Posts Tagged ‘network’

CBS Finishes Upfront With CPM Increases Lower Than Last Year

June 13, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This upfront season, it's all over but the shouting for CBS, according to a statement released by the organization itself today. “As we near the finish line, we are very confident that CBS has once again achieved the highest pricing and most total dollars in the upfront marketplace," said a spokesperson in a rare official statement by the network. "Agencies and clients continue to value the strength, stability and delivery that we provide as a pure-play broadcaster, and we are very pleased that in addition to C3, C7 is now playing a meaningful part in our negotiations.” It is unusual for CBS to come out and say that it's more or less done with upfront deals—but as it's the first network to cross the finish line, perhaps that's in order. It also serves to put the market on notice—things are probably going to move more quickly this year than last. The cable market just started to movie this week, as well, with budgets registered at several of the major players and momentum building at Turner, among others.

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Fox Won’t Even Burn Off Its Last Episodes of Us & Them

June 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

That's a wrap for Us & Them, a remake of popular British sitcom Gavin & Stacey. A Fox spokesperson confirmed that the show had been canceled for some time, though Vulture broke the news of its total absence from the airwaves earlier . (It was widely known that the show's already-skimpy 13-episode order was being downgraded to six.) The disclosure that the network won't even air the completed episodes of the show is suprising, given that the series previously had been slated to air this summer. In the wake of Fox chief Kevin Reilly's departure, there are plenty of questions about the slate that the executive had backed before leaving. Fox is writing upfront deals but ad buyers have described the process as more difficult than if Reilly was still in charge. Gavin & Stacey had managed to wrangle some good notices from critics for its likable leads—Jason Ritter and Alexis Bledel—and goofy supporting cast. So, in that context, the cancellation is surprising. But now there's a prefab comedy out there from Sony just waiting for somebody to pick it up. Hey, DCNF participants, remember how you were all talking about how you'd be investing a ton in premium content this year?

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Netflix Will Stop Telling Customers Verizon Is Making Their Movies Load Slower

June 9, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Netflix said Monday it would comply with Verizon's cease-and-desist letter, sent to both the general public and Netflix general counsel David Hyman from Verizon general counsel Randal S. Milch. The letter's complaints against Netflix were that the streaming service was misrepresenting the "many different factors that affect traffic on the Internet," including the controversy over whether or not Verizon is obliged to provide free access to its network based on user preference. In response, Netflix said that as part of a "transparency campaign" to tell users when the network they were using was choking Netflix content, "we started a small scale test in early May that lets consumers know, while they’re watching Netflix, that their experience is degraded due to a lack of capacity into their broadband provider’s network. "We are testing this across the U.S. wherever there is significant and persistent network congestion," the company said in a blog post bylined to communications vp Joris Evers. "This test is scheduled to end on June 16. We will evaluate rolling it out more broadly." While this is sort of a non-denial-denial—we don't admit that what we're doing is wrong but coincidentally, we're going to stop doing it—on the heels of the Verizon C&D letter, it comes with yet another dig at Verizon: a post from the company's ISP speed ranker, a fascinating tool you can check out yourself here . With the new site, which appears to dynamically measure average bandwidth—that's actual bandwidth, not advertised bandwidth—you can see that Netflix's data streams a lot slower from Verizon's DSL service (which is definitely incredibly slow), but you can also see, among other things, that the U.S. has some of the slowest streaming speeds in the developed world, below every European country except Ireland and lagging behind much poorer countries elsewhere in the Americas like Mexico and Brazil.

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Game of Thrones Is the Most Popular Show on HBO, Ever

June 5, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The adventures of Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow (among other characters, most of whom are probably dead now) have officially beaten out another HBO series with a lot of sudden deaths: The Sopranos. HBO confirmed that the series now boasts an average gross viewership (bear in mind that's across multiple airings of each show) of 18.4 million viewers, edging out Tony and Carmella's 18.2 million average. The show is such a ratings juggernaut that it's sapping a huge number of viewers from the ratings pool on Sunday evenings—and it's not just linear viewership, either. Without advertisements to deliver, HBO has been free to launch an app that now shows its original programs simultaneously with the linear broadcast. This has been great for the network's visibility but not as great for its servers, which crashed earlier this season when record viewer numbers flooded the app to find out who was next up for a beheading. It's also the most pirated show on television, according to peer-to-peer news site TorrentFreak , but as far as Time Warner chief Jeff Bewkes is concerned, that's a great thing . "That's better than an Emmy," he blithely told an analyst who informed him of the stat on an earnings call. Game of Thrones was recently renewed for not just a fifth season but a sixth as well . This

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It’s Official: ‘Game of Thrones’ is HBO’s Most Popular Series Ever

June 5, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

“Game of Thrones” has whacked “The Sopranos” off its ratings perch. As the fantasy drama nears the end of its fourth season, HBO reports that “Game of Thrones” is now the most popular series in the network’s history. Episodes of the show, which first air on Sunday nights, have an average gross audience of 18.4... Read more

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The Next Aaron Spelling? Showrunner Shonda Rhimes Is ABC’s Queen of Prime Time

June 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The pilot of then-unknown hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy was nearly complete in early 2005, but some real heavy lifting remained. Shonda Rhimes, a screenwriter who was taking her first stab at creating a television series, needed to put together synopses of the next eight episodes, telling executives at ABC just where the soapy, hospital-based drama intended to go in the near future. James Parriott, a veteran showrunner who’d been brought in to help steer the ship, offered to take half the workload. They only had a weekend to finish, he remembers, which would’ve been a tall order even for a seasoned TV writer.

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Networks Will Write Discounted C7 Deals, but Not Everyone’s Biting

June 2, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Even with Kevin Reilly out at the News Corp broadcaster and ratings declines from an aging American Idol, Fox has managed to score a serious deal: GroupM, arguably the biggest media agency network, is buying C7 guarantees. GroupM didn't respond immediately to requests for comment, but one of the networks is said to be dangling a 3 percent pricing discount in front of agencies that will agree to C7 guarantees. It hasn't even been that long since the networks started selling C3—the shift to C7 is something buyers have long resisted, given the length of time it takes to process the data and the need for immediate returns on ads such as movie trailers. With C7 guarantees, you may see that your ad was delivered, but if your ad was delivered on unskippable VOD on Tuesday and your movie opened on Friday, it's probably not a great feeling to shell out cash for that delivery. And GroupM does represent Paramount Pictures among many other big-name clients including Unilever and AT&T. It's a gamble (and probably not a gamble the media agency is taking on all of its clients), but it's one head buyer Rino Scanzoni has said he's comfortable with as recently as three weeks ago. "It all comes down to economics," Scanzoni told the Wall Street Journal . "Clients are obviously getting that audience when people play back their programs post-three days; if they’re not fast-forwarding the commercials, that exposure exists. Ultimately I do see the business going onto a C7 metric because as we try to drive the business to a cross-platform metric, you probably need a longer time frame than the C3 window to optimize that. We will eventually be going there. It’s a matter of working out the economics initially to make the transition one that’s acceptable to both sides." So let the message go forth: The economics are acceptable at the moment

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Nobody Wants to Marry Harry

May 28, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's not like you could have made a second season of gag reality show I Wanna Marry Harry, anyway, but Fox execs who might have been considering the option aren't going to get the chance with these ratings. The show dipped a painful 48 percent in its second frame (partly due to the loss of lead-in American Idol, which also isn't exactly setting the world on fire , and also probably because the show has been a hate magnet ) after a none-too-spectacular first outing last week. The show is about a guy who pretends to be Prince Harry in order to trick some not-terribly-bright girls into dating him.

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We Play Matchmaker for Merger Candidates AMC, Scripps and IPG

May 27, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Who's next? The recent spree of mergers and acquisitions doesn't appear to be at an end, at least not to the market-watchers at Barron's, who listed Mad Men and Walking Dead network group AMC as a ripe target for investors looking to get into the television game, along with Scripps Networks Interactive, the conglomerate behind the Food Network, HGTV and the Cooking channel. Also a potential bargain: Interpublic Group (IPG). One of the reasons each of these companies looks like a strong candidate for acquisition is its ratio of enterprise value—the amount of capital it would take to purchase the company—to earnings. Buy low, sell high. So who might be interested in each of these organizations? AMC : The network group has gone from strength to strength over the last few years with hits like Mad Men, The Walking Dead and Breaking Bad bringing in revenue not merely from subscribers and advertisers, but from third-party streaming service Netflix, which pays for season-old content of the flagship network's signature serialized dramas. That, in turn, drives live viewership. Morgan Stanley has been cautious about the company, emphasizing the inherent risk in buying a bunch of new shows (which Netflix has indeed done), but its long-term prospects, Morgan Stanley says, are good. Our pick for a nice boyfriend : Netflix, definitely. With a staggering market cap , It's a company with plenty of capital looking for a more stable revenue stream as competition heats up around its core businesses. It's not actually that much bigger than Netflix in revenue terms ($4.37 billion last year vs. $1.59 billion), but its main concern at the moment is off-the-books commitments that could be mitigated by the acquisition of a high-profile content company.

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Watch: Seth Rogen and Snoop Dogg Recap ‘Game of Thrones’

May 26, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Seth Rogen and Snoop Dogg have at least two interests in common: the blunt they shared in their recent video and “Game of Thrones.” “Neighbors” star Rogen stopped by Snoop Dogg’s GGN Network (a.k.a Double G News Network) to recap the HBO fantasy drama with Snoop’s YouTube persona, Nemo Hoes. Warning: the recap, featured above,... Read more

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