem." OK, are we clear now?

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FX Networks, MillerCoors in 3-Year Partnership Deal

April 23, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The next time the Soviet spies Elizabeth and Philip Jennings tuck into a tin of caviar on the FX drama The Americans , the comely commies will likely wash down the delicacy with the Champagne of Beers.

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HBO Shows Including The Sopranos Coming to Amazon Prime

April 23, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Amazon has declared once again that it isn't kidding when it comes to fighting the streaming service wars: the company has signed an exclusive deal with HBO to distribute library content including The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Deadwood, Enlightened and Treme, as well as early seasons of currently-running series Boardwalk Empire and True Blood (both scheduled to end this year). It's a more conservative move than it might appear for HBO—the company still reserves season-to-date content for its own streaming service, HBO Go, which has set the standard for friendly user interfaces among streaming apps, and with content on Go airing day-and-date with the network's linear iteration, the app remains very popular. In fact, it's been somewhat too popular in recent months—the network's servers

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Fizzy, Busy Finale for ABC’s Scandal

April 18, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With no fewer than four broadcast series calling it a day, Thursday night was a time for cliffhangers and farewells. But has been the case all season long, only one of these shows delivered a blockbuster audience. The season finale of ABC’s sudsy Beltway drama Scandal went off with an all-too literal bang, as a terrorist bombing changed the stakes, and the ontological status of more than one key character was thrown into question. According to Nielsen fast national data, the Season 3 closer averaged 10.5 million viewers and a 3.4 in the adults 18-49 demo, making it the second highest-rated episode in Scandal’s history. Season-to-date, Scandal is one of just a handful of network series that managed to improve its ratings versus the year-ago period.

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Channel 5 Sale Falters as Discovery Withdraws From Bidding: Report

April 17, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

LONDON — An attempt by the owner of U.K. broadcaster Channel 5, Northern & Shell, to sell the network appears to have faltered as reports circulated Thursday that one of the leading contenders to acquire the TV group, Discovery Communications, had withdrawn from the bidding process. Discovery was reported to have tabled a joint bid... Read more

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ABC Re-Ups Paul Lee

April 15, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With just a month to go before it pitches its 2014-15 upfront slate, ABC has re-upped entertainment president Paul Lee. The genial Brit has signed a new multiyear deal with the network, and while terms were not disclosed, it is believed that the contract will keep Lee locked down through spring 2018. Lee took the helm of ABC and the network’s studio unit in July 2010, when he succeeded outgoing entertainment chief Steve McPherson . Previously, Lee had served as the head of the cable net ABC Family.

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Mad Men Drops in Season 7 Premiere

April 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

AMC may have been hoping that the so-called “Netflix Effect” would boost the ratings for the Season 7 premiere of Mad Men , but in a highly competitive Sunday 10 p.m. slot, Matt Weiner’s period piece put up its worst opening numbers since 2008. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, the first installment of the bifurcated final season of Mad Men delivered 2.3 million viewers and a 0.8 in the 18-49 demo, marking a decline of 32 percent and 27 percent, respectively, versus last season’s two-hour opener. Not since Season 2, when Mad Men drew 2.06 million viewers, has the moody drama debuted to a smaller audience. (That episode also delivered a 0.8 in the dollar demo.) While never a ratings juggernaut—last season averaged just 2.42 million viewers and a 0.8 in the dollar demo—the year-over-year decline was unexpected. That said,

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Howard Owens Steps Down as Nat Geo Channels President

April 14, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After a two-and-a-half-year stint as president of National Geographic Channels U.S., Howard Owens is striking out on his own. The former William Morris agent and Reveille co-founder on Monday revealed his decision to leave Nat Geo , saying that while his tenure as programming chief was “an incredible experience…both personally and professionally,” it was time for him to embark on his “next adventure.” Owens was instrumental in launching the Nat Geo original series Brain Games and Wicked Tuna, as well as the scripted programs Killing Lincoln, Killing Kennedy and the upcoming Killing Jesus. (All three specials were based on best-selling books by Fox News Channel host Bill O’Reilly.) He joined Nat Geo in late 2011, replacing longtime network boss Steve Schiffman. In a note to staffers, NGC U.S. CEO David Lyle announced that Owens would be moving on, or as he characterized it, “flying out the window of National Geographic and into the free world of independent production.” Lyle was effusive in his praise for Owens. “As a senior TV executive, I’m supposed to say everybody is replaceable, but in Howard’s case I say without a shadow of a doubt, we couldn’t have done it without him.” A replacement has not been identified. While high-profile undertakings like the Killing series and SEAL Team Six: The Raid on Osama bin Laden gave Nat Geo a temporary ratings boost, the network’s biggest growth came in 2012. Per Nielsen, Nat Geo finished out the year before last up 22 percent in its target demo (adults 25-54), only to dip 2 percent in 2013. “National Geographic Channels have some of the brightest minds in the television business, and I’m proud of the work we have accomplished together—specifically in defining the National Geographic Channels as a destination for innovative, original and brand-defining creativity,” Owens said, by way of signing off.

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