Posts Tagged ‘networks’

Sponsors Line Up for BET Awards, ‘the Biggest Entertainment Weekend in Black America’

June 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A number of major brands—Coca-Cola, Cricket Wireless, Domino's, Macy's, McDonald's, Nissan, Samsung, State Farm, Verizon and the U.S. Army—are signed on for the 15th anniversary of the BET Awards and the weekend-long BET Experience, or what sales chief Louis Carr calls the "biggest entertainment weekend in black America." The three-day festival of music and comedy takes place June 25-28 at Club Nokia and the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and is capped by the awards, airing 8 p.m. ET June 28 on the cable network. "However you cut it, looking at numbers or the social media, there is no other weekend where African Americans engage with this type of scale," Carr says. "The sponsors continue to grow, and we're just super excited about next week. "The preeminent brand in black media," as Carr calls it, even has the country's two biggest wireless companies sponsoring different parts of the weekend. AT&T-owned Cricket Wireless will sponsor a new category called the FANdemonium Award along with the live After Party Post Show, while Verizon will sponsor a red carpet Periscope livestream. "They both live in the same neighborhood, and they've been able to function without any conflicts in the past," Carr says. And if you check out the live stream, you'll notice Nissan's new 2016 Maxima parked front and center. Domino's is sponsoring the countdown clock during the Red and Ready Pre-Show. "When you look at the BET Awards in our 15th year, and look at the success we've had over the years, it really makes advertisers very attractive," Carr said. Coke has been associated with the BET Awards since the beginning. This year the company is sponsoring a user-generated contest. The winner of the #BETInstaStar contest will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the show and present the Coca-Cola Viewers' Choice Award on-air. State Farm will once again sponsor the Humanitarian Award.

Read More

‘Catastrophe’ Makes Its American Debut on Facebook, Not Amazon Prime

June 15, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

British comedy Catastrophe will make its American debut this evening on Facebook. While the first season will be available Friday on Amazon Prime, the 24-minute debut episode hits Facebook at 7 p.m. ET today and will be available for 48 hours. The "virtual screening party" is also expected to include engagement with the series' stars and writers, Rob Delaney and Sharon Horgan. The episode will include the hashtag bug #CatastropheTV.

Read More

Billboard Music Awards Gives ABC a Sunday Night Win

May 19, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ABC won Sunday night with the 2015 Billboard Music Awards, the most-watched BBMAs in 14 years. The three-hour telecast averaged 11.1 million viewers, a 4 percent jump in viewers versus last year. The show also took the adults 18-40 demographic with a 3.7 rating / 12 share, its best in 12 years. On social media, Kendall and Kylie Jenner introducing their brother-in-law Kanye West as well as his performance were the most-tweeted moments, which might have been due to the boos the Jenner girls received, and the bleeps Kanye got. The Family Guy season finale on Fox was the highest-rated scripted show, with a 1.3 rating among adults ages 18 to 49. The BBMAs were also up against the series finale of Mad Men on AMC.

Read More

Harry Shearer, the Voice of Iconic Simpsons Characters, Is Leaving the Show

May 14, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The voice of some of the most recognizable and beloved animated characters of the last 30 years is going silent. Harry Shearer confirmed on Twitter that he won't be back for the 27th season of the hit Fox show The Simpsons after he could not come to terms with producers on a new contract. The Simpsons showrunner Al Jean wrote on Twitter, "The show will go on, made by people who love it and see in it the most wonderful vehicle for satire ever." Shearer has been the voice of Ned Flanders, C. Montgomery Burns, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, Seymour Skinner and dozens of other characters. The one-time Saturday Night Live cast member (remember his Mike Wallace impression? ) wrote on Twitter: "I wanted what we've always had: the freedom to do other work." Thanks, Simpsons fans, for your support. — Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) May 14, 2015 The Simpsons was mentioned in 21st Century Fox's third-quarter earnings report on May 6—specifically, the cost of re-airing the show on FXX. "The expense growth at the new channels was led by increased rights fees ... and increased programming costs at FXX led by The Simpsons." But it was a Simpsons mega-marathon last summer that all but saved the cable channel.

Read More

AMC’s Plan for Life After Mad Men

May 4, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As Charlie Collier, president, gm of AMC, makes the rounds during this year's upfronts, one question keeps popping up over and over again: "What do you have for me now?" While it's a typical upfront query, the question has taken on an added urgency as AMC looks ahead to life without Mad Men, the series that put the network on the map—establishing it as a home for quality drama that rivaled anything on premium cable—when it debuted in July 2007. Yet Collier has no concerns about losing momentum after Mad Men airs its series finale on May 17. "It's a welcome question because AMC's never been stronger, both in terms of critical acclaim and ratings," said Collier. "It feels really good." In other words, AMC will avoid the pitfalls that have plagued other networks who lose their signature shows. When The Sopranos signed off in 2007 (a month before Mad Men's debut), HBO flailed for years with mediocre offerings like Tell Me You Love Me and Hung, until Game of Thrones, Girls and Veep finally righted the ship starting in 2011. In contrast, AMC has TV's most popular series in adults 18-49 to fall back on: The Walking Dead, which averaged 9.4 million viewers in that demo this season. Thanks to Walking Dead and its popular postshow, Talking Dead, AMC was the No. 1 cable network in February in adults (and men) 18-49 and 18-34. Even better, as Walking Dead follows the blueprint of Robert Kirkman's comic book series, it already has stories banked for seasons to come. "How many other guys can say, 'Wow, we've got the hottest show in town, and it's already written for the next four years?'" said Maxim Group analyst John Tinker. "That takes away some of those pressures." As does the arrival earlier this year of critically acclaimed Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul , which became the next prestige drama AMC had been searching for. Though Collier says he's "equally proud" of lesser performers Turn (now called Turn: Washington's Spies) and Halt and Catch Fire, which help fulfill AMC's "eclectic by design" mission, Better Call Saul gave AMC some much needed critical cachet that helps cushion Mad Men's loss. Drawing 3.7 million viewers 18-49 in live-plus-3 during Season 1, Saul also enabled AMC to expand its original programming to a third night, Mondays (most of its shows air on Sundays, but western Hell on Wheels has turned into a solid Saturday entry for fans of AMC's western movies). "We'll expand original nights beyond that, that's what we're talking about with advertisers during the upfronts," said Collier. "So you'll see Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Saturday." Collier hopes spinoff lightning will strike twice when AMC's upcoming Walking Dead companion series, Fear the Walking Dead, debuts in late summer. Set in Los Angeles with new characters and storylines, its six-episode first season (the series has already been renewed for Season 2) will lead in to The Walking Dead's return this fall. The network's biggest challenge will be to nurture Fear without damaging its ratings golden goose.

Read More

Step Aside Super Bowl: This is 2015’s Craziest Sports Weekend

May 1, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

This weekend, audiences will assemble in record-breaking numbers to cheer on an unprecedented assemblage of larger-than-life champions. And no, we're not talking about Avengers: Age of Ultron. After all, not even Iron Man, Hulk and Thor can match the combined sports powers that have converged for this weekend: a perfect storm for sports fans. There's the 2015 NFL Draft, which kicked off Thursday night and runs through Saturday on ESPN, ESPN 2 and NFL Network. Saturday brings the 141st Kentucky Derby (NBC and NBCSN). The rest of the weekend includes a Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees baseball matchup (MLB Network and ESPN), NBA first and second round playoff games (ESPN, TNT and ABC) NHL Stanley Cup second round playoff games (NBC and NBCSN) and World Golf Championships-Cadillac Match Play (NBC and Golf Channel). And overshadowing them all is one of the biggest sports events of all time : Saturday night's welterweight boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.

Read More

Hulu Lands Exclusive Streaming Rights to Seinfeld Just in Time for NewFronts

April 29, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For the last six months, Hulu has taken one big swing after another as it tries to close the gap with Netflix and Amazon. At Wednesday's NewFronts presentation, the streaming service revealed the perfect cherry atop its growing pile of huge deals: landing exclusive streaming rights to all nine seasons of Seinfeld. In a multiyear deal worth as much as $180 million , Hulu will begin streaming all 180 episodes of Jerry Seinfeld's iconic comedy "about nothing" in June. While Sony's ad-supported Crackle has long streamed a selection of Seinfeld episodes, this will be the first time the entire series will be available for streaming. And unlike the trimmed, syndicated versions, Hulu will stream the full-length episodes that originally aired on NBC. "This is a pretty mind-blowing moment," said Jerry Seinfeld, who closed Hulu's presentation at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom with the big announcement. "You could have put the DVD in, but I guess nobody really wanted to do that. They want to do this!" He added of streaming services like Hulu, "I know from having kids, it's the only way they're going to watch it." The Seinfeld coup eclipses Hulu's three-year deal with South Park last July to stream all 18 seasons of that show, which was worth a reported $80 million. Seinfeld's Hulu debut this June is likely to revive interest in the series—Mulva! The Contest! Sponge-worthy! Festivus! Soup Nazi!—much like when Netflix started streaming Friends in its entirety in January. But the Seinfeld acquisition was only one of several big announcements Hulu made at its NewFronts presentation, where CEO Mike Hopkins vowed that "2015 is the year that Hulu will break out." It's already well on its way: Hulu Plus subscribers jumped 50 percent in one year, from 6 million to almost 9 million. And in the first quarter of 2015, streams were up 77 percent—700 million hours of premium content—with each Hulu viewer watching an average of 30 percent more content this year than last

Read More

ESPN Sues Verizon Over FiOS’ New Custom TV bundle

April 27, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ESPN isn't wasting any time in challenging Verizon's new, slimmer cable bundles as part of its FiOS service. The sports network behemoth filed suit Monday in New York Supreme Court, alleging breach of contract and seeking damages related to FiOS' new Custom TV package, while claiming it seeks to stop Verizon from "unfairly depriving" it of "the benefits of its bargain." "ESPN is at the forefront of embracing innovative ways to deliver high-quality content and value to consumers on multiple platforms, but that must be done in compliance with our agreements," ESPN said in a statement. "We simply ask that Verizon abide by the terms of our contracts." Verizon, however, isn't backing down. "Consumers have spoken loud and clear that they want choice, and the industry should be focused on giving consumers what they want," Verizon spokesman Alberto Canal said. "We are well within our rights under our agreements to offer our customers these choices." Verizon has maintained that argument since announcing its Custom TV bundles on April 17. Starting at $55 per month, Custom TV allows customers to pay for a basic channel package of more than 35 networks, including CNN, AMC, HGTV and QVC. Bundles of other channels, comprised of at least 10 channels each, are offered in seven themed tiers: Lifestyle (including Lifetime, TLC, Bravo), Entertainment (TBS, FX, USA), Pop Culture (Comedy Central, E!, MTV), Sports (ESPN, ESPN2), Kids (Nickelodeon, Disney), News & Info (Fox News, MSNBC) and Sports Plus (ESPN News, NFL Network, MLB Network). Customers can choose two channel packs for no additional costs; other packs will be $10 each. ESPN immediately objected to Verizon's packages, claiming it "would not be authorized by our existing agreements. Among other issues, our contracts clearly provide that neither ESPN nor ESPN2 may be distributed in a separate sports package." Verizon said that its new configurations are in line with its existing contracts with ESPN and other networks. With both companies firmly entrenched, ESPN's lawsuit appears to be the first salvo fired in what will be a bloody battle for slimmer cable packages as pay TV providers fight to keep consumers from cutting the cord.

Read More

TV Land Renews Younger and Comedy Central Brings Back Inside Amy Schumer

April 21, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

TV Land has given the green light for a second season of Younger, starring Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, Debi Mazar, Miriam Shor and Nico Tortorella. The Darren Star-produced series follows Liza, played by Foster, a 40-year-old woman who pretends to be 26 in order to get a job in the publishing world. TV Land says Season 1 of the show, which concludes June 9, has reached 20 million viewers across multiple platforms including TV Land,, Nick at Nite, Hulu and video on demand. "We couldn't be more excited that audiences are discovering Younger and falling in love with our fabulous cast," said Star in a statement. "I can't wait to have everyone back in New York to shoot Season 2." Another Viacom network, Comedy Central, is renewing Inside Amy Schumer for a fourth season. The third season of the provocative sketch comedy show premieres tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET, with guest star Amber Tamblyn and—with the help of Method Man and Amber Rose—the premiere of Milk, Milk, Lemonade , an ode to the female anatomy and booty videos.

Read More

Why Univision Is One to Watch at the Upfront

April 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Jessica Rodriguez Current gig CMO, Univision Communications Previous gig Evp, program scheduling, Univision Agency Twitter @_RodriguezJess Age 42 How are you using social as a marketing tool? It's at the core of everything that we do. What's interesting, and speaks to the duality of our audience, is that they'll engage with our programming in Spanish, but when they go on Twitter, they comment in English. On Facebook, it's more of a mix. And I think there is a lot of runway to get our viewers excited about with our short video formats on Vice and Instagram. Your most important hire for 2015? It will be a head of local marketing. We started as [one] station in San Antonio 60 years ago, and we now have over 128 local radio and TV stations around the country to reach our audience. Add to that the incredible way we serve our local communities through our empowerment platform Univision Contigo —we have the ability to serve every Latino in this country in a powerful, intimate way. What is the industry buzzword that you are most tired of? The one I am over in a big way is all things "selfie." I don't own a selfie stick, and I never will. How will Univision be positioned in the fast-approaching upfront? I am working very closely with our sales leaders Keith Turner and Steve Mandala and the way that we are positioning ourselves around what makes us unique. Again, we have an audience that watches live every night, we have a very high rate of unduplicated viewing, and that in every single program offering we will have a digital and social component because we know our audience overindexes in digital and is highly engaged. We also spend a lot of time speaking about the beauty of our brand in that we're not just a network, but part of the journey of Hispanics in this country. What do your millennial viewers want from the network? Our millennial audiences seem to gravitate to aspiration stories and ultimately they're looking for great content. And because they can find that on Univision and find it in Spanish in a sincere and authentic way, we have a large and loyal millennial audience. They are also focused on community and when they see Univision in their local markets it resonates with them and that builds equity for our shows, novellas and the company. What's the most important statistic about your audience that brand marketers should know, but don't

Read More