Posts Tagged ‘television’

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.

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Why Showtime’s Happyish Defiled the Keebler Elves

April 27, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For close to five decades, the Keebler Elves have been a genial, wholesome presence in Keebler advertising as they sang the praises of the brand's cookies and crackers. But Sunday's premiere of the new Showtime comedy Happyish quickly changed the Elves' slogan from "Uncommonly Good" to "uncommonly disturbing." In a hallucination by the show's disillusioned ad exec Thom Payne (Steve Coogan), the animated Ernie Keebler, stunned to be fired as Keebler's pitchman after 46 years, drops f-bombs and starts shooting his fellow elves, including Fast Eddie, before turning the gun on himself. Then a stunned Ma Keebler proceeds to disrobe and have sex with Payne.The now-defiled Keebler Elves are just the first of several beloved advertising icons that Happyish skewers during its 10-episode debut season. Created by author Shalom Auslander, who begrudgingly worked in advertising for more than two decades to supplement his writing career, the show routinely takes aim at the business that Auslander loves to hate. "I ended up having this fantastic deal that I got fired from," Auslander said. "I was working for McCann Erickson, living in Woodstock [, N.Y.] and coming in once a month, and sending in ideas and not really caring what happened to them.

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Check Out These Photos From the 2015 FX Upfront

April 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Call it bowling for ad dollars. FX held its 2015 upfront event at Lucky Strike Lanes in New York Wednesday night. For the sixth year in a row the 21st Century Fox network corralled its talent for a night of bowling with assorted ad buyers and media. In fact, other than a few words thanking people for attending, executives let the chatter and alcohol flow. Instead of learning about upcoming series, attendees got to experience life just like the stars of the shows they watch: Cuba Gooding Jr. wrangles the last plate from the buffet just like the rest of us. Louis C.K.

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BET Announces 7 New Shows and Looks Beyond TV for Growth

April 24, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Singer Tyrese was dubbed the "Mayor" of the BET upfront presentation Thursday night at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center. His constituents included Brandy, Kelly Rowland, Mack Wilds, Whoopi Goldberg and Queen Latifah. The night was full of surprises, including veteran rapper MC Lyte's elaborate "freestyle" about the Viacom network's ratings success, and boxers Andre Ward and Paul Smith came on stage to promote BET's first boxing event—part of a Roc Nation sponsorship; and a performer dubbed "Nelson Nielsen" interrupted the presentation to explain how he's the only black man in America with a Nielsen box. "We are the trendsetters; we are the influencers," said BET president of ad sales media Louis Carr. "We believe that black consumers experience our content—our sites, everything that we do—in a much different way than they do any other media company because of the relationship that they have with us." The network that delivers more African-American viewers than any other is adding seven new programs: Chasing Destiny: Kelly Rowland searches for the next Destiny's Child. About the Business: A docu-series following a group of friends in urban Hollywood. Criminals at Work: A docu-crime series about crimes committed in the workplace. Zoe Moon: Brandy plays a single mother in this sitcom. The Label: A docu-series about the rise and fall of classic record labels. DeSean Jackson: Home team: A series about the women who run the NFL star's life. Punk'd: A reboot of the prank show tailored for a BET audience. "We've got a slate of programing coming up that's going to engage our audience," BET president of programming Stephen G

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Check Out These Photos From the 2015 MTV Upfront

April 22, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

New York's Beacon Theater hosted the 2015 MTV upfront presentation for advertisers. The Viacom network unveiled eight new shows with another 85 in development.

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Comedian Rob Corddry Says Working at The Daily Show Sucked the Fun Out of News

April 21, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 44 Claim to fame Creator and star of the Emmy-winning Adult Swim series Childrens Hospital (Fridays at midnight); star of the upcoming HBO show Ballers (premieres June 21 at 10 p.m.) Base Los Angeles Twitter @robcorddry What kind of TV do you watch? To be honest with you, I don't consume a lot. I haven't watched live news in eight years, ever since The Daily Show. I will read Digg on the toilet while I'm doing my morning constitutional. I'll flip through The New York Times over breakfast. Mostly I just let headlines wash over me. People think they're consuming information, but I really think it's mostly just mind-numbing. Did working at The Daily Show [as a correspondent from 2002 to 2006] just suck all the enjoyment out of the news? It absolutely does. Your job is not to make fun of the news so much as it is to make fun of the ways in which the news is delivered. And 24-hour news stations in general created an epidemic where news is created, rather than reported. Deflate-gate, or whatever they were calling it, was non-news that overpowered anything even remotely important. Bias aside, it became more disgusting the longer it was around. That's just pervasive. How specifically do you think that constant grind hurts the news? As far as I know, good, proper analysis of an event cannot happen within minutes. Breaking news is not what they think it means. Twitter has become a popular place for both newsgathering and for comedians to try to workshop jokes. Is that appealing to you?

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Dannon’s Oikos Helped to Revive Full House, but Won’t Be Around to Enjoy It

April 21, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

More than a year before John Stamos lit a nostalgic bonfire with his announcement of a Full House revival, Oikos Greek yogurt had the same idea. The Dannon brand's 2014 Super Bowl ad reunited spokesman Stamos with his former castmates, Bob Saget and Dave Coulier, and in the process sparked an explosion of buzz among several generations of fans. (The show remains a syndicated hit with today's youth.) So will the brand be basking in the glow of the retro reunion it arguably helped bring into reality? Probably not. A spokesman for parent brand Dannon says its contract with Stamos expired at the end of last year and there are currently no plans to revive it. "John is no longer in our Oikos advertising," said Michael Neuwirth, senior director of public relations for Dannon.

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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

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Academy of Country Music Awards Pulls In Most Viewers Since 1998

April 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The 50th Academy of Country Music Awards on CBS last night was the most-watched since 1998. The super-sized special, which aired from 8-11:30 p.m., was watched by 15.77 million viewers, up 10 percent from the 2014 ACMs and making it the No. 1 show of the night on broadcast TV. In the younger demos, the awards drew a 3.6 rating and 11 share among adults 18-49 (up 6 percent from 2014) and a 2.6 rating and 9 share among adults 18-34 (up 4 percent). This was the fist year the ACMs extended to 11:30 p.m. Compared to last year's 8-11 p.m. broadcast, this year's show had 13 percent more total viewers. CBS' ratings beat NBC's, ABC's and FOX's combined. The ceremony was broadcast live from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. The ACMs were also the No. 1 social broadcast of the day, according to Nielsen Social data.

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Infographic: the Best Parts of Last Year’s Upfronts

April 20, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As we approach this year's upfront presentations, it's a good time to look back to 2014 to see which approaches were most successful, how advertisers responded to the market outlook at that time, and which media brands' events were "must-attend" for marketers and agency execs. Research firm Advertiser Perceptions conducted a survey of more than 300 individuals who attended the 2014 Upfronts/NewFronts, and who are involved in advertising spending decisions for cable/broadcast TV at TV groups planning to spend at least $2 million in next 12 months for advertising. Here's what those marketers, agency execs and planners had to say about last year's presentations.

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