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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

  • Fixing The Emmys in TV Everywhere on 09/21/2016

    This past Sunday's Emmy Awards broadcast was the lowest-rated ever. Before that, last year's broadcast was the lowest-rated ever. Next year's broadcast will probably lower the bar even further and again be the lowest-rated ever. That's what happens when most of the series nominated for the major awards are among the lowest-rated ever. Why should people watch a show that highlights shows they don't watch?

  • Cross-Promotion: Cable Does It, Why Can't Broadcast? in TV Everywhere on 09/14/2016

    I was watching the season finale of TNT's "The Last Ship," and saw a promo for CBS's new drama, "Bull." Made sense to me. They probably have very similar audiences. But we would never see "Bull" promoted on NBC's "Law & Order: SVU." That's because the broadcast networks still seem to see themselves as their main competition. Strangely, they will take advertising from ad-supported cable networks, but not from one another.

  • Happy Birthday MAGNA! in Television News Daily on 09/06/2016

    Fifteen years ago this week, a new little division within Interpublic called MAGNA Global launched. It is never easy to champion new ideas and new ways of doing things, and we did meet formidable resistance in and out of our own company.

  • The Best New Broadcast Pilots in Television News Daily on 06/14/2016

    I have now seen all the new fall and midseason broadcast network pilots that were made available for screening. Here is a brief analysis of top picks.

  • Most New Broadcast Series Will Flop - Here's Why in Television News Daily on 06/08/2016

    But as the broadcast networks tout themselves as the best advertising vehicles out there, they continue to stubbornly refuse to take their own advice. They won't advertise their programming on other broadcast networks.

  • Why Declining Ratings Don't Matter (To The Networks) in Television News Daily on 06/01/2016

    If you ask any broadcast network executive whether they would rather lose 10% of their audience next season but move into first place (because everyone else declined more) or gain 10% but slip into third or fourth place, they would all rather lose viewers and be in first place.

  • New Research: ATMs Reach More People Than YouTube in Television News Daily on 05/20/2016

    If I watch one YouTube video for three minutes, and then spend three hours watching television, the reach is the same. But to say I watch just as much YouTube as television is gibberish.

  • A Young Media Person's Guide To Evaluating Pilots in Television News Daily on 05/18/2016

    Anyone who says they predicted "Friends," "Grey's Anatomy," "American Idol," "Scandal," "The Blacklist" or "Empire" would be instant hits is simply lying. You just never know what's going to click with a broad spectrum of viewers. The next "Walking Dead" is right around the corner, but we won't know it until after it debuts.

  • Why Does The ARF Still Need To Prove The Sky Is Blue? in MediaDailyNews on 04/07/2016

    Too many studies just seem to be repackaging what we've seen over and over again throughout the years. People need to understand that there is a difference between "groundbreaking" and "self-evident."

  • Academy Awards Broadcast Needs To Be Fixed  in MediaDailyNews on 02/29/2016

    Every year I watch the show. 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.

Comments by Steve All comments by Steve

  • Fixing The Emmys by Steve Sternberg (TV Everywhere on 09/21/2016)

    I agree with most of everyone's points.  My intent was not to comment on the purpose of the Emmy awards, but rather how to make the broadcast more appealing to viewers.  I think that oftentimes the most innovative and creative programs will be lower rated, because almost by definition they are not designed to initially appeal to a broad audience.  Breaking Bad is a good example.  For first few seasons it was very low rated, but by its final season it got a much broader and larger audience.  It's Emmy nominations and social media buzz (and AMC's marathons) no doubt contributed.  Nevertheless, there is nothing wrong with adding some high-rated series into the nomination mix - it will take nothing away from the other shows, and might help provide a larger platform for viewers to discover them.

  • Happy Birthday MAGNA! by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 09/06/2016)

    Hey Brian. You've done me proud since the day you started working for me. glad to see your continuing the tradition of great research over there. 

  • Most New Broadcast Series Will Flop - Here's Why by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 06/08/2016)

    Mara - I think if Ford gave Chvy brochures to everyone and Chevy gave Ford brochures to everyone, it wouldn't hurt sales for either, but would likely improve sales for both.

  • Most New Broadcast Series Will Flop - Here's Why by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 06/08/2016)

    Ed, I don't think news is a good analogy.  It might be the one instance where people watch networks rather than programs. Better analogy is NCAA Basketball tournament or NFL Football. 

  • Most New Broadcast Series Will Flop - Here's Why by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 06/08/2016)

    Sorry to be equally harsh, but your example is ridiculous. If you really don't think the main reason for cable original series success has not been cross channel advertising, you have not been paying attention. 

  • Most New Broadcast Series Will Flop - Here's Why by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 06/08/2016)

    Ed, that's my whole point. They should.

  • Why Declining Ratings Don't Matter (To The Networks) by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 06/01/2016)

    What too many people don't realize, is that viewers don't watch or think in terms of networks.  No one watches 17 networks, they watch 17 programs.  They have their favorites, and when they are not on, revert to their second or third options.  That's how off-network series on TBS, USA, and ION do so well - by being the best option when nothing else is on.  But when given a choice of channels, people may not think of what they watch when nothing else is on.  Folks are in for a big surprise as to how much TV viewing will take place in a 17--channel unbundled home.  Higher average ratings per channel, but much less overall TV viewing.  If my favorite show isn't on, I'll zip through 17 channels in 30 seconds and then I'm gone.  With 4-500 channels, I'll be there much longer and probably find something to watch.

  • Why Does The ARF Still Need To Prove The Sky Is Blue? by Steve Sternberg (MediaDailyNews on 04/07/2016)

    Hi Nick - I feel honored that my article drew you back in.

  • Most Viewed, Binged TV Shows Are Not The Ones You Think by Steve Sternberg (MediaDailyNews on 02/25/2016)

    Ed, Nielsn's Brand Effect is an example of mediocrity in research that we should all resist using.  TV Attentiveness scores from GFK-MRI are only  marginally better (or is it marginally worse?).  Good research in this area is possible, but you need people who know how to do it.  Simply repackaging dubious research from IAG into another name does little to advance good research practices.

  • Most Viewed, Binged TV Shows Are Not The Ones You Think by Steve Sternberg (MediaDailyNews on 02/25/2016)

    You also have the dynamic of most off-network series being viewed live, which increases commercial attentiveness. Attentiveness levels for the ost viewed off-network shows like Big Bang Theory on TBS are no lower than original comedies.  People view them over and over again because they are comfort food and they enjoy watching them - not to just have them on as background noise.

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