• ESPN-Dish Standoff Far From End Zone
    With ESPN set for its annual upfront presentation on Tuesday, a lawsuit rooted in a pair of press releases issued two years ago continues its march through federal court. The releases issued at the May 2009 upfront event touted the ESPNU network gaining reach through new agreements with Comcast and DirecTV. But Dish Network was piqued and filed suit in New York federal court in August 2009. Dish charged that the two deals violated an agreement it had with ESPN.
  • ESPN Smartly Goes With Same Programs Different Ads
    With the live streams of its networks now on multiple devices, ESPN is taking an intriguing strategy with ad sales that other networks could learn from. At its upfront event Tuesday, ESPN is expected to announce that it will begin selling ads for the simulcasts of ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, which are available on laptops, iPads and smartphones. Even though the programming is the same as TV, the ads will be different. So, in theory, when a Geico spot airs on the TV during "SportsCenter," an ad for State Farm could be running simultaneously on an iPad.
  • Presidential Debate Ref Lehrer Leaving Anchor Chair
    To the many - very many - Americans who didn't watch the "NewsHour" on PBS, Jim Lehrer was sort of like the Olympics: forgotten most of the time, then suddenly showing up in your living room for the big time. Presidential candidates never agreed on much except that Lehrer had the gravitas and fairness to host their debates every four years. In each campaign since 1988, he moderated at least one clash, including all three in 2000 as Gore and Bush II faced off. It's been 11 in all.
  • VOD Advertising Offers Problems, Maybe Potential
    A coalition looking to find ways to better take advantage of VOD as an ad platform has wrapped a first phase of its work and concluded there are hurdles, but also opportunities. Free video on demand (VOD) could "play a unique role in the television ecosystem." But that optimism seems misplaced and better suited for 2005.
  • Poll On Fan Reaction to NFL Labor Mess Good News For The League
    The authors of a new poll on how the current NFL labor unrest might affect fan interest have the wrong spin. Sadly, instead of causing the NFL and the players to recoil and begin negotiating with a renewed desire to compromise, it should only accentuate a belief that fans will always be there, so what's the rush?
  • Jared, Footlong Jingle and "Biggest Loser" Help Give Subway a Winning Brand
    When evaluating the top-100 most valuable global brands, it's tempting to analyze how much advertising may play a role in generating a brand's worth. In the U.S., there's one brand in particular that seems to be benefiting -- maybe more than any other -- from heavy advertising: Subway.
  • TV and Online Offer Marriage That Could Live Happily For A Long Time
    It's campaign season in the TV business. Network executives have been making a case for strong support in the coming election. That's when their constituency - media buyers - will cast their votes by deciding where to apportion their dollars in the upfront market. On the trail, a new theme is emerging that offers a potent argument about the value of TV: it supplements the Web. And as strategists and speechwriters scramble to finish their Upfront Week presentations, they would be wise to focus on this.
  • Netflix Succeeds By Focusing on Superior Navigation and Keeping Prices Down
    The question persists whether Netflix will become Blockbuster or continue as a blockbuster. Like the video chain, will it lose relevancy. Or, will growth with both its number of customers and its share price keep wowing? Many businesses with a taste of success pursue expansion too quickly and unwisely. Netflix gives the impression it knows its limits, believing it can drive revenues by sticking to its knitting, with maybe a few side bets.
  • NBC Sports Brand Going Local
    Comcast plans to place the "NBC Sports" brand on its collection of regional sports networks that stretch from Boston to Portland. "Something like 'NBC Sports Philadelphia,' 'NBC Sports Chicago,' etc.," Dick Ebersol, the head of NBC Sports, said during a radio appearance. Ebersol also wonders what Versus means?
  • Jon Stewart Gets Serious, No Kidding
    For those who missed "The Daily Show" on Monday night, watch the first 10 minutes now on ComedyCentral.com or Hulu. Through a mix of comedy and commentary regarding Bin Laden's death, host Jon Stewart showed again why he could serve as America's conscience.
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