• 'Lone Star' Builds Audience Before Broadcast
    When Fox introduces the soapy new drama "Lone Star" on television this fall, some Vanity Fair readers, cruise line passengers, hotel guests and iPad owners will have already seen it. The network says it wants the show to be sampled far and wide, so it is giving away the first full episode through alliances with illustrious brands like the Condé Nast mag. "The best way to market 'Lone Star' is to have it seen," said Joe Earley, who has overseen Fox's marketing campaigns for years and who was promoted to president for marketing and communications last month. "Our goal ...
  • BSkyB Buys HBO Catalog
    Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB has bought the exclusive rights to the entire HBO TV catalogue, which includes a huge range of American shows, such as "The Wire," "True Blood," "Sopranos and Martin Scorsese's eagerly-awaited crime drama "Boardwalk Empire," which airs in September. The satellite TV company has signed a content deal with HBO, the US channel that revolutionized the television market by launching a pay-TV service that screens big-budget dramas. The Sky deal, expected to be announced this morning, will give Sky access to HBO's archive and all forthcoming shows over the lifetime of the agreement. It is believed ...
  • FTC Leans Toward 'Do Not Track' Registry
    The chairman of the Federal Trade Commission told a Senate committee today that the FTC is considering recommending a "do not track" registry akin to the "do not call" registry that could give consumers the choice of opting out of behavioral tracking as part of a fall report on privacy. Senators from both parties expressed strong concerns to regulatory officials and officials of Apple, Facebook, AT&T and Google about behavioral targeting and suggested that the government may need to step in if the industry doesn't make profiling far more transparent and controllable.
  • Exploring the Value of Buying on Engagement vs. CPM
    Traditional media buying and planning is based on CPM (cost per thousand impressions). This model was developed for old media that wasn't -- and still isn't -- trackable, says Mitchell Reichgut, CEO of Jun Group. The Internet, of course, is trackable. So, why would an advertiser pay for "impressions" (the number of ads flashing before consumers) when he or she can pay for actual consumer interest and engagement? The consumer engagement model has worked out real well for Google. Their AdWords program charges advertisers only when someone clicks; impressions are considered meaningless and are therefore free. He demonstrates that ...
  • Boucher, Stearns Introduce Voluntary Spectrum Bill
    Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), chairman of the House Communications Subcommittee, has teamed with ranking member Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) to introduce a bill that would make sure that if the government reclaims broadcasters' spectrum for auction and re-use for wireless broadband, it can only do so from broadcasters who give it up voluntarily, and not ones who are coerced either directly or indirectly, says B&C. Boucher has long championed only auctions that give broadcasters the legitimate option of declining the government's offer, while acknowledging he believes there is a spectrum crisis that a truly voluntary process might help alleviate. ...
  • Soaps Still Deliver For Networks
    When CBS' daytime drama "As the World Turns" ends its 54-year run this September, it'll be the end of an era. It is the last soap opera that actually lives up to the genre's moniker -- the only one still produced and sponsored by a soap maker, Procter & Gamble. But this isn't the end of the soap opera. The networks, media buyers and others who follow the genre believe it will live on as a part of major broadcast network TV for years to come. Alan Picozzi, VP and director of research at Petry Media, notes: "There ...
  • Comcast Revs Rise, Profits Slip on NBC Costs
    Comcast Corp. reported a better-than-expected 6% rise in quarterly revenue, but the cable giant's profit was undercut by fees it paid to bankers and lawyers involved in its acquisition of NBC Universal. The result is that revenue climbed to $9.53 billion, surpassing the average estimate of $9.29 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Analysts said that overshadowed a slight decline in profit, with fell to $884 million, or 31 cents a share, from $967 million, or 33 cents a share, a year earlier. If the NBC Universal deal closes, Comcast will not only be delivering customers TV shows and ...
  • Disney Buys Playdom, Ups Lead in Social Games
    The Walt Disney Company on Tuesday became Hollywood's leader in the booming social game business by acquiring Playdom in a deal worth as much as $763.2 million. Playdom is one of a cluster of tech start-ups that make simple online games and sell virtual goods. The purchase continues Disney's effort to strengthen and diversify its digital media portfolio by betting on casual Internet games, in contrast to more complex games for platforms like Xbox and PlayStation. As social games becomes a more crowded and difficult field -- several hundred new games are introduced on Facebook weekly and most ...
  • CNN's Ratings Woes Continue
    While CNN is spending much of its time focusing on jump starting its 8 and 9 p.m. hours, it needs to address the 7 and 10 p.m. hours as well. That's what a quick look at the July ratings reveals. At 7, John King's show is off 42% in viewers and 36% in adults 25-54 from what Lou Dobbs was averaging last July, according to Nielsen. Anderson Cooper needs a jump-start, too. His 10 p.m. show had a disappointing July, averaging only 575,000 viewers. Not only is that down 56% from July 2009, it is the second-least-watched month ...
  • Congress Doesn't Push To Involve FCC In Retrans
    The push to get the Federal Communications Commission to change "retransmission consent" rules has been slow to gain ground on Capitol Hill so far. Reps. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) and Pete King (R-N.Y.) circulated a "Dear Colleague" letter this month promoting changes to retransmission consent rules, a contentious set of regulations governing negotiations between broadcasters and paid distributors such as cable and satellite operators, reports The Hill. But enthusiasm is not exactly spreading like wildfire. A copy of the final letter obtained by The Hill shows only 13 members of Congress signed on. King is the only Republican on the ...
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