There were still TV commercials running yesterday -- all amidst the worst-ever point drop in the Dow Industrials. What does this tell us? Do not adjust your TV sets. It's business as usual -- at least for the last week in September.
It's advertising crunch time for TV stations, and the drug of choice getting TV ad execs through the next five weeks are the double-edge-sword TV commercials from those 527 political advertising groups. These third-party groups -- named after the section of tax law -- will make or break things for TV stations and their precious advertising coffers, especially as the economy moves to the edge of recession, if not downright depression.
Maybe Sen. John McCain is really a politician on the outside and a TV marketing executive on the inside. What better way to tweak viewer interest in him
and his Presidential foe Sen. Barack Obama than to cancel the first of three scheduled debates? All this will build interest--and ratings--for the second and third debates. But as MSNBC's Keith Olbermann says, you need a tiebreaker--the best two out of three, so you can advance to meet the Montreal Canadians in the next round. The financial markets have been in a state …
What becomes a new TV series the most? It seems some old traditions still apply--lead-in, lead-out, and marketing--which can give a series lasting appeal. But should it? Seemingly new and strong TV shows--even cable shows--continue to follow the trajectories of traditional TV scheduling. TNT's "Raising the Bar" rocketed to a record-setting 7.7 million viewers in its early September premiere. But in the most recent outing--week four--the show's viewer balloon has much less air--now down to 2.3 million viewers in its most recent outing.
TV networks now argue there should be no additional federal regulations for identifying product placements -- like extra visual messages at the time of their appearance. I've got a suggestion for the networks. They'd have a better case if they got rid of identifying messages that already exist during current TV shows. For example: How about getting rid of the swipes, crawls, and other partially viewed video promotional garbage that appears -- and regularly interrupts -- TV shows, usually on the lower quarter of the screen? The networks can't have it both ways.
The Primetime Emmy Awards on ABC not only showed that cable networks have some of the best programming around -- but, more importantly, that viewers don't really care whether cable shows win any awards.Evidence: This year's awards hit historically low numbers, which meant no one really wanted to see all the stars and executives taking their bows for AMC's "Mad Men," HBO's "John Adams" or FX's "Damages."
It's incredible cable operators still can't figure out the best viewing channels on their systems: broadcast TV stations. Now the cable systems, through their lobbyist the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, are complaining -- again -- about retransmission consent rules that give TV stations the right to charge operators. They want to rip apart many of the rules, including being allowed to import broadcast network signals from other markets so as not to pay fees to stations in their own markets.
On the same day most U.S. stock market indexes fell by spectacular levels -- almost 5% or more on Wednesday on most market indices -- two of the most prominent executives of media companies that owned TV networks said national TV advertising appeared strong. Feeling good yet?
Oprah Winfrey doesn't want to interview Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, even though her audience of mostly women, 25-54, would seemingly eat up such an meeting. But, hey--she's Oprah. And due to her very public endorsement of Barack Obama, she's had a very public moratorium on interviewing any political candidates during this election period.
If viewers aren't giving NBC all the credit it deserves, at least TV marketers are. This is according to Ben Silverman, co-chairman of NBC Entertainment and Universal Media Studios. Silverman, the high-profile, highly scrutinized NBC executive, said humbly at the New York Television Festival,: "Every single first-year show we've launched has an advertising partner in place... which has probably never happened in broadcast TV."