Posts Tagged ‘networks’

Here’s Why NBC Believes Viewers Are So Frustrated With Olympics Ads

August 6, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While 28 percent fewer people tuned into NBC's Rio Olympics opening ceremony than London's Summer Games four years ago, some of those who did watch Friday night weren't happy with what they considered a series of commercials occasionally interrupted by an opening ceremony. Viewers took to social media to complain about NBC's heavy ad load during the ceremony, especially early on, and the network's decision to air and stream the ceremony on a one-hour delay. NBC Sports, however, told Adweek that the ad load was "very similar" to that for the London opening ceremony, but because viewing habits have changed so much in the past four years, the commercial breaks are now more noticeable to audiences. They sure were. Many viewers took to Reddit and social media (some using the hashtag #nbcfail) to complain about NBC's presentation of the opening ceremony: In effort to realize record profits from Rio 2016, NBC to become first network to air more than 60 minutes of commercials in a single hour. — Norman Chad (@NormanChad) August 6, 2016 Conversation in NBC conference room. "If we tape delay one hour we can add a full hour of commercials." "Brilliant." #OpeningCeremony — Bob Kevoian (@bobkevoian) August 6, 2016 nbc olympics coverage: where there are commercials about commercials — Sam Stryker (@sbstryker) August 6, 2016 That response could be alarming news for NBC Sports, which has already sold $1.2 billion in national Olympics ads, 75 percent of which accounted for advertising in NBC's prime-time coverage. "As we did for London, we inserted a few more commercials earlier in the show so that we can afford time later in the show to present as much of the ceremony as we can, including every single country in the Parade of Nations," said an NBC Sports spokesperson. "Given that the commercial load was very similar to London, we believe that consumption habits, such as binge-watching and 'marathoning,' have changed perceptions among the viewing audience regarding commercials." Once the ceremony got under way, NBC did space out the ad breaks closer to 15 minutes, which was less frequent that the usual seven-minute average between ad breaks. As for the decision to broadcast and stream the opening ceremony on a one-hour delay, NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus said last month that while Rio would be the most "live" Olympics yet because it's only an hour ahead of the East Coast, the network was delaying the opening ceremony "to give context to the show. This opening ceremony will be a celebration of Brazilian culture, of the pageantry, of the excitement, of the flare that this beautiful nation has. And we think it's important that we're able to be that in context for the viewer so it's not just a flash of color." After Friday night's social media outrage, an NBC Sports spokesperson offered a further explanation for the opening ceremony delay: "It's not a sports competition. It's a cultural ceremony that requires deep levels of understanding, with numerous camera angles and our commentary laid over it

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Turner Will Continue Reduced Ad Loads on TNT Next Year, and Could Expand to TBS in 2018

August 1, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Turner's experiment with reduced ad loads of up to 50 percent on TNT's new drama Animal Kingdom this summer has been so successful that the company is already planning on expanding its scope over the next two years. TNT will offer 50 percent reduced ad loads on all its new original dramas in 2017, and could also expand that offering to TBS' original series in 2018, TNT and TBS president Kevin Reilly told reporters today at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in Los Angeles. "We're seeing very, very good results for that," said Reilly, who is also chief creative officer for Turner Entertainment, of Animal Kingdom's ad load reduction, which has added 10 minutes or more of content per episode. "Not only is the commercial rating higher, but we're also seeing a nice ratings lift." Reilly said Turner is still waiting on more data, but "we've seen indications there will be a higher brand recall." Focus groups have noted that "you really see the difference," he added. There was a "robust" response to TNT's reduced ad loads in this year's upfront, where Turner secured double-digit CPM gains . Turner ad sales chief Donna Speciale and her team sold reduced ad loads for new TNT dramas during the upfront, but "I want to do it across the board," said Reilly, who said the approach "has been embraced by the advertising community. That said, "we can not go it alone," he said, and if other networks don't follow suit with similar ad load reductions, "we're going to have to go back." For now, his shows have shorter breaks, instead of fewer breaks, but "we're still playing with that," said Reilly. Beyond the reduced ad loads, Reilly said "some of our native advertising efforts have really been great." He cited Maya Rudolph's "vajingle" spot for Seventh Generation tampons on Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, which went viral after it aired last month. "I heard from women, 'that's finally the way those things should be sold,'" said Reilly.

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Jon Stewart Takes Down Roger Ailes and Donald Trump in His First Daily Show-Style Rant in 11 Months

July 22, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Ever since Jon Stewart stepped down as host of The Daily Show last August, his fans have been begging him to return to late-night and deliver his brilliant, incisive political takedowns, especially in this year's over-the-top presidential race. While Stewart has mostly stayed out of the spotlight, he couldn't resist weighing in on two of the most seismic events to hit the Republican Party in modern times, both of which happened just hours apart: Donald Trump's officially accepting the Republican nomination for President at the Republican National Convention Thursday night and Roger Ailes' stunning resignation as chairman and CEO of Fox News two weeks after he was sued for sexual harassment. So Thursday night, Stewart briefly stepped in for pal Stephen Colbert, during his live broadcast of the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He slipped on a suit jacket and clip-on tie and settled in at Colbert's desk to deliver his first late-night political rant in 11 months. Stewart, who also made a cameo appearance on Monday's Late Show, popped up after Colbert talked about Ailes' departure–and asked the camera to pan away so he could celebrate offscreen. Stewart also indulged in a bit of off-camera jubilation, before unleashing his own version of Throwback Thursday. "I was wondering if I could just maybe talk about the election for a little bit," he told Colbert, asking the Late Show host to step aside so he could take his seat. First, Stewart talked about the just-concluded Republican National Convention, observing that "the Republicans appear to have a very clear plan for America: One, jail your political opponent. Two, inject Rudy Giuliani with a speedball-and-Red Bull enema, and, three, spend the rest of the time scaring the holy bejesus out of everybody." He quickly pivoted to the true focus of his ire: Fox News host Sean Hannity—whom Stewart nicknamed "Lumpy"—and his hypocrisy in calling President Obama elitist while overlooking and/or praising similar traits in Trump

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Fox Finishes Upfront Sales Strong Thanks to Interest in New Shows Like Lethal Weapon

July 13, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After nursing its wounds during last year's upfront presentation, Fox is in a much more celebratory mood this time around. The Fox Networks Group—which includes Fox, Fox Sports, FX, FXX, National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo Wild and Nat Geo Mundo (but not Fox News Channel)—has wrapped its upfront negotiations with volume increases of around 5 percent in CPM (cost per thousand viewers reached) and gains in the high single-digits to low double-digits, according to a person familiar with negotiations. This is a big reversal from last year's mediocre upfront, where Fox—which had fallen to fourth place in the 18-49 demo despite the arrival of Empire—had CPMs that were down as much as 2 percent below the 2014-15 upfront. Volume had been flat at the time. Fox rebounded slightly this past season to third place among the broadcast networks. For the second upfront, ad sales chief Toby Byrne and his team sold inventory across its entire portfolio (except for Fox News). The group had upfront success with its plans to reduce National Geographic Channel's ad load by up to 50 percent for its new series and specials. Fox had the strongest buyer interest from new fall dramas Lethal Weapon and Pitch, as well as midseason entries 24: Legacy, Star and its revival of Prison Break. Buyers had reacted enthusiastically to almost all of Fox's new shows during May's upfront presentation. The network will premiere all 16 of its fall series during a one-week blitz in September. Fox kicked off the marketing campaign for fall baseball drama Pitch during last night's 87th MLB All-Star Game. ABC finished its upfront sales last week, while CBS and The CW wrapped up their upfront deals on June 27

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Report: Viacom Ad Sales Chief Jeff Lucas Is Headed to Snapchat

May 31, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Viacom's situation—in which its founder, CEO and board of directors are all engaged in a bitter legal battle over the company's future—just might have gone from bad to worse. Just a week after buyers told Adweek that the Viacom upfront will progress smoothly as long as Jeff Lucas, head of marketing and partner solutions for Viacom, remains at the helm, a New York Post report claims that Lucas will be leaving Viacom in July to become COO of Snapchat. Viacom and Snapchat said the report was inaccurate, with Viacom insisting that Lucas remains completely focused on Viacom's upfront. But both companies stopped short of issuing a full denial. In other words, Lucas could indeed be focused on the upfront for now, and then step aside for the Snapchat job later in the summer. Lucas joined the company in 2005 as svp of Comedy Central ad sales and marketing. He's risen through the ranks and was named head of sales for MTV Networks' music and entertainment groups in 2010. In March 2015, he was put in charge of the entire Viacom portfolio. Lucas has already been working closely with Snapchat. In February, Viacom began selling ads on behalf of the social network and launched global Discover channels for MTV and Comedy Central

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Steve Harvey on Advertising Inequality, His Punishing Schedule and Retirement Plans

May 24, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For his cover story in last week's issue of Adweek, Steve Harvey talked about how he juggles four hit TV series (soon to be five) and a radio show , and how he survived his Miss Universe debacle and came out the real winner . But with so many shows and project on his plate, there wasn't space in the magazine for everything that Harvey discussed. Here are the best moments that didn't make it into the story, including Harvey's thoughts on his punishing schedule, why his shows don't always bring in the ad revenue that they should and how he plans to spend his retirement: Six shows, three cities Harvey wasn't kidding when he said his mantra is to make every minute count. Filming five TV shows and a radio show requires him to commute between three different cities: Atlanta (his home, where his business offices and radio studio are located, and where he shoots Family Feud 10 weeks each summer, four episodes a day, for 200 shows a season), Chicago (he tapes two episodes of his talk show each Tuesday and Thursday, from late August to May, 140 episodes per year); and Los Angeles (he taped Little Big Shots for a week last October and a weekend in November; Celebrity Family Feud shoots two weekends in March and Dream Funder, his upcoming ABC series, will film on weekends sometime between October and November). And 272 days a year, he records his four-hour morning radio show from whichever location he happens to be in. Harvey works nonstop—sometimes six or seven days a week—except for three weeks around his wedding anniversary every year, and two weeks at Christmas. He knows that five weeks of vacation sounds like a luxury to some, "but it's 47 weeks of high level intensity on-camera, in your face. It's a lot of pressure right now. I can handle it, because I enjoy what I do. But I don't know how long I'll do all of them." (In the story, he said that he plans to walk away from one of his TV shows: "I do love all of these gigs, but something is going to have to go for sure.") Advertising inequality During his cover interview, Harvey spoke out against the industry's tendency to marginalize him as an entertainer who only appeals to minority audiences. His WB sitcom drew ratings similar to those of other shows on the network, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, yet received fewer ad dollars because it was deemed a "black" show. "We've got to stop that. Pay a person for the number they get, and pay the advertising on the show based on the number that show gets. They find a way to cheapen it by saying, 'Well, you've got too many African-Americans watching here, too many Latinos, not enough whites. They use that just to get a lower rate and that's so unfair, man," said Harvey. "Every corporation has a 'multicultural marketing department,' which is just another word for the blacks and the Mexicans. Really, that's what it is. And that's so ridiculous. Family Feud isn't big because of black people or just white people

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Future of Telenovelas Split at Telemundo and Univision as the Genre Evolves

May 18, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Much like their American cousin the soap opera, telenovelas, which originated in Latin America, have the same sappy tone, breakneck production schedule and five-times-a-week run. But as U.S. Hispanic audiences get younger and savvier, the two leading Spanish-language TV networks in the U.S. are going their separate ways when it comes to the prime-time staple. As Univision doubles down on its production of telenovelas, Telemundo is moving away from them. At its upfront presentation at New York's Lyric Theatre Tuesday morning, Univision evp and CMO Jessica Rodriguez announced the network is in production on 15 new telenovelas. Unlike, Telemundo, which prides itself on producing much of its own content at studios in Miami and Los Angeles, Univision imports its content from Mexican network and production house Grupo Televisa. "Drama is our prime-time TV mainstay. The telenovela is a deeply embedded part of our culture," Rodriguez said, acknowledging, "even the best of genres needs to evolve." So Televisa, which has an ownership stake in Univision, spent 18 months studying the U.S. Hispanic audience. They found them to be younger and more educated and are viewers who seek "strong independent protagonists and stories that are crisp, and don't take so long to unfold," said Jose Antonio 'Pepe' Baston, president of Television and Content for Grupo Televisa. In a taped appearance, Baston said the intent was to "create content that is more relevant to our huge U.S. Hispanic audience." In contrast, at a press event last week held before its combined upfront with NBCU on Monday, Telemundo president Luis Silberwasser announced the network was moving away from telenovelas, while continuing to produce prime-time dramas it calls "super series." The Telemundo shows are darker: more guns and grit, less love and lust. One show, El Chema, bears a striking resemblance to the story of El Chapo, right down to the daring underground prison escape. Telemundo is also in production of three serialized dramas and two mini-series, including an expansive period piece called Cortes, Conquistador de Mexico. Meanwhile, Telemundo digital is keeping the network in the telenovela game, partnering with BuzzFeed on a 10-part series that has "all the elements of a telenovela, with a modern twist," said Peter Blacker, Telemundo's evp of digital. All of this comes on the heels of NBC canceling a sitcom named for the genre.

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Fox Continued the Assault on Digital Media Metrics, and Wowed Buyers With a Solid New Slate

May 17, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Just two events into the broadcast upfronts, the theme of this week is already clear: after absorbing punches from digital video companies for two weeks during the NewFronts, where they used questionable metrics to make the case that audiences are abandoning broadcast TV, the networks are swinging back, and giving every bit as good as they got. That was the case at Fox's upfront presentation, as the network set the tone early for buyers assembled at New York's Beacon Theatre. Fox played a video featuring Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, who humorously discussed Fox's ability to attract and keep viewers' attention with "premium ads with attention-getting premium content," as opposed to "cheap ads paired with user-generated content on digital media. Why? No one knows or cares!" said MacFarlane. Toby Byrne, president, advertising sales, Fox Networks Group, extolled Fox's ability to earn "attention" with incredible scale (the same points he hammered home during FX's upfront in March ). Byrne repeatedly slammed digital video, which he termed "non-premium, subprime video," and noted that "the digital metrics game is rigged." As an example, he compared the published audience reach of "a YouTube star" and a World Series game, which both were 14 million. But the average audience for that YouTube star was only 1,620. Using YouTube's metrics, he added, the World Series game would have racked up 6.8 billion views. "Impressions for subprime video can't compare to TV's delivery," said Byrne. He noted that the highest viewer engagement happens on VOD, where Fox Networks have the top 6 VOD programs (including the top 4 broadcast series: Empire, The X-Files, Lucifer and Scream Queens), and over half of the top 50 VOD shows. Adding Hulu and other streaming outlets, 28 percent of Fox's entertainment viewing is non-linear, Byrne said

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NBC’s Robert Greenblatt Has No Regrets About His Surreal Upfront Duet with Dolly Parton

May 12, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt hates sitting through upfront events as much as you do. "I think those upfronts tend to be just mind-numbing for the audience. They go on too long, and we show clip after clip and they become routine and formulaic," Greenblatt said. So as NBC was preparing for last May's presentation at Radio City Music Hall, Greenblatt was eager to shake things up. "I thought, is there something that we can do that just feels different?" The result was surprising and surreal : partway through the proceedings, Greenblatt introduced Dolly Parton, who performed her song "Coat of Many Colors," which was the basis for the first of several movies NBC was going to make based on her life and music. Then, she asked Greenblatt to join her on "I Will Always Love You" —and he did. While the exec held his own on the piano ("He usually sings with me," Parton said), it didn't make the spectacle any less bizarre. "People thought, 'What is he thinking?'" said Greenblatt. Still, the duo received a standing ovation as Parton cracked to advertisers, "we're looking forward to many projects, so get that money out!" A year later, Greenblatt said he "can't articulate" what prompted him to make the movie deal with Parton. "It was just kind of a gut instinct, even though doing a holiday family movie with Dolly Parton probably sounded as silly as doing a live musical called Sound of Music," said Greenblatt. "It seemed like a good idea. I've known her for years, and I've done other things with her"—including producing the Broadway musical based on her film 9 to 5, which Parton wrote the music and lyrics for—"so I knew that there's a certain base level of belovedness for her." It was that same gut instinct that led to last year's upfront duet. "I wanted to do something at the upfront that was going to not only get attention, but be fun for us and for the audience," Greenblatt said. "And that was organic and seemed to be a good idea at the time, and it worked." It did, but it also became a running punch line through the rest of the week's upfronts. "Oh yeah, like Jimmy Kimmel calling me a fool, I think he said," recalled Greenblatt

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Guide to Broadcast TV’s Renewals and Cancellations

May 10, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

With broadcast upfront week rapidly approaching, the five broadcast networks are putting the finishing touches on their fall schedules by making final decisions on which of their current shows will continue and which will end. There are less question marks than usual this week, as ABC, which used to wait until the last minute under former president Paul Lee to renew any of its series, picked up most of its shows two months ago, shortly after Channing Dungey stepped in as ABC Entertainment chief. Likewise, CBS, which also has a new network president this year, Glenn Geller, renewed several shows already, while The CW picked up 11 series in one fell swoop. Here's what we know now about the fate of the shows that aired during the September-to-May broadcast season. This list will be updated throughout the next two weeks as final verdicts are made ahead of the upfront presentations, so keep checking back for the most up-to-date information. While some canceled series will desperately search for new linear or digital homes—hoping to follow the lead of The Mindy Project, which jumped from Fox to Hulu this time last year—most of them will be gone for good. Official renewal/cancellation announcements appear below in all caps, followed by the date the decision was made, while breaking updates will be added in bold. For those shows whose future remains unclear, check out our best guess about its likely fate: ABC Freshman Series: Blood and Oil — Undecided, but its episode order was trimmed (this one is done) The Catch — Undecided (a toss up, but more likely to return, as ABC could give this another year to find itself, while keeping executive producer Shonda Rhimes happy) Dr. Ken — Undecided (expected to return) The Family — Undecided (unlikely to return) The Muppets — Undecided (its much-needed midseason reboot failed to reverse its ratings slide, so this is likely done) Of Kings and Prophets — CANCELED (March 17) Quantico — RENEWED (March 3) The Real O'Neals — Undecided (a toss-up) Wicked City — CANCELED (Nov. 13) Returning Series: American Crime — Undecided (one of Paul Lee's favorites, but now Lee is gone, it's less likely to return, despite its critical accolades) America's Funniest Home Videos — RENEWED (March 3) The Bachelor — RENEWED (March 3) Beyond the Tank — Undecided (very likely to return) Black-ish — RENEWED (March 3) Castle — Undecided (expected to return, possibly for a final season, though Stana Katic won't be along for the ride) Dancing with the Stars — RENEWED (March 3) Fresh Off the Boat — RENEWED (March 3) Galavant — Undecided (unlikely to return; its fate was sealed the day Paul Lee left) The Goldbergs — RENEWED (March 3) Grey's Anatomy — RENEWED (March 3) How to Get Away With Murder — RENEWED (March 3) Last Man Standing — Undecided (likely to return) Marvel's Agent Carter — Undecided (doesn't look good, especially if the new Agents of SHIELD spinoff, Marvel's Most Wanted, gets a series pickup) Marvel's Agents of SHIELD — RENEWED (March 3) The Middle — RENEWED (March 3) Modern Family — RENEWED (March 3) Nashville — Undecided (a tossup; while audience interest has cooled, it could beat the odds again and return, possibly for a final season) Once Upon a Time — RENEWED (March 3) Scandal — RENEWED (March 3) Shark Tank — RENEWED (March 3) CBS Freshman Series: Angel From Hell — CANCELED (Feb. 8) Code Black — Undecided (its prognosis isn't good) Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders — Undecided (could go either way) Life in Pieces — Undecided (seems a lock to return) Limitless — Undecided (very likely to return) Rush Hour — Undecided (unlikely to return) Supergirl — Undecided (likely to return, though its studio and CBS are looking to trim its budget; the show could ultimately jump to sister network The CW) Returning Series: The Amazing Race — RENEWED (March 25) The Big Bang Theory — RENEWED for three seasons (March 12, 2015) Blue Bloods — RENEWED (March 25) Criminal Minds — RENEWED (May 6) CSI: Cyber — Undecided (unlikely to return; looks like the end of the line for the CSI franchise, at least for now) Elementary — RENEWED (March 25) The Good Wife – CONCLUDED (Feb.

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