Many are expecting record box office revenue results for Walt Disney's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" -- with a lot of help from its consumer product partners. Disney spent some $25 million in national TV advertising for the movie since early October through Dec. 17, according to estimates from iSpot.tv.
Nearly 10% more scripted shows exist on broadcast and cable TV now than versus a year ago, says FX Networks. And that is apparently a problem.
Everyone wants to be a media mogul -- or at least a big media company. That seemingly was the goal of GoPro, the company producing small, portable video devices you can attach to your bike helmet, surfboard, bicycle, commuting car, or other places. But GoPro's emphasis, for many, was that it wanted to be more than just a producer of consumer video products. Aspirations were for it to become, in Hollywood-speak, a media play-ah.
So what is it about canned laugh tracks on TV comedies that still drive me crazy? For many of those teen/tween shows on the likes of The Disney Channel and TeenNick you can hear this stuff as a part of the content of the show. No problem here. Viewers still come to those networks in droves -- including my daughter.
Sports fantasy league advertisers have dramatically dropped their TV budgets for NFL programming. At the same time, one movie advertiser, Sony's "Concussion," is taking shots at the league -- but also has the audacity to buy TV commercial time on NFL games! But don't cry for the NFL just yet.
If you believe nominations and awards for TV programming bring a certain marketing panache to networks who tally that hardware, you'll sense now that times are changing. The Golden Globe nominations were just announced, and digital video service Netflix got the most, with one more nom than HBO, for a tally of eight to seven. This breaks the string of 15 years in a row when HBO topped all TV networks in nominations.
Think about a world where there are no channels associated with TV programs. Right now, Time Warner Chairman Jeff Bewkes believes companies should be simplifying TV viewing. He complains that you shouldn't have to have "advanced degrees" to figure how to get to your favorite programs. Bewkes agrees with Apple chief executive Tim Cook assertion that TV is a "broken" experience, and that, for example, consumers shouldn't have to know which shows are on which channels in order to get the content they want.
We still don't know how many people watch a particular Netflix show -- but we're getting closer. At the recent UBS Global Media conference, John Hodulik, media analyst at UBS, said HBO had the number-one most-viewed show with "Game of Thrones" according to new audience analysis Nielsen had shared with him,. Netflix had the "second best show" -- though Hodulik didn't disclose what that was.
The warning signs are here: Digital media will shift and give some ground back to TV in 2016, according to a senior CBS executive. "Change is now underway," said David Poltrack, chief research executive at CBS Corp, speaking at the UBS Global Media event on Monday. Poltrack -- somewhat shockingly -- estimates 2016 will be a strong growth year for broadcast television ad sales, with near-double-digit percentage gains (9.5%).
For over a decade, the NFL has had little problem growing -- in revenue, in TV ratings, and in fans' interest -- despite not having a team based in the second-largest U.S. TV market, Los Angeles. Los Angeles has been without a team since 1994, when the Rams left for St. Louis and the Raiders returned to Oakland. Soon all that could change. Both teams are believed to be returning, perhaps to share one stadium. The San Diego Chargers are also mulling the possibility of returning to Los Angeles.