• New Study Says "Jersey Shore" Can Shorten Life Span (Not Really)
    Dr. Lennert Veerman, a senior research fellow at Australia's University of Queensland, is behind a report with startling conclusions -- dramatic enough to make a network executive quit and go work for a non-profit. His thrust is that shows such as "Jersey Shore" and "Big Brother" are so vapid and mindless that they can negatively affect life expectancy. Not really.
  • Arbitron Study: TV and Radio Augment Each Other
    Arbitron's efforts to use its Portable People Meters (PPMs) for cross-media measurement may have picked up some steam as it released results from a 2010 test conducted with station owner Entravision in Denver. A principal conclusion: an advertiser using radio and TV together for a campaign can gain a notable unduplicated audience and a chance to extend reach.
  • Insights & Insanity: Paying H.S. Players, DMV TV
    As the debate heats up about paying college athletes, does it trickle down to high schools? ESPN is set to begin its fall h.s. football schedule next week with a three-day blast that has 26 schools playing on three networks and streamed online. Somebody's making money. Also, truTV has a coming reality series about the California DMV. Network chief Marc Juris stated it "promises to be a fast-paced, fun series," while becoming the first person in history to use the term "fast-paced" when describing the DMV.
  • Iacocca's Legacy is Madison Avenue Not Detroit
    Quick. Word association for Lee Iacocca. Easy as a Sunday drive: commercials. The executive had an extraordinary career in the auto industry, overseeing the introduction of two American icons in the Ford Mustang and minivan at Chrysler, while helping resuscitate a failing Chrysler. But for a generation, he will always be best known for the 61 ads he shot during his run at the top of Chrysler from 1978 to 1993.
  • McMahon Says WWE Network Coming Soon, Don't Believe It
    Vince McMahon continues to pump a coming WWE Network. Yet, the bet here is it just isn't going to happen - at least on any major scale. There may be an opportunity for distribution on a sports tier, where a fan can pay a premium for access similar to pay per view, but not as the widely distributed cable outlet that McMahon covets. When a company keeps mentioning something is coming in the next 12 to 18 months and the goalposts keep moving, that begins to sound as hollow as a promise that the economy is close to recovering.
  • Lionsgate Continues to Perform on Small Screen
    Perhaps because it doesn't produce much for the Big Four broadcasters and thus fails to gain much attention during the annual development season when a studio's bona fides are evaluated, Lionsgate seems to get short shrift as a top-notch TV production house. It deserves better.
  • Rentrak's Livek Raises His Voice
    Bill Livek seems like he'd be good companion in a foxhole. The soft-spoken CEO of Rentrak exudes calm and generally eschews controversy, even as he leads an upstart business mounting a challenge to entrenched market dominator Nielsen. He changed course last week.
  • Ratings Extraordinary For "Jersey Shore's" Worry-Free TV
    There is a remarkable Situation brewing with MTV's "Jersey Shore." Forget about cable, the addictive series is now posting ratings that place it among the highest-rated series in all of TV. It's beating the likes of "Survivor" and "Modern Family" in the metric most networks care about. Why? There's plenty to talk about, but not much to worry about. It's like a good summer vacation.
  • Texans Should Launch Revolution Against ESPN, Big Cable
    Fed up with escalating taxes and an onerous federal government, the good citizens of Texas have been talking about secession. So, we ask that in their remaining weeks in the union, they band together and launch a revolution against higher cable bills as a parting gift to us? ESPN is set to launch the Longhorn Network focusing on sports at the University of Texas later this month. And so far, it appears as if no cable/satellite/telco TV operator has a deal to offer it. Texans should ensure it stays that way.
  • Comcast Files Silly Suit Versus DirecTV
    It must be good to be a lawyer for Comcast. The company has sued DirecTV charging the satellite operator with engaging in false advertising and the case has about as much chance of succeeding as the Detroit Lions have had historically of winning the Super Bowl. Comcast's core allegation is that DirecTV's promotions about offering its NFL "Sunday Ticket Package" for free or at no extra charge are deceiving. Why? Essentially, because the fine print offers plenty of caveats.
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