Posts Tagged ‘year’

How Big Cable Is Stemming the Cord Cutting Tide

February 4, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

A funny thing happened this week on the way to that big cable box in the sky: three of the largest U.S. cable operators actually added subscribers. In releasing their fourth quarter and full-year earnings for 2015, Time Warner Cable, Comcast and Charter Communications all posted subscriber gains for the past quarter. While it's common for cable operators to see a bump in subscribers at the end of the year, both Time Warner Cable and Charter– which are planning to merge –posted full year subscriber gains, ending years of declines. Time Warner Cable added +54,000 subs in the fourth quarter, after it lost more than -300,000 during the same period last year. For the full year, TWC added +32,000 subscribers for its first full year of growth since 2006. Charter, which released earnings this morning, had its best full year in more than a decade by adding +11,000 subscribers, including +33,000 during the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Comcast had its strongest fourth quarter in eight years by adding +89,000 subscribers, though it posted an overall decline in 2015 of -36,000. That is a huge improvement vs. 2014, when the nation's largest carrier lost 194,000 subscribers. The gains by the three cable operators come amidst the worst year for the overall pay-TV sector; MoffettNathanson predicted cords would be cut in -514,000 homes in 2015, down from 1.2 million in 2014. And it appears the slowing of cord-cutting among cable operators is hurting the satellite and Telco services. Telco growth, including Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-verse, dipped from 1.06 million new subscribers in 2014 to just 118,000 in 2015. Satellite, including DirecTV and DISH, was projected to lose -560,000 subscribers for the year, more than cable. Last week, AT&T reported a loss of -26,000 subscribers between its DirecTV and U-Verse services for the fourth quarter.

Read More

Step Aside, Cord Cutters and Cord-Nevers. Showtime Is Targeting ‘Cord Cobblers’

January 13, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

We've heard about cord cutters, cord shavers and cord-nevers . Now, Showtime has a new term to add to the growing vernacular: cord cobblers. That's how Showtime's president and CEO, David Nevins, referred to his subscribers while discussing the evolution of his premium cable network at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. "2016 is going to be the year of customized viewing," Nevins said. "Today's audiences are cord cobblers, individuals and households who creatively manage their content consumption with an assortment of subscriptions that work uniquely for their needs." Because of the availability of its stand-alone streaming service on iTunes, Roku and Android devices, and as add-on subscriptions for Hulu, Amazon Prime and PlayStation Vue, Showtime has "availability and visibility wherever those cord cobblers reside," he said.

Read More

Despite Losing Mad Men and Breaking Bad, AMC Is More Popular Than Ever

January 9, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

AMC's president and general manager, Charlie Collier, knows that many competitors and onlookers were expecting his network to stumble after losing its two signature shows—Mad Men and Breaking Bad—in a year. But instead of imploding, AMC has just wrapped its most successful year ever. "We faced an important transition over the last two years, with both Breaking Bad and Mad Men coming to a close, and many looked at 2015 as a sort of, what's next here for the network? And we're very proud of what we've accomplished," Collier said at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour. Before presenting the network's upcoming new shows for 2016, Collier noted that three of AMC's four premieres in 2015—Fear the Walking Dead, Into the Badlands and Better Call Saul—are the top three cable series launches of all time among adults 18-49 and 25-54. "At a time when many are focused on too much TV or measurement challenges and the impact of time-shifting, it's remarkable that viewership records can even be set anymore," said Collier, who added that AMC also ended last year "as the no. 1 destination for original programming in prime time, including broadcast, averaging nearly 4 million viewers in adults 18-49 and 25-54 all original episodes in live-plus-three." The network also became a top 5 cable network in primetime for the first time, in both the 18-49 and 25-54 demos. AMC has 14 original shows set to roll out this year, Collier noted. "We head into 2016 confident and optimistic about the future, and that's largely because we believe in the vision of the creative talent that's at the heart of our network," said the exec, who has so many shows in the pipeline that he is adding a fourth night of original programming: Tuesdays, alongside Sundays, Mondays and Saturdays. Among AMC's other TCA announcements: Fear the Walking Dead, AMC's Walking Dead prequel, will return on April 10 for Season 2. The 15-episode season will be split in two parts: seven episodes airing in the spring; the remaining eight later in the year

Read More

Here’s How Viacom’s Networks Will Try to Bounce Back in 2016

January 6, 2016  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

After a rough couple of years for its cable networks, Viacom is trying to finally right the ship in 2016. Ratings for Viacom's TV networks—including MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Spike and VH1—have been falling, declining an estimated 13 percent during the third quarter of 2015 alone . But at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif., the company laid out its plan to bounce back this year by renewing its most popular shows and unveiling new series it hopes will draw an audience. Comedy Central, which lost its sketch-comedy series Key and Peele last year, secured the future of its other two big shows by announcing the renewals of Inside Amy Schumer (Season 4 debuts in April; Season 5 will air next year) and Broad City (which was picked up for fourth and fifth seasons, ahead of Season 3's debut later this spring). The network is also airing Time Traveling Bong—a miniseries from Broad City's Ilana Glazer about (you guessed it) a magic, time-traveling bong—which premieres April 20. Comedy Central also is planning on a big celebration this year for South Park's 20th season, which will air this fall

Read More

Why Advertisers Are So Eager for This Year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

November 25, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

As broadcast TV ratings continue to plummet this fall, advertisers have fewer and fewer reliable options outside of sports when it comes to making ad buys for the holiday season. But tomorrow, they get a Thanksgiving treat: the robust audience tuning in for NBC's broadcast of the 89th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The telecast, which NBC will air live from 9 a.m. to noon (and repeat at 2 p.m., after the National Dog Show), has become one of the year's best bets for advertisers, especially given that Thanksgiving night/Black Friday sales begin just hours later. Last year's parade averaged 22.6 million viewers, and its 6.2 rating among adults ages 18 to 49 topped every other nonsports prime-time telecast on the broadcast networks last fall.

Read More

Film Review: ‘Love & Peace’

October 23, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

If you see just one new Sion Sono movie this year, make it “Love & Peace,” the wonderfully daffy passion project it reportedly took the appallingly prolific helmer more than two decades to make.

Read More

Korea Box Office: Oscar Contender ‘The Throne’ Reigns In Majestic Opening

September 21, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

South Korea’s foreign-language Oscars contender, “The Throne” had one of the best opening scores this year for a local film.

Read More

Japan Box Office: ‘Jurassic World’ On Top For Third Weekend

August 25, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Dinosaur adventure becomes biggest film of the year in Japan.

Read More

Which Networks’ Data Platforms Do Media Buyers Actually Like?

August 17, 2015  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Data dominated this year's upfront presentations, as each network claimed it had the best data platform to help advertisers and media buyers enhance TV buys. Now that upfront business has finally wrapped, we asked several buyers to anonymously review the networks' individual data offerings and separate the contenders from the pretenders. Their conclusions: It's a three-horse race. To buyers, three players stand out: NBCUniversal , Viacom and Turner . They gave low marks to ABC, CBS, Discovery and A&E for supplying little more than the data they and their clients already have access to. Said one buyer: "All ABC is doing is optimizing your prime-time inventory, which you could do on your own." Optimization less than optimal. One buyer praised Viacom's willingness to optimize its data every two weeks, though another said NBCU's quarterly optimization was just fine. "On our side, it requires man hours to be changing the schedules all the time as well. I doubt most clients would need to do it more frequently," the buyer said. Turner isn't allowing any optimization at all, "which obviously presents problems because if audiences are changing their viewership habits, you want to be able to follow them." They're down with ATP. Buyers gravitated toward NBCU's Audience Targeting Platform because of its ability to provide them with data from Comcast set-top boxes. "That's very appealing because that has not been offered in any platform to date," said a buyer. They're going with what they—or their clients—know. "I'm honestly leaning more toward NBCU because we do a lot of business with them," admitted one buyer. Another agreed that familiarity goes a long way, especially with platforms they've already beta-tested: "If I had to go to bat for one of them to a client, it would probably be Turner. Because I've already used it, and that holds a lot of water in terms of executing these kinds of things." Bigger is better. Buyers like that NBCU and Viacom products "span a large swath of different networks and different inventory. The bigger the available pull of inventory, the better targeted you can be," said one. That's where Turner has a tougher time measuring up. "If you're cutting the data a little thinner, then you start to run into sample-size issues and viability of buying against certain more granular targets," said another buyer

Read More

Korea Box Office: ‘Assassination’ Shoots Top Spot

July 27, 2015  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Star-studded period action drama “Assassination” hit its target and achieved the highest scoring opening this year by a Korean film.

Read More