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Steve Sternberg

Member since September 2009Contact Steve

Steve Sternberg currently works as a freelance media consultant. He has more then 30 years of television and video analysis experience, having held top research posts at Bozell, TN Media, Magna Global, and ION Media Networks. He also authors The Sternberg Report (

Articles by Steve All articles by Steve

  • How To Fix The Academy Awards in TV Everywhere on 02/22/2017

    The Academy Awards air this Sunday. I've watched them every year since I was a kid, and every year I look forward to it. But every year I am bored for three-plus hours, and every year I promise myself that next year I'll tune in after 11 p.m. and just see who wins the top awards. Some relatively simple changes, however, could revitalize the show and make it more viewer- (and advertiser-) friendly -- and perhaps reverse the trend that saw its median viewer age rise from 47 to 55+ over the past 10 years.

  • Who Knows Where SVOD Is Going? in TV Everywhere on 02/15/2017

    My 17-year old son recently told me that many of his friends don't watch anything on traditional TV anymore, and many do not have DVRs. They watch TV almost exclusively on Netflix or Hulu, and are more than happy to wait for shows they want to see. This trend doesn't have much impact on reported TV ratings for adult demos, since their households still use traditional television, but it does have implications for the future. Will those viewing habits continue when kids get older, own their own homes, and start their own families? Who knows?

  • Live Viewing Still Matters  in TV Everywhere on 02/08/2017

    Once upon a time, there was an ongoing industry debate about whether there was a correlation between program engagement and commercial attentiveness. For every study that indicated people paid more attention to ads during their favorite programs, another study came out that said the more intensely you were viewing your favorite shows, the less attentive you were during commercial breaks.

  • Cable News Networks: Alternative Facts Are Your Fault in TV Everywhere on 02/01/2017

    Back in September, I wrote an article titled, "Cable News: The True Unreality." After discussing how MSNBC and Fox News present alternate extreme versions of reality, I followed with: "CNN, on the other hand, pretends to be neutral, but it's really just afraid to offend anyone or call anyone out for lying. It mistakes false equivalency with fairness...."

  • TV Promos: Missing The Boat? in TV Everywhere on 01/25/2017

    As I've written on several previous occasions, not being able to promote a show to the largest chunk of available (and prime) prospects -- namely, those watching compatible programming on other broadcast networks -- remains an impediment to any network's airing a successful new show that doesn't fit in with the rest of that network's lineup.

  • Does Viewer Intensity Matter? in TV Everywhere on 01/18/2017

    Since the advent of DVRs, there has been virtually no research (made public) on the "value" of original scripted series versus off-network repeats. This is not surprising ,since the broadcast networks don't want to highlight the key weakness of their higher-rated series (less live viewing, greater commercial avoidance), while many cable networks that air both, don't want to play one against the other.

  • Measuring The Global Village Was Once Easy -- But No Longer  in TV Everywhere on 01/12/2017

    In the 1960s, Marshall McLuhan dubbed the new electronic media world of television a "global village." For the first time, people at opposite ends of the country were able to simultaneously see and hear live events as they were happening. Fifty years later, people can still get the same information at the same time, but they no longer have to access it at the same time, on the same platform, or even on the same device. Over the past five decades, television has undergone several fundamental changes, affecting not only what is available to view, but also when, where, and how it can be viewed. But most of the changes that make measuring audiences more complex happened during the last 10 years or so. Until the early 2000s, the pace of change was relatively slow, enabling cumbersome media measurement conglomerates to trudge along with serviceable audience measurement.

  • It's Your Media Generation That Defines You  in TV Everywhere on 01/04/2017

    Generations are ordinarily thought of in 18-year increments. Baby Boomers, for example, were born between 1946 and 1964, and generally have similar media habits. Most people in previous generations had similar access to the same distribution system, channels, programs, and devices. However, we are now living in a media world where everyone doesn't get everything anymore. The home VCR was the fastest-growing electronic device since the advent of television. Not so the DVR. Age groups are no longer as cohesive as they once were based on where, when, or how they can watch video content. As more change occurs, the number of years making up each subsequent media generation has decreased. Here is how I would break out the Media Generations:

  • 10 Shows You Should Check Out  in TV Everywhere on 12/21/2016

    The best TV show lists will invariably include one or two of the O.J. Simpson-based series, the excellent "This is Us," and critical favorites that hardly anyone watches, such as "The Americans" and "Transparent." I've decided to focus instead on TV series that may not be on most lists, but I think people should check out (and not just new series). Previous episodes should all be available to stream.

  • Pre-Season Buzz Everywhere -- Still With Little Impact On New Series Success in TV Everywhere on 12/14/2016

    For several years now, I've been issuing in-depth reports on the impact of pre-season buzz in determining new series success - or rather, the lack of impact. Over the past 15 years, the success rate of new prime-time series that received the most buzz leading up to their debuts was roughly 30% - virtually identical to the success rate for all prime-time series.

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