Posts Tagged ‘network’

Producer Howard T. Owens Launches Banner with A+E Networks’ Investment

March 30, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Former National Geographic TV president Howard T. Owens has launched a content production venture with financial backing from A+E Networks. Owens (pictured left) has tapped former A&E Network g.m. David McKillop (right) as a partner and chief creative officer of Los Angeles-based Propagate Content. A+E is an investor in Propagate, but it will operate autonomously... Read more

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Yes, Syfy Is Really Going to Call It ‘Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No’

March 18, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Sharknado 3, for serious, is going to be subtitled Oh Hell No, as though the entire film was a guest on the Jerry Springer Show that just found out its husband was actually a woman and had been sleeping with its dad. Its dad being Sharknado 2: The Second One. Springer actually has a cameo in the third film, by the by. We're disappointed the writers didn't go with any of our pitches , but we'll make do. The thing that's kind of awesome about the Sharknado movies is that they are freakishly popular despite, or perhaps as a result of, reveling in low production values, cameos by whoever happened to be wandering the halls of 30 Rock, and absurd set pieces. Fun fact: We actually talked to Ian Ziering about the scenes in Sharknado 2 where (spoiler!) he carves up airborne sharks with his chainsaw hand. He said he basically grimaces and poses dramatically in front of a green screen and they add the blood-spurting sharks in post production. Sharknado 2 got a 1.6 rating when it premiered and does reliably well in reruns, too—it's the network's equivalent of comfort food. Oh Hell No will star series veterans Ziering and Tara Reid. And Cassie Scerbo, who was in the first film, will return as Nova. The movie will debut on Syfy on July 22, just after Comic-Con International: San Diego. Nova's parents, obviously, will be David Hasselhoff and Bo Derek

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CBS Gets Into the Big Data Game

March 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

CBS may have launched a new streaming service (and announced a new one for daughter network Showtime on the heels of the Apple press conference where HBO Now was unveiled), but traditional TV is where it's at, as far as the television company is concerned. Today, the company unveiled a new product designed to demonstrate TV's reach power to CBS clients, which it's calling "Campaign Performance Audit," or CPA. In a world full of official-sounding initials, CPA stands out for its amalgamation of third-party metrics into a single data set; CPA's info pulls together numbers from Nielsen units including Catalina Solutions, Buyer Insights, MotorStats, MRI Fusion, Brand Effects and Cambridge Media Demand Landscape. There's also some proprietary data on ad effectiveness done out of CBS's studio complex Television City, but the message here is pretty clear: CBS is in the traditional TV biz to stay. "Research shows that network television is the most powerful medium in building both brand awareness and equity for marketers," the network's chief research officer David Poltrack said in the company's statement to press. CBS's more-for-us attitude could reap dividends if its competitors choose to focus on digital properties in the coming months, which seems to be the direction the wind is blowing. As services like Apple TV, Sling and Sony's upcoming Vue service roll out and gain traction, plenty of players are casting about for sexier options than old-fashioned television. CBS is contending that TV is still the most efficient. The TV ad market is experiencing some trouble, efficient or not: the Standard Media Index reported today that ad spending had declined 4 percent last month when compared to the same time last year. Some of this was simply falloff across all networks reflected in the absence of the Sochi Olympics from the airwaves, the report said, but auto was down 21 percent and financial services was off by 18 percent. Telco, of course, was up.

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GSN Expands Its Slate of Original Series With 2 New Programs

March 10, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In game show terms, GSN is feeling like a returning champion. Viewership is up, the average age of viewers is down, and the network's experiment with original series is paying off. "GSN has grown for three years straight, and 2014 was our biggest year ever," said David Goldhill, chief executive of the network, a partnership between DirecTV and Sony Pictures Television. In February, the network had its highest-rated month ever among women ages 25 to 54, and GSN original series reported a social engagement rate of more than 6 percent. "Something is definitely happening," Ben Glieb, host of GSN's Idiotest, told Adweek. "The network's attitude is so inventive." GSN, created as a home for classic 1970s game shows, has doubled the number of original hours over the last two seasons, with two new shows joining its lineup this year. Lie Detectors challenges members of the studio audience to decide if comedians' outrageous anecdotes are true. And in Steampunk'd, a design competition, contestants have to turn everyday objects into works of art in the "growing subculture" of steampunk, which combines modern and Victorian design.

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As Boxing Returns to Prime Time, Will Ad Dollars Follow?

March 6, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Looking for the latest proof of the power of live programming? Turn to NBC on Saturday night. Before you sit through another SNL cold open, you'll be able to catch the return of professional boxing to network prime time. Yes, the sport that once created megastars like Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike Tyson with Saturday afternoon exposure (on ABC's Wide World of Sports and competing programming on CBS and NBC), is back on free TV. The first card of the Premier Boxing Champions series on NBC will be a doubleheader from the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas featuring Keith Thurman vs. Robert Guerrero and Adrien Broner vs. John Molina Jr. The series was founded by Al Haymon, who is paying NBC a reported $20 million for the privilege of showing 20 fights this year on the network or its NBCSN cable sibling. The time-buy deal is not new to sports television (ESPN paid $7.3 billion to televise the Bowl Championship Series for the next 12 years; and CBS and Turner locked up the NCAA Tournament for 14 years for $10 billion), but it is a first for boxing. It has turned out to be a fairly easy sell. Several advertisers were wooed by the lure of the live event and jumped at the chance to get in the ring with Premier Boxing Champions, said Harlan Stone, managing director of SJX Partners, an agency that represents the series. Young males, of course, are the targeted demographic, and adult beverages, cars, energy drinks and quick-serve restaurants are the most likely marketers.

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U.K. TV Network ITV Sees 8% Rise in Revenue, 18% Growth in Profit

March 4, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

LONDON — U.K.-based TV broadcast, production and distribution group ITV has reported an 8% rise in revenue to £2.6 billion ($3.99 billion) for 2014, and an 18% growth in profit (EBITA) to £730 million ($1.12 billion). Adam Crozier, ITV chief executive, said: “ITV is now a high-growth business with increasing emphasis on international content creation... Read more

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Bobby Flay Isn’t a Fan of Food Bloggers Trading Snark for Clicks

March 4, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Bobby Flay Age 50 Claim to fame Chef (restaurants include Gato, Bar Americain and Mesa Grill); host of Food Network series such as Beat Bobby Flay, All-Star Academy and Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction Base New York Twitter @bflay What's the first information you consume in the morning? It's usually The New York Times, the actual newspaper. I'm a die-hard home delivery person. The first thing I do after waking up is I go to my door and get the newspaper. Then I watch news programs, which varies from The Today Show to CBS This Morning . I like Morning Joe a lot. What social media do you use? I use Twitter, but not really much else. I've used Instagram sparingly, although I am going to start doing it again. Do you read any food blogs or sites? I like Food52 a lot. I use the Bon App

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Guy-Centric Spike Network Hopes Scripted Shows Like Tut Will Entice Female Viewers

March 3, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Viacom's bro-centric Spike network hasn't been in the upper echelons of cable TV in the recent past, but the company plans to change all that. Today at Manhattan's Cipriani 42nd Street, a cavernous restaurant housed in what used to be an art deco bank building, the network announced its intentions to attract more women to its air, pump up its scripted offerings, and bring viewers the story of King Tut. Also, lip syncing. Within the larger Viacom portfolio, "I think it's in a great place to be the home for general entertainment for both men and women," said the network's evp of brand marketing and creative, Frank Tanki. "Shows like Ink Master and Bar Rescue have brought in a ton of women, so now we just want to put a little polish on the brand. We're trying to make it a little more holistic as a brand. We want to make it more cohesive." The network has big plans for the future, including a new show from World War Z author Max Brooks called Emergency Broadcast, in development with Legendary Entertainment, more episodes of Lip Sync Battles, and a new show ordered for 10 episodes called Sweat Inc., an unscripted series in which a health guru tries to find the right workout for the right bod. Tut is definitely the highlight of the slate—star Ben Kinglsey attended the event in person alongside Avan Jogia, the miniseries' lead actor, and actress Sibylla Deen. It's a major investment in an original production (as opposed to an acquisition or a co-production with a larger partner) commissioned from Muse, the outfit that put together The Kennedys and Pillars of the Earth

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Emerging Cable Network WGN America Looks to Cast Its Spell Over SXSW Film

February 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On March 13, WGN America and its original series Salem will turn the official SXSW Film opening party into a "witches' playground," complete with fortune tellers, aerial dancers and other elements of the supernatural.

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After a Rocky Few Years, Hasbro’s TV Strategy Is Changing Again

February 23, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

What looks like an entertainment company, spends like an entertainment company and programs like an entertainment company? It's Hasbro, a toymaker. Hasbro makes not just toys but also hugely popular intellectual property, which for decades has been key to its bottom line. But as kids' consumption patterns change radically with the advent of new technologies, the company has struggled to find a balance between its core business and its entertainment properties. Over the last few years, the company has poured billions of dollars into (and received billions of dollars from) big-budget movies and triple-A video games, plus a joint-venture cable network called The Hub (a costly misstep), which since was rebranded and partially sold back to partner Discovery. And now, Hasbro is trying something new. TV product created and licensed by Hasbro is going in a number of different directions this year.

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