• Score for World Cup Soccer - More Eyeballs, No Speeches
    For a TV program, a billion viewers would mean a lot of money or prestige for a TV producer. But it's not warranted, in either case, for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences, nor for U.S. TV advertisers. Despite years of fostering the marketing line that 'a billion' people are watching the famed event, The New Yorker Magazine this week went to great pains to argue that it's more like several hundred million. But it missed a bigger fact: there are TV events, which come a lot closer than the Oscars.
  • A Run for the Roses
    New daytime syndication shows are always a run for the roses. Now, in the post-NATPE (National Association of Television Program Executives) period, shows in the home stretch are already stumbling. Twentieth TV has stopped CNBC money gal Suze Orman's show in its tracks, or at least until next year. The show had key New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago clearances, but not much else.
  • Best Oscar award: The price of a 30-second commercial
    Years ago a producer I know wanted to produce the ultimate TV award show: a show about award shows. It didn?t get off the ground, but the premise was a correct one ? there was an increasingly growing supply, and all made lots of money.
  • Appraising the TV Upfront Market: Watch for snake eyes, or wait until May
    Reading the TV upfront tealeaves is always the sport of gambling fools in February. But since March Madness is still a few days away and the office pools have yet to start, the betting line that has become the TV upfront advertising selling market ? May Madness, to some ? is seeing some action.
  • One Bush-Minded Reporter Gets the Right Questions
    TV Watch keeps a close eye on entertainment business journalists and journalists who appear on TV, as well as those journalists who appear for entertainment value.
  • One Hot Marketing Iron
    With fire and smoke on their minds, entertainment marketing and media executives would like to take a hot branding iron to the world of branded entertainment. Complaints were made loud and clear at the recent Advertising Age Madison + Vine conference by executives representing producers, networks, media agencies, and advertisers concerning the state of the branded entertainment business. These included the long production time spent on branded entertainment projects, the inequitable share of money among partners, and the little-to-no guarantee for a return on investment.
  • NHL Stops Its Season, TV Executives Shrug Shoulders
    Television network executives have responded to the end of the National Hockey League season with a big yawn. Are hockey marketers sleepy as well? The business press hasn't focused on NHL marketers too much. With the NHL's ratings suffering over the past several years, there hasn't been an upside for anyone. For national TV outlets ESPN and NBC, the end of the hockey season means little loss of revenue, and in some cases, an upside with replacement programming. ESPN's ratings for its original TV show, "Tilt" at a 1.1 rating were far above the 0.4 rating regular season hockey games …
  • Mitchell to Leave PBS, Bush Administration Offers Network Little Help
    Working for PBS is the nether world of television; it's a sort of lesser purgatory with no chance of getting to heaven and a strong chance of slipping back into hell. Pat Mitchell, chief executive of PBS, working hard between the devils and angels that she answers to - Bush Administration conservatives and liberal producers -- announced yesterday she'll not renew for a third three-year term. She'll be leaving as controversy surrounds her.
  • Local Newscasts Are Not About Local Politics
    A study by the University of Southern California's Norman Lear Center pointed out in the 2004 elections that 55 percent of the broadcasts on local TV newscasts contained a presidential story - but only 8 percent of the broadcasts contained a story about a local contest. This includes U.S. House, Senate, state house, city council, and other local office stories. Could it be that local races were so boring that news directors couldn't come up with an interesting story? Yes, local TV, like TV anywhere is all about ratings and viewers. It seems the easy way out was airing the …
  • Oscars Ready to Rock But Maybe Not Roll
    With the explosion of new TV awards shows, even the biggest program can use the marketing spice of controversy. Going against the grain of comedic hosts, such as Billy Crystal or Steve Martin, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences picked Chris Rock to host this year's award show, which runs on ABC at the end of this month. ABC must be thrilled with the prospect of Rock grabbing younger viewers. The Oscars broadcast is regularly the second highest rated show after the Super Bowl, and the Academy makes gobs of money. At $1.6 million for a 30-second spot, …
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