Posts Tagged ‘television’

4 Things Marketers Should Know About This Season of Dancing with the Stars

September 15, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

By David Schwab, managing director of Octagon First Call Entering its 19th season tonight, ABC's Dancing with the Stars features a new judge (former pro dancer turned actress Julianne Hough), a large crop of new pros, and of course, a brand new cast. As marketers tune in this season, here are four things to keep top of mind throughout this cycle. • Contestants to Watch At first glance, season 19's most interesting name seems to be Bethany Mota, a YouTube star with a massive millennial fan base. She may not be a household name now, but her star has risen quickly as one of the faces of YouTube's national ad campaign, and she recently landed the cover of Seventeen magazine. DWTS will help boost her profile from computer screen to mainstream. We expect beauty, young fashion and technology brands to be playing close attention to her

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Stand Up to Cancer Tops Nielsen’s TV Tweet Chart

September 13, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A telethon that raised $109 million dollars to help fight cancer has topped Nielsen’s Twitter TV ratings for the first week of September. The Stand Up to Cancer (@SU2C) event featured top tier performers like The Who and the Dave Matthews Band

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China Clamps Down on Foreign TV Streaming

September 12, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

China is reportedly getting ready to regulate the number of foreign television programs that online providers can stream in its country, The Wall Street Journal reported . The move means even fewer U.S. programs will make it onto the Chinese viewing menu. As of today, about half the content on popular Chinese streaming services comes from outside the country. But that all will change as the country limits foreign, streamed TV shows to 30 percent. (The Journal said it's unclear if that figure refers to the number of TV shows or episodes.) The U.S. shows that stand to lose are Netflix's wildly popular House of Cards and Warner Brother’s 2 Broke Girls. House of Cards, which is distributed by Sohu, one of the country’s largest video streaming services, reportedly attract millions of viewers a day despite its edgy storylines that criticize China. But popularity doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll stay on the air. In April, the country’s regulators yanked NCIS, The Practice, The Good Wife and The Big Bang Theory off Chinese video streaming services without giving a reason. The Big Bang Theory was reportedly pulling in 120 million viewers a month. The sudden blackout of popular U.S. shows is seen as an example of Chinese leaders keeping a tight grip on foreign media to counter the U.S.'s soft power and shore up China's own television industry. Last year, Chinese censors withheld box office receipts while negotiating a rise in tariffs on Western importers. Now, Chinese leaders want to become not only international exporters of finished goods but also dramas and soap operas, which amount to about 10,000 episodes a year

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Get Ready for Minority Report, the TV Series

September 10, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fox has struck a deal with Steven Spielberg’s production company, Amblin TV, to produce a television pilot based on the director’s highly acclaimed sci-fi flick Minority Report, reports . The 2002 Twentieth Century Fox film, which starred Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell and Max von Sydow, was an adaptation of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick’s short story of the same name. The movie won very favorable reviews. The film and short story take place in the near future, when a "precrime" unit in Washington D.C. arrests people based on the visions of telepaths, before crimes are ever committed. Things go wrong for the protagonist when he is seen committing a murder in the future and goes on the lam with a kidnapped telepath, or "precog." The plot of the TV series is reportedly going to pick up the story where the movie leaves off. Taking place 10 years after the precrime unit is disbanded, the show will focus on one of the surviving male precogs who is trying to lead a normal life. The precog is haunted by visions of the future and meets a detective who is having trouble with her past. Max Borenstein, who wrote the screenplay for the latest film version of Godzilla, will reportedly handle showrunning duties for the Minority Report series. It remains to be seen if the series can match the movie’s sharp vision of a dystopian future of floating cars, invasive mini-robots launched by SWAT squads, and eyeball transplants by dodgy doctors to fool security systems. Fox has taken chances on other sci-fi series with varying degrees of success. This time, the channel is betting on the pedigree of Spielberg and the success of the original film.

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MAC Unveils Line of Simpsons Cosmetics, in Case You Want to Look Like a Cartoon Character

September 9, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

MAC Cosmetics is producing a Simpsons-themed cosmetics line —including eyeshadow, lip gloss, blush, mascara and nail stickers—to honor the show's 25th anniversary. One can only imagine the challenges they faced getting this out of R&D. For one thing, the show's color palette doesn't really look good on anyone. The dominant color is yellow, and one of the cartoon's enduring design characteristics revolves around not making anyone, including celebrities, look too attractive. This obviously clashes with beauty products. (The lip gloss colors alone are called Grand Pumpkin, Itchy & Scratchy & Sexy, Nacho Cheese Explosion and Red Blazer.) "We are celebrating the country's favorite animated family and its beloved matriarch Marge with a vibrant color collection that screams That Trillion Dollar Look," the brand says. "Our classic formulas and finishes you love are to blue dye for with an animated twist. All in limited-edition packaging that can only be described in one word: Eeeeexcellent." Also, the show has been bad to the point of unwatchable for at least 10 years, so they're chasing a vanishing audience that mostly watches out of habit with stuff that will make them look, at best, super weird. Not to mention, any real Simpsons fan involved in this project would have made at least one shade of lip gloss that referenced the monorail episode.

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Kids Are Watching the Weirdest Stuff on TV—and It’s Not Always From Kids’ Networks

September 9, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The kids market is a place where fierce competition rages between otherwise cuddly characters like Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse (yes, both are still around, albeit in newer, hipper incarnations) , but it turns out there’s a contingent of children watching stuff that isn’t marketed to or made for them at all. For a year’s worth of ratings, kids 6-11 (of see-it-want-it age, which makes them an important demographic for marketers) tuned in on the top three networks at fairly standard rates: 658,000 on Disney and 459,000 on Nickelodeon , along with 421,000 on Cartoon. By contrast, the average audience for Nick at Nite’s YouTube-for-TV show, AwesomenessTV? A whopping 654,000 even though it’s aimed at older teenagers. Kids were also glued to America’s Got Talent on NBC Tuesday and Wednesday nights (479,000 and 413,000, respectively), to NBC’s The Voice (404,000), and to Nick at Nite’s reruns of Full House (395,000). The latest installments in the soapy WWE professional wrestling franchise on USA (369,000) make a little more sense—at least those characters have action figures. But there was an even more sizable audience for Mi Coraz

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Does Europe Have Enough Bandwidth to Handle the Netlflix Strain?

September 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's been established that the French in particular are skeptical about Netflix's upcoming continental rollout. But will French cinephiles even be able to stream their favorite Louis Malle films once the service shows up? Doubters worry that Netflix video traffic will crash European servers, especially in France and Germany, where Netflix plans to begin offering streaming video this month. According to Ookla’s Net Index , neither country is among the top 20 with the fastest download speeds. That concerns the head of media services for Deloitte LLP, who recently speculated that European networks “could be forced to their knees” by Netflix bandwidth requirements. A spokesman for Netflix in Europe told Bloomberg that countries where it currently operates, including the UK and the Netherlands, have never experienced “noticeable” problems with video traffic.

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Canada May Unbundle Cable TV Subscriptions

September 5, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

U.S. content providers are warily eyeing efforts by Canadian regulators to unbundle Canada’s cable TV industry, a move that could eat into the profits of companies like Disney and Comcast that service the Canadian market. In Ottawa next week, Disney will be alongside Canada’s largest cable operators to lobby against a proposal by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) that would essentially give consumers the ultimate power to decide what they want to view and pay for on cable. Bundling is the heart and soul of the cable TV industry, which is why the CRTC plan is being watched very closely by some big players in Canada and the U.S. If the regulations take hold, Canada would be among the first countries to institute a pick-and-pay cable TV market, which threatens the current cable TV pricing structure. Under the proposed CRTC regulations, subscribers would pay around $20 to $30 for a basic cable service that would include local channels, government feeds and some educational services. Any other additions to the cable TV menu would be customized based on the demands of consumers, not operators. U.S. and Canadian cable TV operators currently package their subscriptions with a suite of channels and a choice of add-ons—for a price. Some Canadian companies like Telus, offer their subscribers an additional 100 channels once they pay for their basic package.

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Netflix Grabs Distribution Rights to Fox’s Gotham

September 4, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The era of distributing a new TV series on traditional channels has been turned on its head in a deal that makes Netflix a legitimate second-tier distributor. Netflix has sealed worldwide distribution rights to the first season of Gotham—the Fox television series based on the Batman franchise—even before the series has begun. The deal opens the gate for similar agreements via rival global streaming services that may be at the forefront of a new wave of primetime programming . The Netflix/Fox/Warner Brothers Gotham trifecta illustrates that studios financing TV productions are hedging their bets with global multi-channel distribution strategies. That's where Netflix enters the picture. Warner Brothers Worldwide Television Distribution gains access to the company’s entertainment streaming service , which reaches 50 million subscribers in more than 40 countries who collectively watch an estimated one billion hours of TV shows and movies each month. The head of content development at Netflix labelled the deal a new model for distributing a show that's designed to appeal to both domestic and international audiences. Warner, Netflix and Fox are betting that viewers will be hooked by what amounts to a prequel of the Batman movies in television series format—even though the Batman movie franchise produced some duds at the box office. Gotham digs deeper into the characters of Commissioner Gordon and Batman’s enemies in a storyline penned by Bruno Heller, the man behind the The Mentalist. The Gotham distribution rights give Netflix first crack at its existing global footprint, but Warner Brothers retains rights to distribute Gotham in countries where Netflix is absent, such as France and Germany. Another proviso in the deal: Netflix will distribute the first season after it airs on Fox, which won a bidding war for the series. Fox hopes to broadcast the second season simultaneously. Also, the Gotham creators can still shop their show to syndicators and cable channels. The Fox, WB and Netflix nexus leverages streaming services with traditional television revenues, spreading the risk into a global marketplace that increasingly is embracing subscription-based, video on demand services. The studios also are betting that the crossover audience from Netflix to Fox will boost TV ratings. It was not immediately clear how much Netflix paid Warners for the distribution rights to Gotham. The company reportedly paid Sony $2 million per episode to distribute the NBC hit TV drama, The Blacklist.

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Netflix Sides With Government-Run Broadband Providers

September 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Netflix filed a startling comment with the FCC today: the company wants the Telecommunications Act amended to allow for "a pro-consumer policy of limitless bandwidth," or to put it plainly, so government-run broadband providers can exceed limits set by the law. The company is echoing FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler's post from June on the FCC blog, in which Wheeler said with surprising candor that phone and cable companies "chose to delay improvements in broadband service to the Chattanooga area market." If Chattanooga seems tangential to debates that are going on in Washington, D.C. and Silicon Valley, it's worth noting that the city does something unusual: it runs the broadband service available in its area. As the city's power authority says on its website, "Only in Chattanooga, Tennessee is 1 Gigabit-per-second Internet speed available to every home and business—over 150,000 of them—throughout the entire community." Why is it doing this? Well, to attract businesses—the city's unemployment rate is 7.7 percent, well above the 6.2 percent national average—and to improve its network infrastructure, which previously had been served by a cobbled-together union of T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T's more interpid broadband arms. Nobody wanted to build the pipe necessary to fix the place up all the way out into rural Tennessee, so the city took on the task. "Federal preemption is appropriate when state laws unduly interfere with municipal broadband," said Netflix, in its comments on the petition to overturn the Tennessee law. It remains to be seen whether the FCC will agree but Wheeler has been dinged more than once as too soft on the cable industry and overturning these local laws would be a major blow to industry stalwarts like AT&T.

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