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Steve Sternberg

Member since September 2009Contact Steve

Steve Sternberg is currently Editor-in-Chief of The Sternberg Report. He has more then 30 years of television and video analysis experience, having held top research posts at Bozell, TN Media, Magna Global, and ION Media Networks. He also authors The Sternberg Report (www.sternbergreport.com)

Articles by Steve All articles by Steve

  • How To Make The Emmys More Viewer-Friendly in Research Intelligencer on 07/08/2019

    Last year's Emmy Awards broadcast was the least watchable I've ever seen, and I've been watching them forever. It seemed sparse, hollow, and low-budget. Most of the skits were not funny in the slightest. They seemed intent on driving away older viewers (my mother-in-law couldn't take watching it after about 30 minutes), without having any idea how to appeal to a younger crowd. The structure of the show was awkward and disconnected - announcing the nominees, then bringing out celebrity presenters to banter, and then announcing the winners. By the time they got to presenting each award, I forgot who was nominated. In this week's edition, I provide my suggestions for making TV's awards show more friendly for TV viewers.

  • Summer Bingeing: 20 TV Series You Should Check Out in Research Intelligencer on 06/27/2019

    Once a time for little but repeats, reality, and game shows, the summer months are now filled with original scripted series - several on cable networks, but many you may never have heard of on streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and CBS All Access, as well. In this week's edition, I offer my picks for the best series you may not have heard about, but should check out over the summer. Each has at least two seasons worth of episodes you can binge. I'll try my best not to provide spoilers.

  • New Season Pilots: The Good, The Almost Good, And The Not-So-Good in Research Intelligencer on 06/19/2019

    I've been analyzing television programming for roughly 30 years, and have seen many good pilots flop as regular series, but also more than a few poor performing pilots build into hits. Increasingly, however, the latter is harder to come by. In this week's edition, I provide guidelines to help you pick the "Seinfelds," "Miami Vices" or "Everybody Loves Ramonds" in the rough.

  • Hail And Farewell To 'Jessica Jones' in Research Intelligencer on 06/12/2019

    While strong women characters abound on ad-supported TV, many of them are defined by their central relationships with male characters. Netflix's "Jessica Jones" has the distinction of being Marvel's first female lead and title character in either television or movies. It stars Krysten Ritter, one of the most casually charismatic actors on television. In this week's edition I analyze the significance of this series as it enters its third and final season on Netflix.

  • The Last Of The 'TV Generation' Turns 50 in Research Intelligencer on 06/03/2019

    With the youngest members of the "TV Generation" turning 50 this year (and the oldest approaching 70), it's ironic that the press and much of the advertising industry still think of adults 18-49 as the key demographic segment for evaluating television viewing. In this week's edition, I examine the impact these generational shifts are having on the audience composition of television.

  • Upfront Thoughts: Things That Matter in Research Intelligencer on 05/28/2019

    "Game of Thrones" is over and summer is coming. The May sweeps have ended and summer repeats and reality will once again take over the broadcast airwaves. Many viewers will turn to cable, with its increasingly robust menu of original scripted series, as they do every year at this time. They will also turn to streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video to watch full seasons of new and returning shows. With this backdrop, here are my thoughts on the things that matter most for the 2019-20 upfront prime-time TV season.

  • Does The Primetime Television Upfront Still Matter? in Research Intelligencer on 05/21/2019

    For American television viewers, the start of the new prime-time television season is still four months away. For insiders at media agencies, networks, and advertisers, however, the upfront season is placing thoughts of September squarely into May. But does it even matter anymore?

  • A Young Media Person's Guide to Evaluating Pilots in Research Intelligencer on 05/17/2019

    In this week's edition, I do what I've done each time this year for the past 30 years: offer my hits and misses on the new prime-time lineups. It's a time-honored process, and the big difference between this year and what I was doing in the 1980s, is the size of the share estimate that I use as the benchmark of success.

  • TV May Be Everywhere, But TV Researchers Are Not: Why Measurement Can't Keep Up in Research Intelligencer on 05/06/2019

    The fragmentation of TV viewing technology and sources is making it difficult, if not impossible, for audience measurement to keep up with modern viewers.

  • In Game Of Thrones, The Women Rule in Research Intelligencer on 04/17/2019

    It's the most successful series on premium cable since "The Sopranos." Its eighth and final season, eagerly awaited by its legion of fans, just got underway. Of course, in today's splintered video world, more than half the country has never seen a single episode, and is wondering what all the fuss is about. In this week's edition, I examine one of the things that makes "Game of Thrones" so unique: its well-written female characters.

Comments by Steve All comments by Steve

  • This Will Be A Sellers' Upfront by Dave Morgan (Media Insider on 05/30/2019)

    Demand never outweighs supply in TV.  The upfront system creates an artificial demand for what is essentially a (nearly) unlimited supply of rating points.  As long as the upfront system rewards rankings over actual audience size, the networks will continue to be able to charge more for a shrinking product.  Also should note that as average ratings decline, it becomes much easier to estimate future program and network performance, so guarantees, the only reason for advertisers to still want an upfront, are not nearly as useful as they once were.

  • 4 In 10 Ad Execs Predict Upfront Will Either Diminish Or Disappear In Five Years by Joe Mandese (Research Intelligencer on 05/08/2019)

    Real story is that more than 40% of advertisers and agencies think the upfront will expand.

  • Older Companies' Message To Netflix: We Want Our Shows Back by Adam Buckman (TVBlog on 04/29/2019)

    I think tthat even though Friends and The Office might be Netflix's most viewed shows, most people get Netflix for original series, not off-net stuff.  Once they get it, they start watching a lot of other things.  So I expect that it might be annoying to lose Friends, it probably won't contribute much to churn.  On average, viewers willspend less time with aNetflix, but it won't inhibit subscriber growth much.

  • Shorter TV Ads Command More Viewer Attention by Wayne Friedman (Television News Daily on 10/11/2018)

    This is the type of gibberish research that leads to gibberish headlines. 

  • 6-Second Commercials Are Dumb by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 06/22/2018)

    I've never liked "eyes-on-screen" metrics.  First time I saw that was when networks were trying to convince agencies that viewers were paying attention when fast-forwarding through commercials.  I've never seen anything that correlates eyes-on-screen to ad recall.  And average second eyes on screen metrics to compare attentiveness to different commercial lengths is  just nonsense.  Having eyes focused on the screen is more of a function of multitasking than commercial length.  While there are probably quite effective and creative ways to use 6-second spots, you'll have to prove they are worth any type of premium price.

  • 6-Second Commercials Are Dumb by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 06/22/2018)

    I think a lot of people have it backward.  For example, when I go to the movies with my wife and millennial son, my wife and I haven't seen most of the commercials they show because we DVR almost everything we watch on linear TV.  My son, on the other hand, watches the commerials and is familiar with all of them, as are his friends.  The idea that millennials have attention spans too short for 30 second commercials is gibberish.  They said the same thing about the MTV generation and 15s vs. 30s.  Where the attantion span comes into play is in the slow or fast pace of a program, certainly not in 6 second vs. 30 second commercials.  And my main point was in the effectiveness and cost differential. 

  • Will Less Clutter, Shorter Commercial Pods Matter? by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 05/22/2018)

    Whe e did the research demonstrting less commercial avoidance and higher ad reall 10 years ago, that was a year before Niesen started measuring C3 and C7, and when DVR penetration was barely 20% of the U.S.  Today, I think the networks shoud demonstrate that there is still a lift in ad recall before charging a makor premium.  I would experiment over the summer and do the research before September.

  • Will Less Clutter, Shorter Commercial Pods Matter? by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 05/22/2018)

    Hi Ed. Not sure how we differ. 

  • The Upfronts: Only Place to Hear the Truth? by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 05/13/2018)

    Hi Ed-i think you missed my point. I was simply quoting things that the networks said at last year’s Upfront presentations. 

  • Thor: What Is It Good For? by Steve Sternberg (Television News Daily on 10/23/2017)

    But most people have no idea what they mean, while 20 years ago, everyone did. 

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