How do you restart a sports league again, just eight years after a similar fresh-in-the-mind lockout? This is the NHL's big task.
TV's commercial-skipping battle is still brewing. In fact, it's getting more intense. Technology companies continue to come up with ways to skip commercials, like Dish Network's Hopper set-top box. At the same time, media content companies push their shows and movies onto technology platforms like Hulu and video-on-demand (VOD) services where consumers can't skip advertiser messaging.
We've heard -- or seen -- it all before: some new TV technology that is going to change our lives. This is where 4K TV, or Ultra TV sets, now lives. This new technology has four times the digital information as current HDTV and is where many TV set makers are looking to put another stake in the ground. But where?
A lot has been made of the so-called second screen. But I've never heard a modern media consumer say, "Hmm, I wonder what's playing on my second screen this evening?"
Netflix has a new way to measure its new original TV series: Don't look at traditional TV ratings. Cable networks might have an ulterior motive when they release TV viewership number -- to manage their business relationships, with, say cable operators. But Netflix ultimately won't be shouting to business partners or others about how well a particular show is doing: "Why would we do that?" asked Ted Sarandos, chief content officer for Netflix, speaking at the Television Critics Association press tour.
Maybe you don't want to do everything with your TV. Perhaps you don't want to tweet through your TV, share photographs through your TV, or email through your TV. (Your set is positioned kind of far away, isn't it? But your smartphone and tablet are much nearer, and something you can hold). We always marvel about the wonders of technology displayed at the Consumer Electronic Show. But we wind up being terribly wrong about how consumers might use them. Actual consumer behavior comes way after the fact.
Is Dish Network making a peace offering to marketers, possibly leading to a more valuable real-time ad buying service? The AutoHop feature in Dish's Hopper set-top box -- which lets viewers fast- forward through commercials -- has drawn the ire of many TV marketing and media executives since it was introduced last year. Now the satellite programming service is looking to build a tracking service to allow its viewers -- and perhaps advertisers -- to see what other Dish users are watching, according to Bloomberg News.
The Consumer Electronics Show again looks to offer TV content providers and marketers a sped-up glimpse into what consumers might want in future years. Call it a more ad-friendly fast-forwarding activity.
A happy 50-50 advertising scenario is the near-term goal of what some old-line media-centric companies are seeking. Wired magazine, for example, says over 50% (59% to be exact) of all its ad dollars now come from digital efforts. But what does this benchmark mean for TV networks and studios?
The third season of British period drama 'Downton Abbey,' a blockbuster hit for PBS, returns Jan. 6. Millions of Americans are happily hooked on the Edwardian saga.