Posts Tagged ‘networks’

Game of Thrones Sets Another Ratings Record

April 28, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Whether they’re going up against zombies or dragons, the broadcast networks can’t seem to catch a break in the Sunday night 9 p.m. slot. According to Nielsen live-plus-same-day data, last night’s installment of HBO’s Game of Thrones scared up a staggering 6.9 million viewers, breaking the previous record (6.64 million) it set during the April 6 season premiere . Titled “Oathkeeper,” the episode averaged a 3.7 in the adults 18-49 demo, up one-tenth of a ratings point from the season opener’s 3.6 rating. All told, Game of Thrones beat CBS, NBC and Fox combined in the demo. The uptick in Thrones’ deliveries—last night’s show was up 5 percent versus the April 20 telecast—coincided with another weak performance by the Big Four. ABC’s Resurrection dropped another 10 percent in the demo, notching a series-low 1.9 rating, while CBS’ The Good Wife was flat with a 1.3. And while NBC’s Believe improved 9 percent to a 1.2, its overall time-slot average (also a 1.2) doesn’t bode well for a renewal. (That said, it’s worth noting that there was an NBA preemption in Portland, Ore., the nation’s No. 22 DMA.) Fox’s Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey was unchanged with a 1.4 in the dollar demo

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Fox Revs Up a Broadcast Revival of Grease

April 28, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On the heels of NBC’s hugely successful revival of The Sound of Music , Fox on Monday announced it is prepping a three-hour live production of the musical Grease. Fox’s staging of the ‘50s musical will be based on the 1971 Broadway show of the same name. The 1978 theatrical, which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, grossed nearly $400 million worldwide, making it the most profitable movie musical ever. Grease Live [working title] will be produced by Paramount Television production; the ensemble cast will be announced at a later date.

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Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins Is Helping Digital Video Get the Respect It Wants

April 28, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

At the moment, Mike Hopkins has the two hardest jobs in online video. The first is as CEO of Hulu (its third in a year and a half), where he’s responsible for a growing over-the-top video business that competes with juggernauts like Netflix and upstarts like Amazon Prime. And his other job is, well, as CEO of Hulu, where he looks out for the interests of owners Fox, Disney and silent partner NBCUniversal, three linear TV giants with huge broadcast networks and dozens of cable channels between them.

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Magna Global Eyes 6% Rise in U.S. Media Sales

April 25, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Magna Global

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The Wire’s David Simon: HBO Would Have Killed My Show Today

April 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Despite being widely considered one of the best TV shows of all time , The Wire's creator David Simon doesn't believe

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Rivalries Abound in CBS Thursday Night Football Slate

April 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The National Football League on Wednesday night took the wraps off its 2014 regular season schedule, and while CBS’ inaugural Thursday Night Football slate is packed with divisional rivalries, some of the matchups are strictly from nostalgia. Kicking off CBS’ TNF roster is the Week 2 (Sept. 11) grudge match between the AFC North’s Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens. When last these two teams met on national television, they drew 21.1 million viewers and an 11.0 household rating, down 13 percent from NBC’s full-season Sunday Night Football average (12.6). The Ravens stole a victory from the visiting Steelers in a 22-20 squeaker that was played on Thanksgiving night. While Turkey Day generally offers a captive audience of tryptophan-doped football fans, the two antagonists actually put up bigger numbers in an earlier late national game on CBS.

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Mind the Gap: NBCU’s Burke Looks to Make Waves in the Upfront

April 22, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After spending the better part of the last 10 years at the very bottom of the broadcast ratings hierarchy, NBC is on pace to claim victory for the 2013-14 TV season. As such, the network fully expects to make a killing during the spring/summer upfront bazaar . Speaking to investors during Comcast’s first quarter earnings call, NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke said the Peacock’s ratings turnaround was unprecedented in the annals of modern television. “We’re going into the upfront with the best position we’ve had in over a decade, primarily driven by NBC,” Burke said. “Last year, NBC was 17 percent behind the leader, which was CBS ; this year, we’re estimating that we’ll finish in first, about 12 percent ahead of No. 2 [Fox]. So … it’s a 29 percent swing. Which, we’ve gone back to the beginning of people meters [and] we can’t find any network that’s swung that much in a year.” Through the first 30 weeks of the season, NBC is in first place with an average 18-49 rating of 2.8, up 17 percent from the year-ago period. Fox is in second with a 2.6, up 4 percent, while CBS is down 20 percent with a 2.4. Heading into the final month of the campaign, ABC will once again finish last among the Big Four, averaging a 2.1 in the demo (down 5 percent). Although it’s only two-tenths of a ratings point, NBC’s lead over Fox is probably insurmountable. That said, a blockbuster performance by Fox’s 24: Live Another Day , which premieres May 5, could make things interesting. While next season falls on a non-Olympic year, NBC will reap the benefit of hosting the Super Bowl in February. Manageable declines for Sunday Night Football and The Voice should allow NBC to raise its CPMs on its franchise properties, although pricing on its Thursday night comedies are likely to continue to lag. Burke said NBC’s growth spurt should serve it well in the upfront marketplace

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Valerie Bertinelli Set To Join Food Network Daytime Lineup

April 22, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Scripps Networks International’s flagship Food Network will unveil 20 new series across primetime and daytime in the months to come, enlisting Valerie Bertinelli for a new daytime series and expanding its “Chopped” franchise to a new teen-oriented format. “Increasing our development slate to satiate the audience demand for entertaining and informative programming has been our... Read more

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The 2014 Upfront Preview

April 22, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Analogies are often facile things, contrivances designed to hammer home a theme when a light tap of the mallet would suffice. But in light of the fact that it’s a) set in the advertising world and b) is the most self-reflexive show on television, the prospect of using Mad Men as a lens through which to observe the broadcast TV marketplace is too alluring to pass up. In a sense, each of the Big Four networks has a near-perfect analogue in one of the beautiful losers at Cooper Sterling Draper Dead Guy Harry Hamlin Whatever. CBS is clearly Roger Sterling. Les Moonves ’ silver fox flagship is bold, cocksure and is so damned good at doing its job that it almost makes the business of broadcast look easy. A fine-tuned revenue machine—its unparalleled retransmission consent numbers and homegrown output leaves it less exposed to the vicissitudes of the ad market than its rivals—CBS is something of an impenetrable fortress. But a chest X-ray and a full cardio workup might suggest that the aging network is one highball-and-tobacco binge away from catastrophic collapse. Although it probably would rather be Peggy Olson, ABC is Joan Harris. Unapologetically feminine, assertive and absolutely devastating when in its comfort zone, the network boasts some of the very few must-watch series on the broadcast dial. Unfortunately, when men aren’t leering at Joan like a horny wolf in a Tex Avery cartoon, they dismiss her altogether. (Perhaps if she wore a football helmet around the home office the boys would take her more seriously.) And while she always appears composed and unruffled—the picture of self-possession—under the surface she’s paddling furiously like a swan on Dexedrine. (It’s a hard-knock life when you’re on track to finish last in the ratings race for the third year running.) Fox is Pete Campbell. Youngish but starting to age faster than he really should be, the glib smarmball has embraced the ephemera of Southern California after making a hash of things back East. But while many of the attributes he once relied on have all but disintegrated (looking at you, American Idol and New Girl), Pete wavers between archly gaming the system and total system collapse. Like his implacably receding hairline, his mojo is really starting to wear thin. Although he’s got a string of successes under his needlepoint belt, the account exec is going to have to make some big moves in L.A. if he’s going to get back to his A game. Which leaves NBC. No. 1 with a bullet, the Peacock’s spirit animal is none other than Don Draper

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Aereo vs. Broadcast TV: The Case That Could Change Everything

April 21, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On April 22, attorneys for Aereo and the broadcast TV networks will face off before the Supreme Court in American Broadcasting Companies Inc. v. Aereo . The closely watched case could change the course of broadcast television and determine the future of the emerging over-the-top video marketplace. With so much on the line, Aereo—fighting to stay in business—and the broadcasters that want to shut it down have enlisted the services of a couple of big-name Washington attorneys with deep ties to the high court. The Supreme Court decision , which could come in late summer, will end two years of legal battles that began just prior to Aereo’s launch in New York. What Aereo calls a technology that gets it around the copyright law to deliver over-the-air TV stations on the Internet broadcasters call a legal gimmick and a clear violation of copyright. As Aereo rolled out in other cities, broadcasters sued. Aereo won in New York and Boston but lost in Utah. When broadcasters petioned the Supreme Court last October to hear the case, the response of Aereo, knowing it faced an endless series of expensive lawsuits, was: Bring it on. The question before the court Whether a company “publicly performs a copyrighted television program when it retransmits a broadcast of that program to thousands of paid subscribers over the Internet.” What’s at stake for Aereo? If it loses, Barry Diller, Aereo’s financial backer, has said the startup is toast

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