Fox Is No. 1--And Spreads The Wealth

Fox's "American Idol" is doing so well as the No. 1 show on television, it can now offer marketing to other networks.

Mary J. Blige sang U2's "One" with "Idol" contestant Elliot Yamin during the finale of "American Idol." But Blige also sings the same song in a recent ABC promo touting the network's new fall programming. Not only that, but Blige sang "One" for media agency and advertising executives during ABC's upfront presentation last week.

Do viewers make the ABC-Blige-"One" association? Probably not yet. Surely, Fox had clearance for that song, as did ABC. In any event, Blige's agent must be working overtime.

Fox might have chosen another song, or another artist for the "Idol" finale night. The show already had big name talent--Prince, Clay Aiken, Burt Bacharach, Toni Braxton, Al Jarreau, Meat Loaf, Carrie Underwood and Dionne Warwick,



For many years, before ABC's recent revival, the network used the song "Yellow" from Coldplay to romance advertisers and viewers in promos for their shows--programs, which, for the most part, turned yellow in an attempt for broadcast gold.

Mixed marketing messaging can be a problem in today's cluttered media world. There is the Outdoor Life Network (also called OLN) and The Outdoor Channel. Do you know the difference?

The Outdoor Channel is primarily about hunting and fishing; OLN has some of that programming but is more mainstream, with broad-based sports such as the NHL, Arena Football, America's Cup race, and tennis events.

Still there are change is in the works. OLN doesn't really work for a growing sports cable network. What is better? Something that is way opposite. OLN will be called Versus. No confusion there.

Of course, maybe Fox was trying to send a message. The song "One" talks about the world as one world--in a kind of modern day peace-and-understanding-type-of-song.

It's Fox's way of saying we are all one TV world. Of course, it's also Fox's way of saying it doesn't matter if we are promoting another network, even accidentally; we are still No. 1 in viewers 18-49.

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