MyNetwork TV: Still Low Ratings, But High Ad Expectations

Joke all you want to about MyNetworkTV's microscopic ratings. Then look closer.

What local media wouldn't want to be in their TV affiliates place -- in an extra-hot TV advertising market where those stations don't get a broadcast network's or cable nework's usual number of minutes an hour of advertising time to sell?

They get a massive nine minutes -- with MyNetworkTV getting five minutes to sell.

That kind of national/local advertising split -- as reported first by MediaDailyNews in 2006 -- has stations quietly smiling. Sure, those Spanish-network style telenovelas done in English flopped. But consider what has been happening this fourth quarter.

With the abundance of network makeover advertising inventory carried into this fourth quarter, there is little inventory to sell at the networks. That's helped local stations tremendously - especially major market stations where national marketers can buy several markets deep, to replicate - in part - some of their network media plans.

Lew Leone, general manager of MyNetworkTV-affiliate WWOR-TV, as well as Fox O&O WNYW-TV, told Variety, "a lot of money that couldn't get placed on the (Big Four) networks" came to his stations.

There should be more to come. No matter what happens to MyNetworkTV next year -- in terms of program rating performance -- there should be an expected boom from marketers spending in and around the Summer Olympics and an even bigger surge from an expected tidal wave of some $3 billion in media dollars from the political campaigns.

That means even if MyNetworkTV does even fractionally better than this year, stations will be euphoric.

Of course the year afterward could be a different story -- especially when local TV advertising drifts into the lower sales trend line of the two-year local TV advertising cycle. In down markets, having a lot of inventory isn't good, since it has a specific time-sensitive shelf life.

By then MyNetworkTV --- probably still full of reality shows and celebrity documentaries, a hodgepodge of low-cost TV productions, kind of a poor man's E! and SpikeTV -- should be looking to bust out with bigger numbers. At least MyNetwork owner News Corp. will be expecting that.

Otherwise MyNetworkTV will turn into the YouCanHaveItNetworkTV - something few TV marketers need in a digital age of hundreds -- or thousands -- of video options. If that happens, with all that extra local ad inventory, expect station executives to be using that time to run 30-second video resumes



Next story loading loading..