• Give Me Four More! Networks Are Media Buyers' New Trainers
    The networks want to get the fat out of TV upfront activities. NBC has been thinking along these lines for its program presentation -- but should it go further? ABC may have the right answer -- do the presentation, but probably cancel its post-presentation party event.
  • Baseball And Cycling's Common Ground: Nervous Sports Marketers And TV Networks
    The sport known for the biggest performance-enhancing-drug problem -- European-based professional cycling -- is seemingly passing the high-profile drug baton to Major League Baseball in the U.S. But that may be just a drop of an oncoming spitball. The next wave may be around the corner, concerning TV network viewership and scared baseball marketers.
  • Shorter TV Drama Seasons: Better TV, Good For Marketers?
    Because of the three month disruption of the strike, many producers are trying to come up with shorter episode seasons for their shows -- all of which could be a blessing. For example, instead of producing another eight episodes for "Lost," exec producer Carlton Cuse said the show will only be doing around five shows for the rest of the year. "We're going to try to make as many as we can and do a good job of finishing out this season," he told Daily Variety. "We'll have to compress some of the storytelling we planned for this season, and …
  • With Strike Almost Over, Music Plays On -- Somewhere
    The writers' strike is effectively over, while the mysteries of TV program ratings continue. Then again, some mysteries need only a history lesson.
  • TV And Film Writers Playing -- And Winning? -- The Percentages
    Write this question: Is 2% of the gross for some Internet video better than $125,000 of a TV pilot that goes nowhere? Right now, writers are hoping that the Internet will be big -- because producers will be looking at cutting back on the other part of a long-time gravy train: the pilots.
  • Truth In TV Advertising: Show Viewers Your Product Placements AND CPMs
    Five members of the Federal Communications Commission have approved a plan to rewrite disclosure rules for product placement on TV. What will be those rules? No one knows for sure. But consumer group pressure is hoping some message will be aired around why, say, the Starbucks store name is shown in a partial "CSI" shot.
  • New Multi-Cast Digital Networks: Boon Or Yawn?
    TV stations are finally getting the extra programming platform they always wanted. But could it be too much of a good thing? At the same time, can new digital local-based TV networks find their place?
  • TV Looks To Tune In Again; Oscars, Or Lack Thereof, Will Be First Test
    With the writers' strike seemingly coming to an end, will networks now offer up a TV branded campaign that includes the words "Welcome Back"? Perhaps they should. Ratings have indeed drifted lower. On the downside, it would be admitting that TV viewers left in the first place.
  • Record-Breaking Super Bowl: Economical For Advertisers
    What does a dramatic, high-rated Super Bowl mean for advertisers? Good news: Continued media value in iffy entertainment/TV times.
  • Political Drama: Good For Weaker TV Drama Schedules
    Looking for lots of celebrities at a big event? Hope your marketing dollars can get a piece of that? You missed your chance. Last week, CNN aired the best-rated cable event ever for the presidential debate, featuring Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton.
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