TV's Olympic-Sized -- And Smaller -- Period Of Adjustments
AMC Networks has figured out how to make an easy adjustment to give those 14 million Dish subscribers something they might want.
The programmer is putting its WE TV series "Braxton Family Values" and its AMC series "Hell on Wheels" on the Internet for free so consumers can watch, catch up on the episodes they’ve missed, and basically get around the Dish-AMC carriage dispute.
Big TV companies often find reasons not to work in consumer’s favor, or at least it appears that way. Some of this goes wholesale, like delaying digital reruns of their shows for up to a week.
You could say that NBC, by giving virtually free digital access of all live Olympic events to 90% or more of TV homes in the U.S., made a good consumer service adjustment. (Many consumers, though, are still upset with the tape-delay process. Maybe they should rather push Olympians to do their events at 4 a.m. or 6 a.m. to meet their patriotic entertainment values).
Other networks are looking to make summer business and programming adjustments.
ESPN, in particular, didn't mind showing static photographic stills of the Olympic events midday – in order to give its sports-minded consumers the instant sports news fix they required with no worries about spoiling their visual appetite, or about them pretending to watch NBC’s taped Olympic action in prime time as if it was live.
ESPN did make some earlier advertising adjustments, according to Walt Disney's chief executive Bob Iger. The sports network sold "deeper" with TV advertisers in June's upfront process, adjusting to the possible windfall of scatter dollars that would flow in Olympic style to NBC during the first two weeks in August.
Even smarter TV sports advertisers -- given the paucity of broadcast rating points -- made better adjustments by buying more of NBC’s Olympic inventory.
The TV advertising game is a strategy of both long-term planning and adjustments on the fly. Any good media buying or selling executive will tell you that -- even on their summer vacations.