Posts Tagged ‘ratings’

Bumpy Start for Oscars Live Streaming Initiative

March 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

ABC’s first pass at live-streaming the Academy Awards didn’t exactly go off without a hitch last night, as user demand knocked the service out of commission. The live video feed streaming on the WatchABC app conked out during the network’s Red Carpet coverage, an outage ABC chalked up to “a traffic overload” caused by demand that exceeded expectations. The service was up and running again at around 10:45 p.m. EST. ABC’s pilot program was limited to its eight owned-and-operated stations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, N.C. and Fresno, Calif. The live-stream also was available only to subscribers of a handful of cable and/or telco-TV services, including Comcast, Cox Communications, Charter, Cablevision, Google Fiber and AT&T U-verse. Thus, if you met one condition—say, you live in the greater New York metropolitan area and are served by the flagship WABC-7—you were still out of luck if you also happen to be a Time Warner Cable, DirecTV or Dish Network subscriber. According to Nielsen fast national data, the 86th Annual Academy Awards averaged 40.2 million total viewers, up 9 percent from 37 million a year ago. The ceremony drew a 12.1 rating among adults 18-49, even with last year’s preliminary numbers .

Read More

Walking Dead Breathes Life Into AMC Networks

February 27, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Powered by the voracious and indefatigable phenomenon that is The Walking Dead , AMC Networks enjoyed a strong fourth quarter, boosting ad sales revenue 31 percent to $205 million. Advertiser demand for the AMC zombie apocalypse drama and solid distribution gains helped lift the company’s net income by 133 percent to $35.4 million, up from $15.2 million in Q4 2012. Affiliate fees grew 9 percent in the quarter to $199 million. All told, the domestic networks segment ( AMC , IFC, Sundance Channel, WE tv) generated $404 million in overall revenue during the last three months of the calendar year, an improvement of 19 percent versus the year-ago period. AMC in Q4 aired eight episodes of The Walking Dead, which is now in the midst of its fourth season. The Oct. 13 premiere, “30 Days Without an Accident,” smashed all sorts of cable ratings records, scaring up 16.1 million viewers and a staggering 8.2 in the adults 18-49 demo . (Upon application of seven days of DVR playback, the episode delivered 20.8 million viewers and a gaudy 10.7 rating.) The one major drag on AMC’s performance was a $52 million write-off primarily related to the cancelation of two original series at the flagship network. “We were not happy with the performance of Low Winter Sun, which ran for one season, and The Killing, a show that ran for three seasons,” said AMC Nets president and CEO Josh Sapan, during a call with investors

Read More

Piers Morgan Never Really Arrived on CNN and Now He’s Leaving

February 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Piers Morgan's daily show at 9 p.m. on CNN is ending, the host told the New York Times' David Carr . Morgan is one of the few remaining high-profile hires from Jonathan Klein's era at the cable network, which featured everything from a prime-time talk series hosted by recently resigned and disgraced New York governor Eliot Spitzer to an 8 p.m. show hosted by Campbell Brown (another show that didn't hit). Morgan was in the unique position of having almost nowhere to go but up: he was hired to replace Larry King, and King's ratings bottomed out at around 63,000 viewers in the demo in the fall of 2010 just before he passed the torch to Morgan. Morgan managed to beat that record last week with 50,000 demo viewers on Feb. 18 (the show sunk even lower last year). "[L]ately we have taken a bath in the ratings," Morgan told Carr frankly. (For the same day, Rachel Maddow logged 227,000 viewers and Megyn Kelly clocked 354,000 in that hour) A few factors may have helped to usher Morgan into the tub: first, beyond a stint as a judge on NBC's reality competition show America's Got Talent, Morgan is much better known in the U.K., where his brash persona and Twitter-based Arsenal hooliganism inspire more passionate reaction. In the colonies, he's another British newsguy a lot like Martin Bashir, and his long segments on gun rights have frequently seemed like monlogues that would be more at home on MSNBC than CNN (now significantly less political after a year of CEO Jeff Zucker's leadership). It also doesn't help that Morgan's journalistic reputation was seriously tarnished by a stint at the Daily Mirror when, while the British military was in Iraq, he published a faked photo of soldiers appearing to abuse a prisoner. Morgan refused to apologize, was dismissed in 2004, and continued to refuse to apologize . Carr wrote that Morgan's show is likely to end "sometime in March." What will take its place is a mystery but Zucker has been on a hiring spree of late and the network has benefited from infusions of fresh talent, so expect a new face. There have been rumors around Bill Weir, hired from ABC News to the network in October amid enough fanfare that the network issued a statement saying that "Bill Weir was not brought to CNN to replace Piers Morgan," which, we feel the need to point out, absolutely does not say that Weir will not end up replacing Morgan. Another candidate for the position: Jay Leno, whom Zucker has often said he likes and whose long stint at the Tonight Show recently came to a close. 9 p.m. is a prime spot, and Zucker is likely to look for a big-ticket hire—CNNers have told Adweek that for the moment, "Money is no object." Under Jim Walton, there were more rules and regs around who could report a story, how much they could do, and what kind of crew they'd need. Today, said one newsman, "If we hear in the morning meeting that he wants something covered, we go cover it." That same philosophy seems to be in place when it comes to acquiring talent.

Read More

Jay Leno’s Final Week on ‘Tonight’ Was Show’s Most Watched in 20 Years

February 13, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Jay Leno accomplished his goal of going out on top — in a big way. The final week of his “Tonight Show with Jay Leno” drew its largest overall audience (averaging 8.29 million) in the more than 20 years since the week of the “Cheers” finale, according to Nielsen estimates — a frame that came... Read more

Read More

Moonves: Big Bang Theory Will Move to Accommodate NFL Games

February 13, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In a bid to accommodate the hulking bruiser that is the National Football League, Leonard, Sheldon, Penny and the rest of The Big Bang Theory crew next fall will be moving out of the Nerdvana of Thursday night for a slot earlier in the week. Speaking to investors during CBS Corp.’s fourth quarter earnings call, CEO Les Moonves confirmed that broadcast’s No. 1 scripted show would temporarily step aside to make way for the network’s new eight-game NFL package . “What we will do with our Thursday night is, we have some big shows, such as The Big Bang Theory … and we’re not going to wait until November to launch that,” Moonves said. “That’s going to be on the air on some other night, which will grow the ratings and the rates on some other night.” (That answers one question .) Moonves added that the sophomore drama Elementary is also likely to shift to another night, and while he did not offer a specific target destination, the smart money’s on Monday. Such a move would be a homecoming of sorts for Big Bang, which in its first three seasons occupied various time slots during the night before moving to the Thursday anchor position in fall 2010. CBS could also use a boost from Elementary, which if nothing else might stanch the bleeding in the network’s Monday 10 p.m. slot. In a rare stumble, two new CBS dramas have faltered in that position; the serialized thriller Hostages averaged just 5.16 million live-plus-same-day viewers and a 1.2 rating among adults 18-49, while successor Intelligence is faring only slightly better against NBC’s The Blacklist. While no decisions have been made on its Thursday freshman comedies The Millers and The Crazy Ones, CBS is all but certain to cancel the long-in-the-tooth Two and a Half Men. Now in its eleventh season, the Chuck Lorre sitcom has plummeted 44 percent in the demo and features one of TV’s priciest casts. (Leads Ashton Kutcher commands on the order of $700,000 per episode for his work on Men, while Jon Cryer rakes in $600,000 for any given show.) After acknowledging that the competition for the new Thursday night NFL show case was “pretty fierce,” Moonves suggested that CBS was really the only proper fit for the league’s purposes. “At the end of the day, it really wasn’t about money,” he said. “The NFL was more interested in establishing their Thursday night and being in partnership with a brand, a company, a network that would do a better job of establishing that into the future.” Moonves went on to note that much as it does already on Sunday afternoons, football will serve as a powerful promotional vehicle for CBS’ fall schedule. He then added that the network hopes to extend the deal beyond the single year for which CBS is contracted. (The NFL has the right to add a second season of Thursday Night Football at its discretion.) “I am extremely pleased to have this.

Read More

4 Burning Questions About CBS’ New NFL Package

February 6, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

In securing the rights to the National Football League’s new Thursday night franchise , CBS effectively pulled the rug out from under its broadcast competition. While it’s no secret that NBC has been having a rough time of it on the crucial night, Fox isn’t faring all that well on fall Thursdays, either. (While its 8 p.m. time slot remains a quandary, ABC’s battery of the indefatigable Grey’s Anatomy and the smash hit Scandal make it bulletproof, especially among female viewers.) Those who were absolutely convinced that NBC would spend its way to a rights win remain perplexed by how the Peacock let itself get outflanked by CBS. But according to sources with insight into the auction, CBS’ offer, which was estimated to be around $275 million, actually did not overshadow its rivals—in fact, one suitor suggests that NBC’s bid was the highest of the five. Instead, the network’s dominance on Thursday nights and its willingness to shoulder the load on the production costs for all 16 games (this includes the eight telecasts that will run on NFL Network in the second half of the season) gave CBS the edge. And while the impact of erecting another broadcast NFL tent pole will be significant, CBS faces some uncertainty as it plans its fall schedule. Here are five of the biggest questions facing the network as of today: 1) What’s going to happen to The Big Bang Theory? It’s a ratings monster and generates tremendous amounts of ad sales revenue , but the endearingly nerdy sitcom’s 8 p.m. start time is likely to overlap CBS’ pre-game show. (NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football games kick off at 8:29 p.m. ET.) So, while CBS could just as soon bench The Big Bang Theory until Nov. 6, it’s more likely to shift the show to Monday night in the slot currently occupied by the departing How I Met Your Mother

Read More

Blue Chippers Return to the Red Carpet

February 6, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

While two of the biggest advertisers have rotated out of ABC’s Academy Awards broadcast, many more blue chip sponsors are returning to the Red Carpet. As first reported by Adweek , General Motors is in the mix, having replaced Hyundai as the official automotive sponsor, as is Pepsi, which ousted rival Coca-Cola after an eight-year absence. Despite the shakeups in the two big categories, there are still a good deal of familiar faces that are ready for their close-ups. JCPenney is back for its 13th year as a supporter of the Oscars, prepping “five or six” spots to air during the March 2 broadcast. Also back in the saddle is longtime sponsor American Express, which generally can be counted on to invest in at least two minutes of airtime. Spots from 2013 standouts Coldwell Banker, McDonald’s and Sprint will also be seen during the ceremony, which will be hosted by Ellen DeGeneres . This year marks the comedian’s second stint as the Oscars’ emcee; in 2007, DeGeneres oversaw a show that delivered 40.2 million viewers, of whom 63 percent were women. In terms of duration, the 2007 Academy Awards were the longest in a decade, boasting a running time of three hours and fifty-one minutes. ABC sold the last of its Academy Awards inventory earlier than it ever had before, closing on its final units just before Halloween. According to media buyers, the average 30-second spot in the broadcast fetched $1.85 million. Over the last five years, ABC’s Oscars broadcast has averaged just under 40 million viewers. But reach alone does not entirely justify the expense of securing exposure in the event; because it’s a live show, the Oscars are practically DVR-proof. As such, viewers are far more likely to watch the ads, many of which they’ll be seeing for the first time. There’s also the matter of audience composition. Per Nielsen, those who tune in to the Hollywood spectacle are upscale, highly educated consumers. Moreover, there are relatively limited opportunities for sponsors, at least when the Oscars are compared to regular prime-time programming. ABC caps its ad load at around 9.25 minutes per hour, thereby offering slightly more than half the inventory available to a standard network drama. If you subscribe to the theory that blockbusters drive Oscars deliveries, this year’s ceremony could put up huge numbers.

Read More

Ratings ‘Falter’ as Super Bowl Disappoints

February 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It may have been the least competitive Super Bowl in recent memory, but Fox’s coverage of last night’s Seahawks-Broncos blowout still appears to have delivered massive ratings. According to preliminary Nielsen data, Super Bowl XLVIII delivered an estimated 96.9 million viewers and a 34.4 rating in the adults 18-49 demo. While that’s down significantly from last year’s fast nationals (108.6 million viewers and a 38.5 in the demo), we won’t have a more accurate picture of how the numbers will shake out until the final live-plus-same-day numbers are released later today. (Because fast nationals are not time zone adjusted, they are directional at best. If the numbers hold—and they almost certainly will not—Super Bowl XLVIII will stand as the least-watched NFL championship tilt in seven years.) Given the pasting Seattle gave Denver—the Seahawks had already posted 22 unanswered points by halftime, and things would only go downhill from there—it’s no surprise that the ratings suffered as the night went on. (And on. And on…) While some

Read More

Yada, Yada, Yada: Seinfeld Reunion in the Works

January 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Jerry Seinfeld on Thursday confirmed that he and Larry David are working on a one-off Seinfeld reunion and that the finished product will be released “very, very soon.” Speaking to the hosts of the Boomer & Carton show on WFAN, the comic fielded a number of queries about a Jan. 13 photo in which he and Jason Alexander were seen walking outside Tom’s Restaurant on 112th and Broadway. The diner was used for establishing shots throughout Seinfeld’s NBC run. While he wasn’t entirely forthcoming, Seinfeld did drop a few hints about what he and his old confreres have been up to. He specifically said that the filming wasn’t related to a Super Bowl spot or an episode of his Crackle series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee . “It’s neither,” Seinfeld said. “But it’s not not those things either. It’s a secret project.” Seinfeld went on to reveal that other characters from the powerhouse sitcom were involved in the project, although he wouldn’t identify a studio or a distributor. When asked if Alexander was surprised to be asked to reprise his role of the “short, stocky, slow-witted bald man” George Costanza , Seinfeld chuckled to himself. “Was Jason surprised? No, he remembers that he played that character for nine years,” he cracked. “He was not surprised that he was asked to play George.” After the fifth question, the comic joked that his interlocutor was “really Mike Wallace-ing me here.” He added that the finished project is “a short-ish form” effort, noting that its running time is longer than 60 seconds. Whatever form the finished product takes, it’s probably a one-shot deal. In any event, Seinfeld fans should keep their eyes peeled, as the project will be released “very, very soon.” In addition to the Tom’s Restaurant exteriors, the shoot spread out to other locations. Jerry’s Upper West Side apartment was not one of them; in all likelihood, the Studio City set was dismantled shortly after the series wrapped in May 1998. Seinfeld first dropped hints that he was working with David on Jan. 6, during a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session . “We wrote this script for this thing that you will eventually see but I can’t reveal what it is at this time,” Seinfeld said during the online Q&A. “All I can do is tell you is that it’s big, huge, gigantic.” At its peak, Seinfeld averaged 34.1 million viewers and a staggering 18.0 in the dollar demo in NBC’s Thursday 9 p.m. time slot

Read More

Yada, Yada, Yada: Seinfeld Reunion in the Works

January 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Jerry Seinfeld on Thursday confirmed that he and Larry David are working on a one-off Seinfeld reunion and that the finished product will be released “very, very soon.” Speaking to the hosts of the Boomer & Carton show on WFAN, the comic fielded a number of queries about a Jan. 13 photo in which he and Jason Alexander were seen walking outside Tom’s Restaurant on 112th and Broadway. The diner was used for establishing shots throughout Seinfeld’s NBC run. While he wasn’t entirely forthcoming, Seinfeld did drop a few hints about what he and his old confreres have been up to. He specifically said that the filming wasn’t related to a Super Bowl spot or an episode of his Crackle series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee . “It’s neither,” Seinfeld said. “But it’s not not those things either. It’s a secret project.” Seinfeld went on to reveal that other characters from the powerhouse sitcom were involved in the project, although he wouldn’t identify a studio or a distributor

Read More