Posts Tagged ‘time’

US TV Networks Seek to Grow By Expanding Internationally

October 13, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

On the eve of network TV executives’ annual pilgrimage this week to Cannes, France, for the global programming bazaar known as Mipcom , Viacom announced last Wednesday it will launch men’s channel Spike in the U.K. this spring—with plans for a wider international rollout. Viacom already has a global foothold for a number of its brands. The group, including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, is distributed to 200 countries in 37 languages and has grown steadily. Overseas operations have experienced revenue percentage growth in the mid to high teens annually over the last five years, reports Bob Bakish, president, CEO of Viacom International Media Networks. That growth looks even more impressive, given that Viacom overall will experience a 0.4 percent revenue dip in fiscal 2014, to about $13.7 billion, reports S&P Capital IQ. “The growth opportunities are greater in other parts of the world because the U.S. market is more mature,” explained John Sanders, a principal of the media valuation and consulting firm Bond & Pecaro. “Anyone who would ignore that would do so at their own peril.” And Mipcom is where content buying and selling achieves critical mass. Of course, deals are struck year-round.

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We Interviewed the Guy Who Made the Creepy Credits Sequence for ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’

October 9, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Who loves clowns? Anyone? Anyone? Well, the guys at American Horror Story: Freak Show, which premiered last night, are super into them, as evidenced by the amazing mostly-stop-motion opening sequence from last night's show. And Kyle Cooper, director of the Los Angeles company Prologue, told us where the clowns came from, who inspired the three-legged woman and why the deformed balloon animals didn't make the final cut. Prologue has done all four opening sequences for the show (see the videos below), and he knows quite a bit about hooking the viewer in a minute with suggestive surrealism. He doesn't know what's giggling under your bed, though.

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Outlander’s Ron Moore on Time-Travel, Pern and Everything Scottish

September 26, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Does anybody remember when we stopped thinking of the typical sci-fi and fantasy fan as a basement-dwelling male virgin and started admitting that women comprise a huge chunk—frequently the majority—of the audience? It's hard to put a timestamp on that one, but you can be pretty sure that Ronald D. Moore was there for it. Moore is probably as close to speculative fiction royalty as TV showrunners can get these days, and the writer-producer's most recent project is a shoot-the-works adaptation of Diana Gabaldon's bestselling Outlander series of fantasy novels, a twistily plotted story of time travel and romantic intrigue in 18th-century Scotland and postwar (very recently postwar, in fact) Britain. The show's mid-season finale, The Garrison Commander, airs Saturday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m E.T.; Starz announced Friday that the show would go on hiatus until April 4, when it comes back with episode 9. Moore, now in Scotland, took time out of the season 1.5 shooting schedule speak to us about the series, the work of adapting several large and complicated novels into a compelling narrative, and the show's instant popularity among feminists. Adweek: So this show gets a lot of love from women's sites like Jezebel that aren't necessarily speculative-fiction-focused or even TV-focused for its portrayal of a very complicated lead character. Is there any way to take into account and serve that audience specifically as you see it grow? Ron Moore: I mean, to be honest, I don’t really think of it in those terms—I’ve had this question a few times. I just write for an audience. We have a fairly large female demographic, but we don’t talk in terms of “the audience is female and you should think about it in those terms.” That’s how I’ve approached the project since I read the book. It’s just a big adventure story.

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Fox News’ ‘Outnumbered’ Host Harris Faulkner Discusses the Role of Social Media in Journalism

September 22, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

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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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Simulmedia’s New CMO Sees the Future of TV

September 8, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who

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Joan Rivers’ Funeral Set for Sunday in New York

September 5, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Funeral services for comedian Joan Rivers will be held Sunday at Manhattan’s Temple Emanu-El. The Reform synagogue did not disclose the time of the services, or whether the public would be admitted. Rabbi Joshua M. Davidson told ABC News, “It is a terribly sad day for all of us. We mourn with her family, friends... Read more

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Canada Getting New Video Streaming Service

August 26, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Two of Canada’s largest cable television companies are putting their differences aside and joining forces to launch a new video streaming service as the industry responds in kind to competition from online players such as Netflix. The new service, called shomi (pronounced: show me), will debut in November at a suggested retail price of $8.99 (Canadian) a month. It will be available on tablet, mobile, online, Xbox 360 and set top boxes, to Rogers and Shaw Internet and television customers. Shomi will feature prior seasons of popular television shows, as well as iconic series from the past, cult classics and fan favorite films, the two companies said in a statement. At launch, the shomi catalog will contain 11,000 hours of television shows and 1,200 movies; 30 percent of the content will be Canadian. Shomi has exclusive past-season streaming rights to a number of popular titles, including Modern Family, Sons of Anarchy, Sleepy Hollow, Vikings, New Girl, 24: Live Another Day, Chicago Fire, The Strain and American Horror Story. "We've taken the time to talk with Canadians to find out what they want and to create an unbelievable user experience," said Rogers Media president Keith Pelley. "They told us loud and clear—they want all the past seasons of the most popular, current TV shows and they want it to be easy. Shomi takes the guesswork out of finding what to watch, acting like a new-age video clerk serving up all the best content based on individual viewing habits." Netflix in particular will prove to be a formidable competitor. Although the company does not disclose how many Canadian customers it has, estimates range as high as 5.8 million. However, there’s one point in shomi’s favor: Netflix Canada’s content is considered inferior to the content available in the United States, a weakness the programmers at shomi could exploit.

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Where Have All the Upfront Dollars Gone?

August 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's obvious by now that something has gone wrong in the television advertising world— upfront dollar volume fell by 6.1 percent to $18.125 billion, including a 4.7 percent hit for cable, which dipped for the first time in four years to $9.675 billion. So, where are those dollars going? More than one source has suggested that we're finally seeing the advent of digital advertising: With so much inventory on the market, it just makes sense that some TV dollars are shifting to digital video, where it's easy to buy cheaply and in bulk for an ad to run next week. But even digital video sellers caution against making such a blanket assertion. Jason Krebs, head of sales at Maker Studios, has seen a "noticiable uptick" in marketer spending but isn't entirely sure where the dollars are coming from. "You can never tell where the money is coming from specifically unless the client verbally tells you, 'I have taken this money from my TV spend,'" and of course, nobody says that out loud," Krebs said. Krebs suggested that the shift may not be from a TV budget to a digital budget, but rather toward an overall video spend that includes everything on the market, given that many of the ads are the same on TV as online. "Advertisers say, 'Now we have a general video budget and we address it across screens where we see fit,'" Krebs said. "More and more people are video planners and buyers and from what we see that’s healthy, because as a Disney company we have many different platforms and work across all of them." Scatter prices may not go up What's interesting about the overall spending shift is that it seems to be away not necessarily from TV advertising in general but from upfront buying specifically. The implied threat to buyers who bow out of the upfront bazaar is that scatter prices will be higher once hits are established. During the upfront, buyers purchase inventory on new broadcast shows mostly on the strength of their gut feelings and their faith in the network to promote new material. But if everyone holds back cash from the ufpront at once—as appears to have happened this time around—there's not nearly as much scarcity when time comes to move the inventory in the fall. And with a dismal hit rate among broadcast networks and a rapid turnaround for new, high-end analytics on both television and digital platforms, the opportunity to place your ad dollars where you can know beyond a gut check that you're reaching customers—well, that may be worth taking that step back from the upfront market.

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Does America Now Like Soccer? Yesterday’s Ratings Hint at it

July 2, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Yes, that's it for the U.S. in the World Cup, but we went out with a bang: ESPN boasted its second-highest rating ever for a soccer match with a whopping 9.6 rating (people are all watching this during the middle of the day, so from your boss, shame on you, and, from the networks, thank you). Univision generated a 1.8 (representing 2.4 million viewers). The latter's streaming video didn't crack under the strain of its mammoth viewership (ESPN had a brief outage during the Germany Algeria match two days ago, but that still reached 1.7 million concurrent viewers) with a new high watermark of 1.8 million. It helps Univision's streaming numbers in particular that its digital service is free and unauthenticated ( until midnight , at least). The contest has been a major moment for U.S. soccer fandom, which in recent years hasn't exactly been an area of major focus and concern for marketers. But the 2014 contests have been a huge attention-getter for brands including sponsors like Visa, Coke, Adidas and Sony; and other johnny-come-latelies capitalizing on whatever meme they can attach to their brand at the time of a given game (check out our handy compendium of waffle jokes from yesterday, for example). Ruling the rapid-response promo roost, however, has been ESPN, which started off with an over-the-top Kiefer Sutherland paean to America (never mind that Sutherland is Canadian) and came out yesterday with this gem: The Americans lost, but still: USA! USA! USA! Strictly in terms of TV and digital viewership, of course.

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