The cable industry is at it again, trying to avoid carrying local TV station signals. Industry members claim that DirecTV and EchoStar Communications don't have to do it -- so why should they?
With all the new programming competitions in the land of TV -- reality, sport or scripted - there's still not enough. We need a TV show that focuses on TV watching.
Be a video contrarian. Stir up controversy, and make new friends. This is what we have Mark Cuban for. Here's the latest: The Internet is dead, he says. Cuban says the future is actually TV itself -- especially coming with video-on-demand (VOD) that has grown over the last several years.
No puffing. No smoking. Better role models -- at least for one studio. Disney bans cigarettes from its family films. It's a no-risk move for the family friendly studio, but what does it mean for period pieces? And will such bans end with smoking?
In NBA games, lots of points are scored. But if a rogue referee had his way, he'd make some points too -- all to help his gambling bets. ESPN and Turner Sports are helping with the FBI investigation, but what if it's more than one rogue ref? Then advertisers have big problems.
Movie cable network AMC used to be the network that had no advertising; these days it has some. In the old days cigarettes could advertise on TV; now it's verboten. Until "Mad Men" and its Lucky Strike plug. The ad placement is an organic part of the story.
What does TV advertising do for TV writers? They pay their salaries, of course? But maybe not in the future. In response to a possible strike by TV writers, who are demanding they get paid appropriately for their work that appears on new digital platforms, producers are taking a hard line. So hard, in fact, that here's what Carol Lombardini, executive vice president-business and legal affairs at the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, wonders how long will television continue to be an ad-supported medium.
Calling for more branded entertainment means someone is getting rich -- but not producers. "It isn't changing our lives in terms of economics," said 20th Century Fox Television Co-President Gary Newman, speaking at the Hollywood Radio & Television Society's Newsmaker Luncheon this week. This brings up the question: Who is benefiting from branded entertainment?
Two German TV networks decided not to air the Wednesday and Thursday stages of the Tour de France because a German cyclist, Patrik Sinkewitz of the T-Mobile cycling team, tested positive for testosterone. This is remarkable. Imagine if a New York Yankee baseball player tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs and the YES network decide not to air a baseball game.
When does WWE take a hit from advertisers or viewers? Not yet. Not as long as the sport - is not a sport. Not even when a top champion wrestler, or entertainment performer, Chris Benoit, in an alleged state of steroid rage, allegedly killed his son, wife and then himself.