Fern Siegel, Aug 17, 2010, 11:21 PM
  • Time-Shifted TV Viewing More Than DoublesReuters

    Time-shifted TV viewing has more than doubled over the past year and over 40 percent of Americans now make plans to record their favorite shows and watch them later, according to a survey released on Tuesday, reports Reuters. More than two-thirds of viewers have watched prime-time television series through video on demand, digital video recorders and the Internet, the survey conducted for the No. 1 U.S. cable TV operator Comcast Corp found. 61% of those who responded said they were using time-shifting technologies more than one year ago. Last season, the Tuesday edition of "American Idol" was the most-time-shifted show on television, drawing an additional 5.6 million total viewers per episode.

    An earlier report by Steve Sternberg, written for Baseline, a NYTimes company, said there's a perception that DVR users are generally a young bunch, in their 20s and 30s, and that's why the median age for time-shifted viewing is a decade younger than the live viewing age. But actually the heaviest DVR users are ages 50-64. Thus it's more a case of who's not time-shifting that accounts for the lower median age. People over age 65 do very little time-shifting, but they do a lot of live TV watching, and so time-shifted viewership tends to be younger because it does not have that group pushing the median age up. Read the whole story...

  • HBO Won't Make Netflix DealBloomberg

    HBO, Time Warner Inc.'s pay-television channel, home to "The Sopranos" and "True Blood," holds cable and Internet rights to films from Warner Bros., Twentieth Century Fox and Universal Pictures and is unlikely to make a deal with Netflix. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings opened his coffers last week, agreeing to pay the Epix cable channel more than $900 million over five years for online rights to films from Paramount Pictures, Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. Hastings plans to spend more to build the service, which offers DVDs by mail and online viewing for $8.99 a month, and has said he wants HBO as a supplier.

    Netflix members can see films from Walt Disney Co. and Sony Pictures Entertainment online through a deal between the subscription movie service and Liberty Media Corp.'s Starz channel, which has separate accords with both studios. HBO intends to stick with its own plan to make shows and movies available online through HBO Go. Read the whole story...

  • 'Office' May Open In ChinaAP

    "We are about to start work on developing a Chinese 'The Office.' How cool is that?" show co-creator Ricky Gervais wrote on his blog. In addition to the original British "mockumentary," there are versions in the U.S., France, Germany, Chile, Israel and the Canadian province of Quebec. ,br>,br> The show that mines office politics and corporate ineptitude for its laughs might face new challenges in China, where government censors tightly control media content. Gervais joked on his blog the show might not air if Beijing sees his latest project, "An Idiot Abroad," where he sends a culturally clueless friend on a trip around the world. Read the whole story...

  • ABC Extends 'Charlie Brown' Specials For 5 YearsThe Washington Post

    ABC announced that it had extended its deal with Peanuts Worldwide LLC, and with the Peanuts franchise's TV animator/producer, Lee Mendelson Film Productions, to air the much-loved animated Charlie Brown television specials for an additional five years.

    ABC took over the rights to the Charlie Brown TV specials in 2001. Titles include "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" and "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown." The holiday specials continue to be viewer favorites. Last year, a rerun of "A Charlie Brown Christmas" attracted more than 11 million viewers. About 1 million of them fell into the MTV sweet spot, age-wise. Among kids between the ages of 2 and 11, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" topped the combined delivery of CBS, Fox, NBC and CW by 42 percent last December. Read the whole story...

  • AOL's Patch Plans 500 Local Sites, Strengthens Ad BaseAP/TVNewsCheck

    AOL intends to grow its Patch network of community news sites to include more than 500 neighborhoods by the end of December -- a move the struggling Internet company hopes will strengthen its online ad business. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong came up with the idea for Patch in 2007, while he was still an executive at Google Inc., and was an early stakeholder in the company. When AOL bought Patch, Armstrong said that he wouldn't take a profit from the deal and instead his initial investment would be repaid in AOL stock once AOL became independent of Time Warner.

    Patch launched its first three Web sites in early 2009. Patch sites now serve communities in eight states, including Skokie, Ill. and Mill Valley, Ca.; by the end of the year, AOL plans to have Patch sites in 20 states. Read the whole story...