Posts Tagged ‘networks’

ABC Taps New Programming Sales Chief

July 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ABC has hired Mike Dean as its new vp, programmatic and data-driven sales, The Wall Street Journal reports . Dean joins the Disney-owned network from ad tech firm Videology, where he was vp, media platform sales and solutions. Before Videology, Dean served as director, publisher services at Vibrant Media and business development manager - Bing for Microsoft. "Mike has a wealth of experience in digital and new media sales," said Pooja Midha, senior vice president of digital ad sales, in a statement. "We are very happy that he will lead the ABC sales team as we continue to lead the way in finding innovative solutions for all of our clients." The move comes following ABC's announcment at its upfront in May that it will be teaming up with video ad firm FreeWheel in launching a programmatic video effort. That move was seen largely as a reaction to Comcast's purchase of FreeWheel, which, according to The Wall Street Journal, caused media executives to voice "concerns privately that Comcast...is gaining too much clout in the growing digital TV business."

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Does America Now Like Soccer? Yesterday’s Ratings Hint at it

July 2, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Yes, that's it for the U.S. in the World Cup, but we went out with a bang: ESPN boasted its second-highest rating ever for a soccer match with a whopping 9.6 rating (people are all watching this during the middle of the day, so from your boss, shame on you, and, from the networks, thank you). Univision generated a 1.8 (representing 2.4 million viewers). The latter's streaming video didn't crack under the strain of its mammoth viewership (ESPN had a brief outage during the Germany Algeria match two days ago, but that still reached 1.7 million concurrent viewers) with a new high watermark of 1.8 million. It helps Univision's streaming numbers in particular that its digital service is free and unauthenticated ( until midnight , at least). The contest has been a major moment for U.S. soccer fandom, which in recent years hasn't exactly been an area of major focus and concern for marketers. But the 2014 contests have been a huge attention-getter for brands including sponsors like Visa, Coke, Adidas and Sony; and other johnny-come-latelies capitalizing on whatever meme they can attach to their brand at the time of a given game (check out our handy compendium of waffle jokes from yesterday, for example). Ruling the rapid-response promo roost, however, has been ESPN, which started off with an over-the-top Kiefer Sutherland paean to America (never mind that Sutherland is Canadian) and came out yesterday with this gem: The Americans lost, but still: USA! USA! USA! Strictly in terms of TV and digital viewership, of course.

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Community Is Getting Its Six Seasons (No Movie Yet)

June 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Well, that was close. Sony's offbeat sitcom Community, canceled at the very last minute by NBC, has been renewed at the very last minute (a few hours before contracts with Sony were set to expire, in fact) by Yahoo Screen . Thirteen episodes of the sitcom will air on Yahoo starting in the fall. At the Digital Content NewFronts this year, companies like Yahoo, YouTube and Crackle were voluble about a commitment to premium content; now Yahoo, at least, will be able to say that, like Netflix, it has a sitcom with huge cult appeal (albeit some very low live viewership ) and, unlike Netflix, it's selling ad inventory against that show. Community essentially lived on goodwill and fandom for five years on NBC; after two consecutive half-season orders (during which time the network inexplicably pitted the geeky comedy against the Death Star of geeky comedies, CBS's unbeatable nerdfest The Big Bang Theory), NBC president Bob Greenblatt finally pulled the plug. Showrunner and creator Dan Harmon was initially blas

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With Broadcast Volume Down, TV Inventory Is Going to Get Expensive

June 29, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If everybody waits out this upfront for better inventory in the fall, will anybody get enough of it? Brian Wieser, analyst at Pivotal Research (and a former head forecaster for Magna Global), said he’s predicting volume decreases on the order of between 5 percent and 10 percent across what was a $9.25 billion upfront bazaar last year (where networks saw strong interest in upfront commitments), which was followed by a weak season. That puts the upfront haul (which is, of course, largely theoretical anyway—clients can cancel up to 25 percent of their commitments) comfortably south of the $9 billion mark. But it also means more of the real buying will get done after the season’s hits are established, and at a hefty markup. “Scatter is going to be pricey,” said one network exec flatly. Don’t confuse this talk with the CPM gains networks tout during the upfront —those can be valuable, but they can also be a smokescreen when dollar volume is down. “We’ve had a couple of years where it seems like all of the scatter business was pushed into the upfront markets, and that, surprisingly, continued into last year from the year before,” explained Wieser. “Because [the trend] didn’t break last year, we had virtually no volume in the scatter market [since new shows couldn’t deliver the ratings].” Clients, Wieser said, are asking themselves why they’re putting so much money down in the upfront when that money just gets redistributed at midseason to atone for underdeliveries. Why not hold back that money and spend it when it’s clear what the hits are, rather than have money languish at a network where your customers aren’t watching? Well, buyers are about to find out whether or not the trade-off—better shows for higher prices—is worth it. “‘Why don’t we look to see what pops up in the middle of the year and whose seasons are strongest?’” Wieser asked rhetorically. The glum ratio of hits to misses isn’t new—even the networks themselves joke about how bad it is—so if you don’t have to lock in your buys, why bother? But if every advertiser decides that this is the season to cut back on upfront budgets and put the remaining cash into scatter inventory on the season’s established hits, scatter pricing is going to go through the roof.

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Turner Nears the Upfront Finish Line

June 27, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As broadcast closes out this week, big kahuna cable conglomerate Turner is working on the last of its deals, with CPM increases around the 6 percent range and flat volume (a good thing in a market where volume is flat to down across all of television and down quite a bit in broadcast), according to an industry source familiar with negotiations.

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NBCU’s TV Everywhere Taps Former HBO Exec Dina Juliano as SVP of Consumer Strategy

June 26, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC Universal

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Rob Dyrdek Gets Renewals, Pilot in MTV Deal

June 25, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Celebrations are in order for MTV producer Rob Dyrdek. The network today that closed a "multi-year production deal" with Dyrdek and his company Super Jacket that includes pilot order for an as-yet unnamed project (potentially Dyrdek's fourth with MTV, if it lands a pick-up) and multiple renewals. The Viacom-owned network is bringing back Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory for a seventh season and has landed a multi-season renewal for Ridiculousness , the fifth season of which premieres July 10th. There will be a sixth, seventh and "additional" season of the latter as well, according to the network, though what "additional" means wasn't specified. Snack-Off , which premieres the same day, looks to be something of a dressed-down version of the Food Network show Chopped , with amateur chefs competing to create the best meals using snack food aisle ingredients, such as jellybeans and potato chips. Restaurateur and culinary-world enfant terrible Eddie Huang will host, while chef Jason Quinn, supermodel Chrissy Teigen and comedian Yassir Lester will serve as judges.

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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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Networks Pour Cash Into Summer Programming

June 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The broadcast season is over. Permanently. That’s not to say that a bunch of new series won’t be back in the fall, but you no longer have to watch reruns and reality shows during the summer—and you may not have to ever again. Ratings for postseason unscripted shows have been dismal in recent weeks, and major players from Fox to Syfy have been dumping cash into summertime viewing after witnessing the successes of series like CBS’ Under the Dome (returning for a second season June 30 at 10 p.m.). Of course, it’s not all going to be great, so we watched as many pilots as we could get our hands on, making our picks for original series into the summer (and beyond) across genres, networks and media platforms. Enjoy. Garfunkel & Oates

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