• Group Complains About PG-13 Movie Ads
    An advocacy group is calling on federal regulators to further probe the marketing of movies to kids to include PG-13 movies touted in children's TV shows. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood has written to the Federal Trade Commission prompted by the ads for "Transformer," which it says contains "intense sequences of sci-fi action violence." Despite that, it is still being advertised as programming with the TV-Y rating, meaning it's OK for kids as young as two. Various Nickelodeon shows had the spots, including "Fairly Odd Parents" and "Jimmy Neutron." The CCFC notes CARU's approach, but ...
  • NASCAR Programs Attracts Younger Set
    While ratings for NASCAR continue to slump, the sport is at least pulling in more of a younger demographic. At Fox, the races have seen a 7% improvement in men 18-34 for the Nextel Cup broadcasts, while ESPN2's coverage of the Busch Series has managed a 2% increase. David Hill, CEO of Fox Sports, says this is the first year Nielsen is also using out-of-home viewing to calculate its numbers, and viewership at college may account for some of the gain. "This is the first accurate snapshot of what college kids are watching," Hill says. "The households might ...
  • Syndie Market Moving Briskly
    The upfront market for syndicated fare is moving briskly this year, with buyers looking to wrap up the $2 billion market in the next week or two. More than half of the market is already done, and top-tier programming is getting mid-to-high single digit CPM increases. "It's at a faster pace than we have seen for the last couple of years," says Amy McMahon, associate director at Starcom USA. More money form drug companies seems to be fueling the pace, along with some companies' failure to get time on the broadcast nets. And most of the syndie ...
  • Hilton Interview A Ratings Bump For CNN
    While many critics panned it as boring -- and it did CNN's news reputation no good -- Larry King's interview with Paris Hilton turned into a ratings bonanza for the network. King, known for his obsequiousness toward celebrity subjects -- garnered 3.2 million viewers for the program, more than triple his average. Numbers for the show even exceeded CNN's last two presidential debates, which pulled 2.78 million and 2.05 million, respectively. "Someone said this is the second-biggest guest you can get in the world," King says. "The first would be Osama Bin Laden. Now, what is that ...
  • Visa Snares World Cup Rights
    Visa has snared the global rights to sponsor soccer's 2010 and 2014 World Cups -- after rival MasterCard decided to accept a $90 million settlement and end its involvement with the tournaments. MasterCard and the Federation Internationale de Football Association [FIFA] went to court over the company's right to sponsor the tournaments here in the U.S. A federal judge ruled last year that FIFA failed to honor its agreements when it awarded sponsorship rights to Visa International. Visa's new deal begins with the 2007 Under-20 World Cup and runs right through the 2014 World Cup. The company will ...
  • Competitors Hone Pitches To Compete With iPhone
    As the remarkable pre-sale buildup for Apple's iPhone--which runs on AT&T's network--nears its end, the other wireless carriers are figuring out how to compete over the long term. Apple signed a multiyear exclusive agreement to sell the iPhone at AT&T in the U.S., meaning that customers will have to become AT&T users to get the iPhone. If you walk into a T-Mobile store, for instance, sales personnel will probably ask you to consider their new WiFi phones introduced this week to work with any WiFi network. At Sprint, leaked internal documents reveal that you will be redirected ...
  • New Audience Measures For Papers
    For decades, the newspaper audience numbers that set ad rates have been measured by paid circulation. But with many people reading the paper only online - or as a "pass-along" -- the Audit Bureau of Circulations is readying the roll out of a system for counting total readership. The new data will encompass pass-along and Web site traffic. "It's important to realize that more people want what we produce today than wanted it yesterday," says Gary Pruitt, chairman and chief executive of The McClatchy Co. "Our total audience is growing. That's not an easy thing to do in ...
  • Squawks Over Move To Re-Regulate Talk Radio
    Some right-wing lawmakers are squawking over the possibility of a reversal of federal rules that currently allow talk radio to broadcast one side of an issue without an opposing viewpoint. And one of them -- Indiana Republican Mike Pence -- intends to introduce a bill that could prevent any future president or the Federal Communications Commission from bringing back the "Fairness Doctrine," a rule revoked in 1985 that was aimed at fostering political balance on publicly airwaves. "There's nothing fair about the Fairness Doctrine," claims Pence, himself a former radio host. And bringing it back "would amount to ...
  • Oden Already Bagging Endorsements
    A 7-foot-tall 19-year-old expected to be the first player in the NBA Draft is already cutting endorsement deals. Greg Oden, who has gone pro after just one year at Ohio State, has already made pacts with Nike, Take Two Interactive, Spalding, Topps and Raymond Weill. The Nike deal is the richest, with insiders saying the shoe company will pay him more than what the last two first-pick giants -- Andrew Bogut and Dwight Howard - got but less than its nearly $100 million pre-draft deal with LeBron James. Of course, it remains to be seen how well ...
  • TNT Shifting "Heartland" Time Slot
    "Heartland," a medical drama on TNT that stars Treat Williams, has been bounced out of its time slot after only two episodes. The cable net is moving the show from Monday at 10 p.m. following "The Closer" to 8 p.m., without the help of an original lead-in.Taking the 10 p.m. position as of July 23 will be "Saving Grace." "Heartland" has been a ratings dog thus far, getting just 3 million total viewers and 800,000 viewers in 18-49, both down roughly 30% from the previous week. And critics hate it too, even though TNT had been hoping ...
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