With the broadcast part of the upfront advertising market almost done, a number of fingers will be pointed this week - at NBC, cable, and syndication. In somewhat of a traditional marketplace, with the broadcast networks going first -- ABC, CBS, Fox, UPN, and the WB - it would seem like the remaining pieces of the market could be fighting for what's left. This is especially true in a less than robust marketplace that exists.
Who knew? Now it's TV programmers that are having an effect on length and style of Internet video.
Fox now sports its first ever season-long broadcast ratings crown, but some not-so-sporting complaints remain from its competitors. Fox Broadcasting won the season with a 4.1 rating in the Nielsen 18 to 49 ratings race, just a smidge over CBS' 4.0. ABC was a bit farther back at 3.7, showing a big rise of 12 percent over last year. NBC sank some 19 percent to arrive at an unexpected 3.5.
If you work for a U.S.-based media company, you have to be inspired by the employees of the BBC. In response to the company-wide job cuts of 4,000 people over the next three years, the company's entire work staff went on strike for one day. It's kind of nostalgic to think media companies are like steel companies or automobile companies of years ago - that the slightest whim of change can bring about unity.
Start the guessing game now that the upfront programming presentations are over -- what is the next great out-of-the-box original network hit? Can't think of anything? Perhaps we are getting a little too greedy, since there is already one show that this year fit the bill. After years of having no honest-to-goodness scripted rookie hits, ABC's "Desperate Housewives" seemingly arrived from outer space last September.
So where's the TV upfront advertising market this morning? Lukewarm? Warming? ABC supposedly did some early deals last week to, in theory, kick off the upfront advertising sales market - a market that is poised to be rather feeble. Speculation centers around a deal or two or three or perhaps 17 the network had with media agency OMD - all because ABC has the Super Bowl in 2006, a piece of the 2005-2006 broadcast selling season.
So much for broadcast network studio synergy. Now it seems broadcast networks really have to look for the best shows - whether or not they are made by their respective sister Hollywood studios production companies. For this fall's season, NBC has only taken 33 percent of its new series from its NBC Universal Television Studios - otherwise known somewhat comically as NUTS. Considering how far NBC sank this season they would be indeed nuts not the take the best programming available. Of course, the reality is that NBC has been doing this for years.
For the last several days during the upfront meetings, it's been a question on everyone's lips and will be buzzed again today as Fox becomes the last network to deliver its upfront presentation: What happened to all the reality shows?
Cheer just a little for ABC, the comeback kid, this upfront season. But hold your applause until just before next November sweep. That's when ABC's target marketing of a few good shows will show its colors -and the applause meter might go on again.
The NBA has been anything but a lay up this season for television networks. Yet there seems to be a silver lining - at least for cable network TNT.