NATPE Executives Call For Risk-Taking With 'Laser Focus'

Television is a battleground, and TV executives are aiming right at viewers -- especially the slower-moving consumers.

"We have a sniper focus on 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. to drive a power audience flow," said Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios, during a panel at the National Association of Television Program Executives meeting on Tuesday, in response to NBC's radical prime-time move by having Jay Leno running 10 p.m. five days a week, thus trimming the number of hours the network needs to program.

Somewhat along the same lines, Lionsgate chairman Jon Feltheimer said during a NATPE keynote that more niche targets are the answer. He noted the slices for the big TV cake are seemingly getting thinner and thinner. But that's not bad news.

Feltheimer called for more risk-taking because, while the entertainment business is being sucked into the weak economy just like every other industry, there are actually more people watching more TV than ever before.



All this amounts to nice feel-good statements for an industry that has seen almost 80,000 jobs lost recently across a number of large media companies.

Entertainment can be recession-resistant -- you just have to pick your spots. NetFlix, the mail-order DVD rental company, had its biggest fourth quarter ever -- with its stock soaring 15% on Tuesday. Why? One analyst says the results were "driven in part by consumers substituting the far cheaper Netflix service for theater viewing."

Does this speak to the niche, sniper focus needed to win in this media business environment -- or just sluggish, cost-conscious entertainment consumers not willing to leave their couches or homes for entertainment?

2 comments about "NATPE Executives Call For Risk-Taking With 'Laser Focus'".
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  1. Chris Hansen from C. M. Hansen Co., Inc., January 28, 2009 at 11:57 a.m.

    Jay's show will indeed be interesting, mostly to see what NBC actually does with it. Netflix being up double digits is no surprise...why would I drive to a theater, pay $10+ for 3 tickets, $4 each for sodas, and $6 for popcorn and have to deal with cell phones and rude people when I can watch as many movies as I can cram in to $10 or $15 a month and get my own food. This is a "No-Brainer" in this economy! The bigger your family, the more you save with Netflix...

  2. William Hughes from Arnold Aerospace, January 28, 2009 at 12:22 p.m.

    I don't suppose this is because of what is passed off as "Programming" and/or the people who sponsor this could it?

    For $65.00 a Month I could watch a bunch of Channels that show virtually the same Programs over and over again, stuffed to the gills with advertisments for products I have absolutely no interest in purchasing, (Or if I was interested it would be a cold day in a certain infernal region before I'd purchase from that particular Company because they think the best way to get my interest is to offend me!) OR I can purchase 60 to 100 TV Episodes, along with a few Movies, which I can watch from my 51-Inch HDTV and, after watching I GET TO KEEP IT!!!

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