Commentary

TV Nets: Work Harder To Keep Viewers Engaged, Avoid More Ad Content

The importance of big TV ratings these days? Maybe not so much, as networks apparently still get paid. Future secret sauce -- a stronger, personal deal with viewers.

Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal, said during the last week’s Comcast Corp. earnings: "It's tougher to get a rating in this fragmented TV market, but when you do, you get rewarded for it significantly."

So that’s good news, no? Burke didn’t go into details. He did allude to the strongest scatter market in recent memory, and predicts NBC will have the No. 1 position leading into the upfront market.

We are guessing what his view was for the long term. That, despite true cross-platform metrics and other issues, traditional domestic and international program sales, deals for hungry subscription video on demand services, and other ad-supported digital video sales can pay handsomely. 

We also might add any future premium price deals traditional TV marketers make with networks in terms of more data-specific, first-party deals with guaranteed results.

Even then, media companies can be a bit greedy. They want to get paid for all viewing of their programming -- with or without new TV-video cross-platform measurement. Can you believe that? 100%! Not 80% or 70%. 

To be frank, I also can be greedy. In the future, perhaps I'm looking to avoid any NBCUniversal TV advertising, not one second of messaging, not 70%. More like 100%. That would be my goal. Maybe for all networks.

But don’t worry; I’m open to negotiation. 

In the future, I will hear and see -- like all viewers -- more person-to-person TV marketing because that's what’ll take to consume your content. 

And no. It won’t be because of your recommendation engines or missives from friends, acquaintances, or promoters when it comes to invasive social media content in touting or teasing your programming.

How will you do that? That’s not my problem. I have choices. And remember, Burke says there’s fragmentation -- and it’s only going to get worse.

Cross-platform TV-video measurement won’t help you strike better agreements -- with advertisers or those who consume your content. That’s just a tool. Instead, all TV networks/providers will need to negotiate even better deals with viewers. 

Have your people call my people.

2 comments about "TV Nets: Work Harder To Keep Viewers Engaged, Avoid More Ad Content".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics, May 2, 2016 at 10:23 a.m.

    Wayne, my take on Burke's comments are that in TV "big" commands the highest CPMs even if the program content is fairly mediocre---like many of the "high rated" reality shows recently---while "little" commands lower CPMs even if the content is superior. This has been the guiding rule imposed upon the cable channels by buyers who are---let's face it---- wedded to the braodcast networks. And even within cable, "big" ratings get you into the top tier of CPM pricing while "little" earns fewer dollars per thousand viewers, regardless of their engagement levels. So, naturally, the broadcast networks want to "monetize" their primetime fare by getting credit for every bit of viewing in any venue as this translates into higher CPMs. But are they really connecting with viewers on a consistent basis? That's another question. After all, why is Netflix still doing so well as an alternative?

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, May 2, 2016 at 7:41 p.m.

    Creepy creep creepy

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