Alec Baldwin singlehandedly continues to do some of NBC's best marketing work for "30 Rock": He keeps saying outrageous stuff or getting in the middle of testy issues -- like being a passenger on a airline. What's his secret? He doesn't go over the Sheen-edge.
Independently owned Tennis Channel has gotten the better of the big bad cable industry --specifically Comcast Corp -- for now. A judge has ruled that Comcast was wrong in putting Tennis Channel on a pay tier -- at $5 a month extra for consumers -- while similar sports networks Versus and the Golf Channel, both owned by Comcast, got a free ride and better channel positions.
Louis C.K.'s recent digital comedy event should make the likes of every semi-recognized TV performer and producer sit up and take notice. Recently, viewers spent $5 for simple digital access to watch his comedy performance at the Beacon Theater. Louis C.K. told The New York Times he pulled in 1 million people. With production costs coming to $250,000, that meant he profited some $750,000. Easy entertainment math.
"The X Factor" didn't do "American Idol"-like numbers this fall -- but it gave Fox some high notes for the season. Fox gained mightily this fall -- growing some 14% in its live-plus-seven-day rating. "X-Factor" filled a big gap for Fox and, coupled with surprising "New Girl," the network did well. Give major kudos to Fox, which has topped the charts as the number one network among the key 18-49 viewers for many seasons.
Apple's Siri -- the voice recognition interface that helps me make a spinning class reservation or reminds me to buy my father a new Elvis Presley-style toupee -- could be the future that will eliminate TV remotes. It's the entertainment butler I never had. Most importantly, it will eliminate the need for electronic program guides. This could drastically shift -- again -- the way we watch television.
How many different digital services and apps do I need to connect socially with the TV shows I watch? One? Five? Fifteen?
Executives of broadcast and cable networks, local stations and other TV media need to press the flesh more than ever -- at the right time, with the right people.
Religious pressure groups typically have issues with TV images or words of titillation: too much sex, too much violence, too many anti-conservative values. Now the Florida Family Association claims TLC's "All-American Muslim" is -- for lack of a better word -- too ordinary.
Imagine when that New Orleans-area car dealership initially heard of the trade that would send big NBA star Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets to the Los Angeles Lakers. This car dealer probably had a media schedule this season on the New Orleans Hornets cable channel, Cox Sports Television, radio outlet KMEZ, or both. "Oh, no. Might have to adjust those media buys now."
This may seem like an old story: Cable networks are spending lots more on original programming. While content has been always important, new marketplace dynamics offer a different picture of rising programming investment.