• Burger King Launches Whopper of a Network
    Next time, DirecTV gets in a nasty fight with a network over carriage fees, it might be able to just say: No way, we're not paying that much, our viewers would rather just stare at a Whopper than watch your stuff. This week, Burger King is giving DirecTV the chance to gather data on exactly that. The King has taken over its channel 111 to display a juicy, succulent, divine, luscious, heavenly, delectable, tantalizing ... Whopper. That's it. No commercials. Well, maybe one big one.
  • Possibility of J. Lo Leaving 'Idol' Trouble For Fox
    From a pure business perspective, Jennifer Lopez has it going on now. "American Idol" was in a precarious position before she and Steven Tyler signed on as judges for the past season and they helped revitalize it. It may only be posturing, but now J. Lo says she's not sure about coming back. If she moves on, would Fox get lucky again in finding a replacement?
  • It's a Good Time to Know EBIF and MPEG-2
    Those lists that cite careers with the greatest growth opportunities might need to start adding engineers in TV technology. Oh, the places the brainy will go! Awesome advances in content and advertising distribution platforms continue at a mind-spinning pace. Remarkable is there seems to be no sign of slowing down, no indication that investment from the likes of Cablevision, Microsoft or Motorola will dry up -- even with questions whether consumers really want all this magic.
  • Shame on Chrysler For Diminishing Super Bowl Spot
    Chrysler has begun airing spots with legendary rapper Dr. Dre driving through his hometown and saying: "This is L.A. This is what we do." It's a lamentable spin-off of one of the greatest Super Bowl spots ever, the spectacular paean to Detroit featuring Eminem and his "Motor City" mantra. That spot gave Detroiters a prideful motto forever, which is now sadly diminished. Couldn't Chrysler just have taken pride in its Super Bowl smash and let it stand alone? Did it have to take the easy way out with the theory that if something works well once, it surely will again?
  • New Research Indicates Netflix Huge Among Important Target
    While there are plenty of so-called "hard-to-reach" demos that media buyers grapple with - be it avid teenage gamers or wealthy DVR fiends -- it's time for a new segment in industry lexicon: the "Netflix demo." For marketers, this is a brewing storm and to say this is an elusive target is an exceeding understatement. The problem for advertisers: Netflix simply offers no opportunity for advertising. As usual, CBS researcher David Poltrack is again way ahead of the curve on a would-be Netflix demo, releasing data this week showing that CBS new technology focus groups showed 43% of early adopter-types ...
  • NBC Affiliates Get Ready to Share Olympic Rights Costs
    Delighted that Comcast spent liberally enough to acquire rights to the 2014-2020 Olympics, NBC station group executives will now be called on to share in the costs in some fashion. How that will work is still to be determined, though at least a preliminary plan could be sketched out within weeks, said Brian Lawlor, who heads the NBC affiliates board.
  • SMG's Muszynski: Online Video Could Kick TV in the Rear
    One of the most influential media buying executives told players in the online video market Wednesday that even with appealing content and superior targeting capabilities, the industry is quizzically underperforming. "How are you not kicking TV's ass?" John Muszynski, SMGX's Chief Investment Officer, asked.
  • With Media Buying, How Much is Too Much
    As GroupM, the media buying leviathan, moves slower than some counterparts in the upfront market in search of a better deal, it's worth pondering whether a buying entity can grow too large. GroupM, comprised of four sizable agencies and a particularly tough negotiator on price, has tremendous influence on the market, maybe controlling as much as 30% of the dollars laid down. That can be a blessing and maybe a curse.
  • Netflix Going Commercial Free an Opportunity Lost For Advertisers
    The most valuable advertising venue on the Web won't ever be up for sale. The chance to run even five words of text, let alone a banner ad, on the Google.com page won't be available. Lacking that, what kind of price could be attached to various marketing opportunities throughout Netflix.com? The number of marketers lining up ready to spend might resemble the rush at Target at 2 a.m. on Black Friday.
  • NFL Defies Logic on TV
    Hmm. Much has been made over the last 24 hours about DirecTV telling "NFL Sunday Ticket" subscribers it won't charge them for missed games due to the labor dispute. Uh, is that a story? Only the reverse would seem to be the case: the satellite operator implausibly asking customers to pay when there is no play. But implausible is frequently the operative word when it comes to the NFL and TV, so yes there is - sadly - some news there.
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