Posts Tagged ‘networks’

AT&T Unveils Pricing and Channel Lineups for Its DirectTV Now Streaming Bundle

November 29, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Starting Wednesday, cord-nevers, cord shavers and cord cutters will have a relatively inexpensive, easy new option to access live TV. AT&T finally unveiled pricing, channel lineups and more details about DirecTV Now, its over-the-top, streaming bundle service, which launches on Wednesday. The service, which doesn't require a set-top box, satellite dish, annual contract or credit checks, will debut with an introductory price of just $35 per month for more than 100 channels. "This is the foundation of how we're going to do things in the future," John Stankey, CEO of AT&T Entertainment Group, told reporters who gathered at New York's Venue 57 for the product launch. He added, "For the first time in our history, we have control of the full stack," explaining that it will use data insights from subscribers to create more targeted advertising capabilities for brands, which will keep its pricing low. With the launch, AT&T is targeting the 20 million-plus U.S. households that don't have cable or satellite service. "We get to address a new audience," said Stankey. "This opens up a whole new segment of the market." (Brad Bentley, evp and CMO at AT&T Entertainment Group, noted that market includes the "5-6 million people" who attempted to sign up for DirecTV but were unable to pass a credit check.) And, the company hopes, it persuades even more subscribers to its "mobile-first" product to switch over to its wireless service. AT&T wireless subscribers will be able to use DirecTV Now without the streaming counting against their data plan. While the service contains almost all of the country's biggest networks, there are a few major omissions. "The only thing missing is CBS and Showtime, which we are working on, actively," said Bentley. (The CW, which is also part of CBS Corp, is also MIA.) While "we're hopeful and optimistic" that AT&T and CBS will come to terms, Stankey noted, "the demographic may be a fit" for a CBS-less lineup—i.e., millennials don't watch CBS. However, they do watch The CW, which isn't available either. And while subscribers in "owned and operated" markets like New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia will be able to stream broadcast content live on NBC, ABC and Fox, those in smaller, affiliate markets will have to wait until the next day, when they can access network prime-time programming on demand. (The company said it is working with affiliates and hopes to expand its live offerings in the future.) The service also doesn't include DirecTV's prized NFL Sunday Ticket package—Stankey said the company is in talks with the NFL—DVR capabilities (those are coming next year) or the ability to pause live TV. (However, many channels have "72 hour lookback" capabilities.) While Stankey said that subscribers in owned and operated markets will be able to watch NFL games live on Fox and NBC, the feed will not be available to mobile subscribers in those markets, as Verizon retains exclusive NFL mobile streaming rights.

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Presenting the Hot List—the Year’s Top Magazines, TV and Digital Media

November 28, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It was the year that Donald Trump dominated and demonized the media. That magazines built around news and analysis (New York, The New Yorker, Time) made the greatest impact, and produced the most eye-catching covers. That The People v. O.J. Simpson, Stranger Things and Samantha Bee ruled the tube—and that Megyn Kelly found herself on both sides of the news. This was also the year that digital platforms, players, obsessions and innovations—from Snapchat to Pokemon Go to Facebook Live, DJ Khaled to Chrissy Teigen—commanded our attention. Here, we present Adweek's annual Hot List, featuring our editors' picks for the year's top magazines, television and digital media, and the executives and content creators who dictate where the business is and where it's headed. Take Amazon's Jeff Bezos, our 2016 Media Visionary, who not only has changed the way we shop but, via his ownership of The Washington Post, is helping to save journalism in a perilous time of real-vs.-fake news. Here, we also present the winners of our annual Hot List Readers' Choice Poll, which this year generated more than 1.2 million votes at Adweek.com. As ever, all the terrific content being produced out there is made possible by the smartest, most creative leaders in the business—aside from Bezos, individuals like Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, FX's John Landgraf, and Hearst's David Carey and Michael Clinton. It is on them that we cast praise, and on them that a vibrant, forward-leaning media industry depends. Check out all this year's honorees: Hottest Magazines Media Visionary: Jeff Bezos Magazine Executive Team: Hearst's David Carey and Michael Clinton Magazine Editor: New York's Adam Moss Hottest TV Shows and Networks TV Executive: FX's John Landgraf TV Creator: Full Frontal's Samantha Bee TV News Anchor: Fox News' Megyn Kelly Hottest Digital Brands and Products Digital Executive: Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg Digital Creator: Casey Neistat This story first appeared in the November 28, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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Stephen Colbert Calls His Live Election Night Show ‘The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done’

November 20, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Stephen Colbert has had a lot of tough gigs in his career, but he says nothing compares to his live Election Night special for Showtime, which became more of a wake than a comedy show due to Donald Trump's surprise victory . "That show was the hardest thing I've ever done in my entire life," Colbert said Saturday night. "The audience was sobbing openly." Colbert made his comments while holding an election postmortem with fellow late-night host (and Daily Show alum) John Oliver, as part of a Montclair Film Festival fundraiser at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, N.J. In the leadup to his Showtime election night show, which Colbert was able to do because CBS had preempted The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that night for election coverage, "we had gone over every possible eventuality. We had so many guests, we had so many pretaped pieces, all based on a different eventuality," including that Hilllary Clinton won, or Clinton was the likely winner but the race was too close to call, or that Trump was possibly going to win. "And then there was the last show, the show we did, Donald Trump is going to win and we know he's going to win. And then execs and my writers were like, 'You don't want to write something for that?' And I was like, 'No!'" said Colbert, explaining that performing jokes about Trump winning the presidency for his studio audience of 400 would be like doing standup comedy during an execution. Of course, that's pretty much what unfolded that night. "Over my guests' shoulders, people kept putting up signs: Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska," recalled Colbert, referring to the states that Trump had won. "We only did about 20 minutes of material before we went, fuck it, it's going to be him, let's just talk for another hour. We have two and a half whole shows that you will never ever see of material that we had to kill that night." That unaired material included a number of pretaped pieces and a parade of naked men "with high, tight butts," said Colbert. "They were going to going to come out there and painted on their asses, it said, 'I'm with her, exclamation point.'" Colbert also addressed the recent controversy around fake news on sites like Google and Facebook , and said he and Oliver took issue with the term. "Because what we did was fake news" as correspondents on The Daily Show, Colbert said.

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Donald Trump Turned Stephen Colbert’s Showtime Election Comedy Special Into a Wake

November 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In August, when Showtime Networks CEO and president David Nevins made the "half announcement" that Stephen Colbert would host a live, comedy special for Showtime on election night, the exec told reporters, "that sounds fun, right?" It did, but what transpired during Tuesday night's Showtime special—prophetically titled, Stephen Colbert's Live Election Night Democracy's Series Finale: Who's Going To Clean Up This Sh*t?—was anything but fun, as news came rolling in throughout the program of Donald Trump's surprising voting surge. The crowd for Monday night's live Late Show with Stephen Colbert had been treated to an energetic, hilarious live Election Eve show, with a surprise appearance from Jon Stewart . But just 24 hours later, the energy in the Ed Sullivan Theater for the Showtime special (Colbert jumped to CBS' sister network for the night as election coverage had preempted the Late Show) couldn't have been more different. Forced to turn off their cell phones more for than 30 minutes before the show began, the audience had no idea of what election news had transpired, and loudly gasped as Colbert shared the latest results on-air. "Right now the election is too close to call and too terrifying to contemplate," Colbert said. "This one is a nail-biter, and a passport-grabber." And while he opened up with a humorous animated package (below) about how President Obama had driven Trump to run for president, it quickly became clear that Colbert's Showtime special wasn't a comedy show, but a wake. Each new revelation that Trump had taken battleground states like Florida, Ohio and North Carolina sucked the energy out of the pro-Hillary Clinton audience. "I'm not sure if it's a comedy show at this point

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Last Year’s Biggest Freshman TV Hits Have Lost Momentum in Season 2

November 3, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For a new TV series, the only thing harder than becoming a freshman hit is maintaining that momentum in Season 2. Several of last year's biggest critical and commercial hits, including Blindspot and Mr. Robot, have been felled by ratings and creative challenges in their sophomore seasons. Two of last fall's biggest success stories, NBC's Blindspot and ABC's Quantico, were hoping to grow their audiences in Season 2, but instead they've stumbled out of the gate. Blindspot, which averaged a 1.8 in the 18-49 demo last year, is off 30 percent, averaging a 1.3. However, much of that ratings drop can be explained by NBC relocating Blindpsot from its cushy post-Voice time slot on Mondays to Wednesdays at 8 p.m., when the network is much more vulnerable (and when the show is being trounced by another action-heavy series, Fox's Lethal Weapon). Quantico's fall is more alarming. It remained in the same time slot as last year (10 p.m. Sundays), but the series, which averaged a 1.2 in the demo last season, is off 33 percent with a 0.8. Last season's most promising freshman series for ABC is now the network's lowest-rated scripted series in the demo—though the network notes that it's had significant gains in delayed viewing

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Presidential Debates Set Ratings Records in 2016, but Does the Format Need to Change?

October 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The results are in, and 2016 delivered the most viewers of any presidential debate cycle in U.S. TV history. Wednesday's third and final debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump brought in 71.6 million viewers, making it the third-most-watched debate ever, behind only Clinton-Trump I (84 million) and Jimmy Carter-Ronald Reagan on Oct. 28, 1980 (80.6 million). The three Clinton-Trump debates and the Tim Kaine-Mike Pence vice presidential debate delivered a total of 259 million viewers, per data from Nielsen Media Research. The 1992 debate cycle held the previous record, with 250 million viewers watching the three George H. W.

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Fox Hopes Its Brooklyn Nine-Nine/New Girl Crossover Will Boost Slumping Tuesday Ratings

October 11, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

We've seen The CW and CBS superheroes band together to defeat a common foe—and boost ratings in the process. Now, Fox is hoping that a team-up of its own comedy stars can help turn around its season. Tonight, the network is airing a crossover event for its two Tuesday night comedies, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and New Girl. It begins during the Brooklyn Nine-Nine episode at 8 p.m., when New Girl's Jess (Zooey Deschanel) crosses paths with Nine-Nine detective Jake (Andy Samberg). The crossover continues during New Girl at 8:30, where the whole New Girl cast flies from Los Angeles to New York and stumbles upon several Nine-Nine characters.

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Roku Wants to Make It Easier for Your Content to Be Spotted, and Monetized

October 5, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Roku customers streamed 4 billion hours of video and music in the first six months of 2016, according to the company. Compare that with 5.5 billion hours in all of 2015. Additionally, there are over 10 million active Roku accounts using either the physical device or one of the 12 percent of smart TVs currently powered by Roku. With over 3,500 apps available on Roku to stream video content, it can be daunting for creators and services to get their products in front of viewers. An added challenge is that all content creators have to have an app specifically for Roku users. But not all content creators are well-versed in building such apps. Roku thinks it has a solution. Publishers like Mashable, Rolling Stone and Cracked have been testing Roku Direct Publisher to help accelerate the process of getting in front of Roku's millions of active users. Content creators will "automatically get included in Roku's unbiased universal search," said Bill Shapiro, Roku's director of project management

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A CEO by the Age of 40

October 4, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Search the term "wunderkind" and several entries about Jeff Zucker will no doubt turn up. The ink had barely dried on Zucker's Harvard bachelor's degree when he joined NBC as an Olympics researcher ahead of the 1988 Seoul Summer Games. In 1989, he parlayed that into a gig on the Today show, and was named its youngest-ever executive producer in 1992. He was 26. "Looking back on it, I can't believe they gave me the job," Zucker said. "I lived and breathed every aspect of the show 24/7, and I loved every minute of it. I was young, and I made some mistakes, and doing so in the bright spotlight of media attention wasn't always easy. But I did my best to learn from them, and not make the same mistake twice." In his early 30s, two bouts of colon cancer proved to be only a minor a setback

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FX Will Show America’s Uncomfortable Truths in Its People v. O.J. Followup About Hurricane Katrina

September 19, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story has been more successful than even FX could have imagined. The miniseries won nine Emmys in all Sunday night, including outstanding limited series, and was watched by an average of 12.6 million people across all platforms. Now FX is shifting its focus to the second season of American Crime Story, which will focus on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. The decision raised eyebrows when it was first revealed in January, given that the topic would seem to be less palatable to audiences than People v. O.J. was. Yet the network has never wavered in its Katrina plans, says FX Networks CEO John Landgraf, who noted that a 10-episode miniseries focusing on the Simpson trial was met with just as much initial skepticism as Katrina was. Katrina "was our only choice from the very beginning," said Landgraf. "If we're all honest—and I'll be honest on my behalf—when we heard they're going to make something based on The People v. O.J. Simpson, it was like, 'Really? Do we really need that?' Because essentially on its face, what we had is cheesy, self-serving, profit-seeking, poor narrative built around that story. The reason we wanted to do it was that we could see from Jeff Toobin's book and from [Scott] Alexander and [Larry] Karaszewski's scripts and through our producers, that actually it was something much richer and more humane and deeper." Then, after People v.

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