You talk up HBO's fantasy-period piece "Games of Thrones" and you speak about what cable has always done best: narrowcasting. A bit of key art for the new season of "Thrones" shows a drawing of a head impaled through a pole with these words right over the image: "The King Can Do As He Likes." Surely this graphic is not going to attract all types of viewers. Young children and older women? I don't think the folks at HBO are necessarily looking to pull in a "broad" audience here.
TV used to be about big events, particularly original movies. Now, you need to know where to find those made-for-TV films.
It's been over a year since Charlie Sheen entered his real-life TV drama with CBS and Warner Bros. Good news: Former big-time TV executive and current Internet honcho Barry Diller has started a story arc of his own.
Seems that viewers have very little real hate for advertising. Sure they may say they don't like seeing any commercials -- or specific ones for say Chrysler, Sprint or the Disney movie "John Carter." But what do they really do about this dislike? Fast-forward through a commercial with their DVRs? Flip to another network or station? (Old-school approach, for sure). But how often does hatred run so deep that consumers literally tear down an ad?
Not everyone gets it when it comes to advertisers and controversial content in TV shows. Advertisers aren't linear about a full season's worth of a particular show. Just because you viewed a Ford commercial in, say, "Desperate Housewives" one week doesn't mean you are necessarily going to see it the next. But the press still believes that when an advertiser pulls out of a show, it is always because of content.
"Who is your real TV competitor?" That has always been the question haunting Netflix -- and now, even more so. A little while ago, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said the answer wasn't what some analysts might think -- TV networks, cable or satellite TV distribution companies. He said the closest competitor was HBO Go, the mobile streaming video service of HBO. In that regard, the news that Netflix is now talking to major multiple system cable operators about a possible programming deal shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.
Rush Limbaugh's remarks that caused big advertisers to pull sponsorship came on his long-time syndicated radio show. Similar stuff has happened to other broadcasters on radio and TV. After days of news coverage, one wonders how much bigger damage there would have been had Limbaugh made the same "slut" remark about a Georgetown University student on his nationally syndicated TV talk show that ran between 1992 and 1996?
Publicity hounds for new "advanced advertising" efforts are just warming up. As news of Canoe Ventures' demise -- more or less -- continues, a number of other parties also continue to tout all the wonders of "advanced advertising."
DirecTV's campaign "Get Rid of Cable" goes to great depths in picking on the cable industry -- it's about the chain reaction when things go wrong with your cable service. For example, one guy ends up in a ditch with an eye patch; another winds up getting a granddaughter baby with a dog collar. Now, Charlie Sheen makes an appearance in this campaign.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is probably just like every other worldwide TV viewer: He doesn't like commercials. And as the leader in Russia, he wants to do something about it.