Posts Tagged ‘time’

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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Univision Streaming Video Stops Being Free on Friday

July 2, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

It's going to be harder to watch the World Cup on Univision at your desk come Friday. And if you have Comcast, you're out of luck completely. Univision, which had the most-viewed telecast in its history yesterday, is switching over from a free streaming service (which it's been providing for the entirety of the World Cup so far) to an authenticated version of the same, requiring viewers to log in using credentials from their cable provider. It's a move likely to please cable operators and infuriate subscribers, many of whom are enjoying the matches in Spanish whether or not they speak the language because of easy access to the stream. ESPN, being a cable network, required authentication from the get-go. Univision spokeswoman Monica Talan described the free stream as "an open trial period for group matches and the round of 16." "The objective was to encourage sampling of the Univision Deportes app, build an audience, then educate that audience on the benefits of TV Everywhere via a robust marketing/education campaign," Talan said. "Starting on July 4th, users will need to sign in with their pay TV credentials. Users will be taken through a step-by-step process on how to do this." That education program seems to have been absorbed pretty dramatically by the viewing public—people love the stream—but on Friday, futbol fans may be learning a different lesson entirely. Talan also confirmed something you might notice if you're perusing the logos of participating cable companies at the bottom of the page announcing the change: "The livestream will not be available to Comcast subscribers at this time." Comcast owns Telemundo, Univision's largest competitor (though Univision is still much larger), and the broadcaster of the 2018 (and subsequent) World Cup matches. The network has enjoyed incredible ratings from the matches thus far. The France-Nigeria game (which took place in the middle of the working day) pulled in some 931,000 demo viewers, and the Germany-Algeria match managed 1.3 million (which also aired before quitting time). Since much of the viewership is taking place in bars, conference rooms and yes, in little video windows you can hide from your boss as she walks by your desk, those stats are impressive indeed

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Sneaky Facebook Study on Users’ Emotions Draws Ire

June 30, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

If you use Facebook and found yourself momentarily feeling either better or worse in early 2012, an algorithm may have caused your shift in mood. And that's what has some social media users upset today. A controversial research study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on June 17 started to gain digital traction over the weekend. It revealed that Facebook for one week in January 2012 worked with Cornell University and the University of California-San Francisco to test the emotional reactions of nearly 700,000 users to pieces of content. The users weren't notified of their participation and unknowingly helped the researchers learn that people who read fewer positive words were found to write more negative posts, while the reverse occurred when consumers were exposed to fewer negative sentiments. The information-gathering practice isn't likely to be illegal since Facebook users sign away many privacy rights when they agree to participate on the social platform. And the study's gray ethical issues can be probably be debated ad nauseam.

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Which TV Comedienne Is Looking for Love on Tinder?

June 24, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Specs Who Whitney Cummings Age 31 Accomplishments Comedian and actress (her Comedy Central stand-up special, Whitney Cummings: I Love You , premieres June 28 at 11 p.m./10 c); co-creator of the CBS sitcom 2 Broke Girls Base Los Angeles What’s the first information you consume in the morning? Digg and Huffington Post tend to be my first news sites. If I have some time, I’ll go to Salon and Slate, and then I’ll begrudgingly go to Deadline. If I’m going to be honest, I go straight to Gilt. It’s perfect; I’m groggy, I haven’t had my coffee yet, so I buy things I don’t need. What are your go-to social media platforms? I’m on Instagram , Twitter, and that’s really it. I didn’t get into Vine, and I’m not on Facebook. I did join Tinder, though. Please let everyone know that I’m available and on Tinder! Have you been on any Tinder dates? Not yet. I first joined because I went to a wedding and everyone was on it, and as a comedian, it’s my job to know how people are dating. Eventually I stopped hearing people say, “I went on a Tinder date” as a joke, and started hearing, “I met my fianc

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Kelsey Grammer Wants to Return to Future ‘X-Men’ Films

June 22, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Kelsey Grammer isn’t done playing Beast just yet — or at least, he doesn’t hope to be. The “Fraiser” star made a brief cameo at the end of the X-Men franchise’s most recent installment, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” as Beast, as the time-traveling nature of the mutant movie allowed many of the original cast... Read more

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Robert Rodriguez Does Everything From Programming to Sound Editing at El Rey Network

June 11, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Robert Rodriguez made a name for himself in the '90s as a movie director alongside frequent collaborator and friend Quentin Tarantino, but his latest claim to fame has been his El Rey network, which came out swinging with a TV version of Rodriguez's vampire flick From Dusk Till Dawn this March. The network itself—headquartered in Rodriguez's Austin—was the creation of a quirk in the Federal Communications Commission's conditions for the merger of NBCUniversal and Comcast, along with several other cable channels. Of the group, El Rey is far and away the highest-profile, and the slickest. We talked to Rodriguez about the network, its future, and what he's doing next (besides delivering keynote addresses

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The Next Aaron Spelling? Showrunner Shonda Rhimes Is ABC’s Queen of Prime Time

June 3, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

The pilot of then-unknown hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy was nearly complete in early 2005, but some real heavy lifting remained. Shonda Rhimes, a screenwriter who was taking her first stab at creating a television series, needed to put together synopses of the next eight episodes, telling executives at ABC just where the soapy, hospital-based drama intended to go in the near future. James Parriott, a veteran showrunner who’d been brought in to help steer the ship, offered to take half the workload. They only had a weekend to finish, he remembers, which would’ve been a tall order even for a seasoned TV writer.

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Who Might Replace Fox Chairman Kevin Reilly? Probably Not John Landgraf

May 29, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Fox's chairman Kevin Reilly has stepped down after much upfront-season speculation about how much longer the exec's tenure would last. In his absence he leaves... no one, yet. Reilly's direct reports are all due to have their hotel expenses approved by network group chairman Peter Rice for the moment. It's hard to know who will end up with such a high profile (and, frankly, thankless job), but several people have already suggested FX president John Landgraf, given the success of that network's original programming. Of course, since Fox owns both properties, it might want to keep Landgraf where's he's successful—and anyway, he's insisted he's not interested.

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