You know the economy is bad when people actually begin to care about the news. But Americans' vote with their pocketbooks and the resurgence in TV news viewing clearly is an extension of that. The economy has contributed to rising broadcast news ratings and interest in Republican debates. Programmers are looking to tap into the interest with CBS offering more hard news; NBC debuting a new prime-time newsmagazine and even local broadcasters investing more in investigative journalism.
CBS planned to make one of the bolder moves of the new TV season, one that could have set in motion at least a partial strategic shift in the industry. Now, effectively the experiment is over before it started.
Some say adoption of 3D TV has been slower than expected. But, 3D content can have a public health benefit, serving as a valuable tool in diagnosing eye conditions. This is a marketing opportunity media companies should work with.
Network executives have been slow to embrace the TV Everywhere movement, largely because they want -- this is a shocker! -- as much money as they can grab from cable and satellite operators in rights fees. But, they are also wary of losing ad dollars, suggesting the lack of an adequate cross-platform measurement system will cost them. They may be right, but misinformed, too.
Lest anyone think CNBC is a nonstop cheerleader for American business, there was a counter demonstration Monday. The network set up a podium in the heart of the Occupy Wall Street protest in lower Manhattan, inviting one and all to step up and explain their frustrations. With a live online stream and no editing, it provided a needed window into some of what people involved are thinking and was a clever way to cover the story.
Tracy Dolgin, chief of the YES Network, offered several reasons last week why "TV Everywhere" still poses significant hurdles for the industry. Two have been cited before, but there was one apparent new one: the risk of piracy. Unless operators make broader efforts to determine exactly who is accessing the content, there is a risk of consumers gaming the system.
It's not clear how many network executives come home after a long day and turn on the Xbox for some "Mortal Kombat." Best guess: few. But, a presentation this week made it clear they should spend considerable time zoning in on the people who play these games as gaming consoles are becoming an increasingly important media maypole.
Oh, how Americans would be satisfied if their portfolios were up at all this year, let alone nearly 10%. By that wishful thinking, Viacom would appear to be in an enviable spot with its ad sales results. The same goes for other networks, where a slowdown means something far different than what appears to be happening with 401(k) statements.
The National Association of Broadcasters' quest to win the Great Spectrum Battle may have received some help Tuesday from a large station group. Hearst Television released a survey looking to advance the cause that local TV is critical in a crisis. In the process, it gave itself a pat on the back, which may have been its primary intention anyway.
In October's Leaders & Bleeders, multi-talented musician Pitbull may be Madison Avenue's most coveted endorser, while Glenn Beck's launch of an online children's show is a bit unnerving. Meanwhile, Amazon could capitalize on Netflux (spelling correct) and, if you haven't heard, NBC has had a tough start to the new season.