Posts Tagged ‘television’

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

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AOL Unveils Massive Slate of New Programming and Partnership With NBCU

April 29, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

For those who thought AOL might be shifting away from big content plays and heading into pure ad tech, the media company proved this week it still has plenty in store for digitally savvy audiences. Announcing a licensing distribution deal with NBCUniversal and a hefty slate of original and co-produced programming, the media company reiterated its commitment to creating original content at its Digital Content NewFront at New York's 4 World Trade Center Tuesday evening. "There was a perception that we were overinvested in (ad tech) compared to other places," AOL chief marketing officer Allie Kline said ahead of the event. "I don't think that's been the case. Huffington Post is still the largest investment and acquisition we've made. We have 20-plus O&O brands, 2,000 premium content publishers we maintain relationships with, and about 26 shows we're releasing." To drive that point home, AOL president Bob Lord and NBCU ad sales and client partnerships chairman Linda Yaccarino announced a new partnership on stage, which will also extend into co-produced content. AOL On will get the rights to stream NBCU content from its broadcast networks, cable channels and digital networks on mobile, desktop and 16 over-the-top platforms. (Yes, this means clips and segments from Keeping Up With the Kardashians and Watch What Happens are headed to AOL.) The move to add NBCU content demonstrated AOL's Content 365 strategy, which AOL head of video Dermot McCormack explained as the company's tactic to make content of all shapes and sizes. AOL said its AOL On streaming video platform averages 1 billion multi-platform video views a month and houses more than one million premium AOL original and partner videos

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Scandal’s Guillermo Diaz Is Obsessed With Horror Movies, and Lena Dunham

April 28, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Age 40 Claim to fame Stars as Huck on ABC's Scandal (season finale airs May 7) Base Los Angeles Twitter @guillermodiazyo What's the first information you consume in the morning? I hit Instagram and Twitter as soon as I wake up. And then I check my texts and emails. It's funny that I check social media before I check my email. Were you into social media before you started doing it for Scandal? Not at all. Kerry Washington is the one who's behind all of us being on social media , so I have to give her props. Who do you follow on Instagram? I follow Madonna, I follow Norman Reedus [from The Walking Dead] and, of course, I follow [Scandal co-stars] Kerry Washington and Katie Lowes. I also follow a bunch of horror people that post a lot of Halloween stuff and really cool art. So you're a big horror movie fan? Absolutely

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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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