• One Person's Junk Food Commercials Are Another's Junk Political Advertising
    No junk food ads for kids and no political junk ads for adults. Those are some specific results -- or benefits? - that the commercial-skipping AutoHop feature of Dish Network's new DVR unit, The Hopper, could soon bring to viewers.
  • NBC's Olympics May Lose Money Now But Make It Later, Thanks To Digital Video
    NBC will probably lose money on the 2012 London Summer Olympics. But don't worry. It might only be $100 million in red ink, after spending $1.18 billion on the games. That really isn't so bad, considering that the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, which cost NBC around $820 million, put it about $223 million into the hole.But here's the good news: NBC says it will probably make money on the next four Olympics, which will cost around $4.4 billion total.
  • TV News As Fiction: Gauging Viewer Interest In The Process And The Boring Facts
    We want our TV news shows and newsroom personnel to pursue the facts, the truth -- and maybe be a little smart as well. HBO's new "The Newsroom" does feed into this premise. Critics have already moaned that the creator of the series, Aaron Sorkin, who also created "West Wing," and wrote the movies "Social Network" and "Moneyball," has left some telltale signs of his work: the speechy, preachy, diatribes; the fast-talking quick wits; and the moral high ground.
  • When It Comes To TV Partners -- Who Really Needs Whom?
    If we're engaged in a TV partnership, do you need me more than I need you? Is that what's happening for Netflix?After all of last year's turbulence concerning price changes, name changes, and apologies, Netflix continues to offer content creators a promising after-market.
  • A La Carte Cable Scenario: Pricey, Fewer, And Less-Profitable Channels, Viewer Hunger?
    In an unbundled, a la carte cable TV world, you are looking at a much smaller selection of cable channels being profitable -- maybe five to 10. This figure is what Laura Martin, media analyst of Needham & Co., estimates. That's out of some 125 viable cable networks, which would then be uneconomic to run. (Of these, 60-plus cable networks sell significant advertising inventory).
  • Not So 'Fleeting': Indecency Issues Remain For Viewers And Marketers
    The public airwaves and indecency: We all know where we stand on that. But do we know exactly what marketers think? For the most part they don't want to piss off customers, which can include parents and morally minded adults.
  • Not Totally Forgettable: Those High-Rated But Canceled Network Shows
    Every year we get one of these: a high-rated new TV show that's still canceled. This year's honor goes to CBS' "Unforgettable," starring Poppy Montgomery. At a healthy 12 million overall average viewers and a very decent 2.5 rating among key 18-49 viewers, it would seem a no-brainer to stay on the air.
  • Quick TV Calculation: I've Seen About 11,000 TV Episodes -- Almost For Free
    Few feel guilty about downloading songs and passing them around to friends, despite the musicians outcry. But what if they announced they were sharing TV show for free? Would freely announce we were ripping off Hollywood writers and actors?
  • Live Unplanned TV Events Take Viewers In Rude Directions
    Sorry, this column may be interrupted... it could go off-script.
  • Reality TV's Real Successes, Failures And Viewer Aspirations
    Just in case you still don't know, it's worth repeating: Reality shows are phony three-quarters of the time. Mike Fleiss, creator and executive producer of ABC's "The Bachelor," said recently at the Banff World Media Festival: "I think most of the shows are fake." But not, of course, "The Bachelor."
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