Broadcasters feel Aereo has the potential to be a "Diller Killer." For now, though, the potential threat doesn't have a single paying customer. In court testimony Wednesday, CEO Chet Kanojia said the company has between 3,300 and 3,500 subscribers. Yet, all are still within a 90-day trial period before the $12 monthly charges kick in (their credit cards are on file).
Why is there no super PAC against super PACs? Stephen Colbert was supposed to front one, but that initiative may have lost some energy. People complain the super PACs, which can raise unlimited sums of money to trash candidates on TV, are poisoning the tone of American politics and yet what are they doing about it?
It's fair to say that people always had ways to avoid commercials on TV. Long before the days of the VCR, people who didn't want to watch the ads would stretch their legs, get a snack, or change channels during the commercials. Once the VCR came around, people could fast-forward through the breaks. Of course, just because people could skip the ads doesn't mean they did; if nothing else, inertia probably kept at least some people from fast-forwarding through the ads.
Unless something was missed, General Motors has taken the week off from spreading word it plans to cut a massive advertising initiative. There was nothing about yanking $30 million from newspapers because they can't sell trucks. And nothing about dropping out of the World Series because baseball games are too slow and research shows viewers are increasing falling asleep, hurting ROI. Then again, there's still tomorrow.
Having more sources to draw from can help networks and advertisers better gauge consumer reaction to their gambles. But while it may have made their jobs easier to a certain extent, it's also made them tougher. How much? Take Optimedia's annual Content Power Ratings, which look to give advertisers a sense of which shows offer the best bang for their buck.
If TV viewing patterns are a reflection of the American political zeitgeist, there may be no appetite for bipartisanship, no desire for common ground, no hunger to break the Washington gridlock. People bemoan it all, but they sure aren't gravitating to the network that looks to offer more of neutral stance, a third way. A few more bad weeks and CNN officially becomes the Choking News Network. The series of lows the network continues to reach - in an election year, no less - is staggering.
For the second week in a row, Dish Network has had a lead-off role in a major industry event. Controversy surrounding its new commercial wipeout function is proving inescapable. No doubt many cable executives gathered in Boston for this week's national cable convention will be attending the Celtics home playoff game tonight. And even their leisure time will include an element of the Dish battle.
Is social media chatter, opinion and condemnation enough to gain insight into the success rate of a new fall show? Can social media activity make or break a show? It's hard to say the TV business knows the answer yet -- it probably never will -- but it is increasingly clear that the more endorsements that trickle through blogs, forums, Facebook and Twitter, the better.
As upfront week winds down, media buyers will soon begin placing their bets. Yes, the much-anticipated Preakness is Saturday. Guessing which new shows will be hits after watching clips at an upfront presentation or even full pilots is about as scientific as gambling at the track. NBC is bringing back Matthew Perry. Mindy Kaling is trying to segue successfully from "The Office" to Fox. (For both new comedies, the over/under is a 3.0 in the key demo. Take the under on Perry, over on Kaling.
With all the urgency to find a widely accepted cross-platform measurement system, one element of the chase involves going back to the future. Recall Project Apollo, the would-be breakthrough that looked to match media consumption with purchase data to get a better sense of the connection. The joint Arbitron-Nielsen initiative was abandoned in 2008, but the learnings and insight may be valuable in the new race to measure TV, Internet and mobile video consumption in an apples-to-apples way. A slew of measurement companies want to be the industry standard. Arbitron, with its portable people meter (PPM) device, might be able …