Unknown to most viewers, TV programmers can put commercials wherever they like. The benefit here? If, for example, there is no advertising in a given half-hour period of time, it doesn't officially count in TV ratings and viewership. NBC did just that on Wednesday night -- shifting all its advertising out of the first prime-time half-hour of its Olympic coverage. Why? Because it was going up against the all-powerful "American Idol" - and who wants to lose to that big TV franchise?
Broadcast and cable TV news shows continue to seek less expensive ways of getting content. Now ABC News is looking to make massive cuts to help get to this new financial model. It wants to trim between 300 and 400 jobs -- about a quarter of ABC News' workforce. Who will take the hit? The network didn't exactly say. But there's one hint in ABC's missive: It wants to increase the number of "digital" journalists.
As the NFL does with the Super Bowl, NBC executives talk about how families come together to watch the Winter Olympics. Big events like these are called family programming. I'm not sure this includes the video of the death of that luger right before the start of the games.
From reality to game shows, TV is as full of deception as ever. Now the Federal Communications Commission is looking into allegations about "My Little Genius," a show from last year that Fox decided not to air. Seems that maybe those little whiz-kids were given some topics and questions beforehand. This hearkens back to the 1950s, when Federal regulatory agencies investigated TV quiz shows.
CBS is among the networks talking big scatter percentage increases in CPMs -- positive spikes of 20% to 30% over the upfront. But there's still a bigger question: Where's the "visibility"? (That's what some call actual and significant ad revenues gains.)
New fancy TV/video digital providers beware: Not all content providers are interested in your new platform -- especially if you can't verify your audience through research.
Tiger Woods won't be taking any questions after his live "public statement" on Friday. No problem. I only have two small ones: Have you played any golf lately -- and when do you think you'll play again, giving TV golf marketers all those big rating points?
You can't see all of your precious Olympic sporting events live on NBC, even though the Olympics are in North-American-friendly time zones. The men's downhill skiing event is an important piece of any Winter Olympics -- but it didn't run live. NBC ran it delayed in prime time. NBC saves its best stuff for prime time -- some live, some not -- and then parcels out events over a three- or five-hour period like crumbs for pigeons. We're the pigeons -- and we continue to follow the trail.
In Japan, Toyota's chairman recently took a bow of contrition for the growing problems of his company's cars. Maybe media executives should do the same. Now a major network research executive says some big-name forecasters should also apologize -- or at least rethink their estimates.
What's happening to DVR growth? It's been growing at a slow-ish 5% clip per year, hovering around the 30%-of-U.S.-households mark for some time, according to analysts. Not bad. But not at the fast-paced, euphoric rate of consumer electronic products like mobile phones or DVD machines in past years.