Paying for "free TV" has never been more confusing. Ninety percent of the country has had its behavior changed forever in this regard. You want TV? You really have to pay for it -- any of it.
Down-market or upmarket? For a new network, just make sure you don't aim too much at a niche market. NBCUniversal's G4, which was geared to video gamers and other technology-minded young males, has learned that lesson. It was only able to get distribution into some 62 million homes. To attract national advertising, cable networks need to be in some 85 million U.S. TV homes, or three-quarters of the total.
Looking for water-cooler TV programs? First, find the water cooler and all that goes with it. If you are working from home more these days, it's tough to talk about TV shows in the break room. Netflix is making such conversation even harder. Its new "House of Cards" looks to push the idea of time-shifted -- or time-sensitive - programming even further. The complete first season of the series, which is a spin on a British show, is now available to Netflix subscribers.
Too much hyper-local news? Or too little real stuff? Maybe someone hasn't figured out the formula yet?
NBC, what happened? Your "Smash" crashed. "Smash" had last year's second-best season premiere, a big Nielsen 3.8 rating among 18-49ers and 11 million viewers overall. Season two? Nearly 70% of the key 18-49 audience went elsewhere, and the show landed with a nearly microscopic preliminary 1.2 rating among 18-49ers and 4.5 million overall viewers.
The last couple of days have brought a number of fleeting entertainment moments -- and one fleeting expletive. Super Bowl MVP Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens provided the latter -- and some of the former.
Pride in your work. Aiding in news diversity. Profitability.Those terms sound like an honorable description of Current TV. So why not continue? That of course, was the easy question to answer for majority owner Al Gore, who recently agreed to sell the network to Al Jazeera for $500 million. Independence is a tough row to go in the rough-and-tumble cable TV world.
Despite all the usual trappings of Super Bowl fun -- party-attending, party-avoidance, party-fighting --the big game's commercials have begun to require more and more work from consumers. We needed to create our own commercials for the likes of Doritos and others. And when we weren't doing that, some big marketers insisted we go online to see how their commercial ends, or worse, to vote on an ending, or even worse than that, to create our own ending and then vote on it. Gee, isn't that what creatives at advertising agencies get paid for?
"WTF!" That was my first reaction when I learned that Al Gore and his partner Joel Hyatt had agreed to sell Current TV to Al-Jazeera. Sell-out, was more like it, I thought. My next thought was that it actually made a lot of sense.