Only yesterday we were just crowning this as the time of TV distribution consolidation: Comcast acquiring Time Warner Cable and AT&T buying DirecTV, to name two examples. And before this? A rash of big TV station group deals. Now ask yourself whether you were too limited in your thinking. On Wednesday, it was revealed that 21st Century Fox has been looking to buy Time Warner for $80 billion, which many believe could spur a new wave of TV/network content company acquisitions.
From the "just business" department: CBS Corp.'s Les Moonves says he'd now be willing to negotiate a programming deal with Aereo, the upstart Internet-delivered TV service that challenged the big broadcasters and lost in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court. All businesses have fierce competitors. You can imagine that network executives in the past have had moments of name-calling and angry remarks behind closed doors about Aereo. That's why many might think it wouldn't make sense for CBS to now want to do business with Aereo.
Room for more TV awards? Forty percent more dramas and 60% percent more comedies were submitted to the Television Academy for Emmys this year. Everybody loves awards -- especially TV producers looking for more marketing spin for shows that might have mediocre ratings.
In a big surprise to many, LeBron James is going home to Cleveland and the Cleveland Cavaliers. What won't be surprising is that the best basketball player in the land --and perhaps the highest-profile TV sports star --will mean big TV ratings next year for the NBA.
Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn) doesn't really like the idea of an AT&T-DirecTV merger. He's worried the big combined company will have too much leverage -- forcing customers into packages they don't want, and raising prices.
Media moguls have their own way about them. Every summer they get to chat with other moguls in Idaho. We outsiders can only wonder what they are up to. Because while there is fun and sun at Allen & Co's Sun Valley media confab, there are some actual seeds of deal-making work. It was at one of these events that Comcast first mulled the possibility of acquiring NBCUniversal.
Alarm bells for shows like CBS' "Under the Dome"? Not exactly. Last year's average 2.7 rating among 18-49 and 11.3 average total viewers touted some good news for CBS -- a big new ground for breakout drama in the summer, when the network made some sizable scratch.This year we have -- on the surface -- a different story: Through two shows, there is a 1.9 rating among 18-49 and 8.6 million overall viewers. Declines of 20% or 30% or more in viewership are nothing to sneeze at. But we all know that time-shifting is growing. We know that some dramas ...
The next generation of TV technology has been here, there -- but maybe not everywhere. Ultra HDTV, sometimes called 4K TV -- four times the quality of standard HDTV -- is poised for big expansion, and in four years it could represent 25% of all those TVs that are shipped -- and in theory, sold, to consumers. New growing markets in China, India, and other countries seem to be the place for obvious expansion -- but not necessarily the U.S.
On digital platforms, TV continues to be about opportunity -- and timing. Departed NBC sitcom "Community" is getting a second chance on Yahoo Screen. That's good for the "Community" cast and production staff, especially if they are in between bigger paying gigs.Meanwhile, USA soccer goalkeeper Tim Howard's gargantuan effort in making many saves during the FIFA World Cup made him an instant hero to many. He can thank ESPN and Univision for that. Brands looking to grab the lightning in the bottle are possibly rushing to Howard's corner.
Fox Television Stations believes it might need a new model for local -- and perhaps syndicated -- programming. A couple of new shows are in the works for the station group: Monday-Friday daytime strips "Hollywood Today Live" and "The Daily Help Line," and a weekly prime-time/late-night show, "Laughs." But you might not want to call them "tests."