News flash: Apple TV might not change the TV world. Sorry about that. Want a TV business savior? You might have to look at other wannabe TV-changing companies -- Google, Comcast, maybe Facebook.
We TV viewers hate to lose big, beloved TV characters -- and we seemingly want the same from our TV marketers and their characters. William Shatner, whose TV entertainment career started in the early '60s, will return to his "role'" as negotiator for travel company Priceline in commercials.
Programmers look to keep the reality-show mystique going at all costs, if not for viewers, then perhaps for participants -- who may not be on the show they think they are on. Viacom cable-network Spike, which has a decidedly young-male target, is bringing back a fake reality show. Get that? (Neither do I.) "The Joe Schmo Show: The Full Bounty" is about a real guy who believes he is on a reality show looking for America's next bounty hunter, but is actually surrounded entirely by actors. What, actors on a reality show? No!
Documentary shows and reality shows: Know the differences between them? The New York Post says CNN will add "reality TV" shows to its late-night lineup. That seems to have been wrong -- or wrongly identified CNN says it is not getting into the reality TV business, though it is considering adding weekend programs similar to a "documentary-style" travel show hosted by Anthony Bourdain that it will premiere next year.
AMC Networks has figured out how to make an easy adjustment to give those 14 million Dish subscribers something they might want. The programmer is putting its WE TV series "Braxton Family Values" and its AMC series "Hell on Wheels" on the Internet for free so consumers can watch, catch up on the episodes they've missed, and basically get around the Dish-AMC carriage dispute.
Dropping AMC and three sister channels has been good for Dish's bottom line. That's the sentiment from Charlie Ergen, chairman of Dish Network, according to the Denver Business Journal. But you have to wonder how much this kind of criteria could extend to other networks. Wouldn't dropping say ESPN, CBS, Fox News, Discovery, NBC, USA or TNT also help the satellite service's bottom line?
Don't give an inch -- even if it might mean bigger laughs. Seems the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was well along in negotiations to get late-night NBCer Jimmy Fallon to host the Oscars -- which has run for decades on ABC -- when Disney-ABC put the brakes on.
Cord-cutting -- or shaving -- by cable, satellite and now even telco subscribers is an issue that nags at the core. Cable operators may not worry too much, due to their other growing businesses of phone and broadband. For them, cord-cutting just means a shift in how consumers access their video and media.Satellite operators like DirecTV may have another problem to consider, however. Losing customers can be significant, even when their remaining subscribers pay more every year.
Cable executives and others may complain that the cost of sports networks puts undue stress on the average sports watcher, that the threat of giving ESPN a massive $5 a subscriber per month isn't worth it. Now another sports channel is looking to get launched -- the Surf Channel, from the founders of Tennis Channel and Ski Channel.
TV's loss leaders: We need them, we understand them. Then just when we count them out, they can give us a bonus. NBC's Olympics seem to be in this category. The Winter 2010 games in Vancouver lost around $225 million. The London Olympics were supposed to swim in the same pool of red ink. Now NBC says the London games should come close to breaking even, or possibly make a bit of money.