• VH1 Research Finds Some Male/Female Humor Convergence
    Are women becoming more ribald and bawdy? Is there some planetary Mars/Venus alignment going on when it comes to TV viewing? VH1 has research suggesting females are embracing humor styles traditionally enjoyed by males.
  • Netflix Star Kevin Spacey Says 'It's The Creatives, Stupid"
    Every summer, the Edinburgh TV festival calls for a prestigious MacTaggart lecture with a media luminary offering an evaluation of the TV landscape from his or her vantage point, often freighted with provocative commentary and pointed advice. In 2011, Google's Eric Schmidt was a non-traditional choice to deliver the quasi-keynote. Last year, Elisabeth Murdoch took the stage. This time, the organizers had a speaker in Kevin Spacey who's broken some recent ground with a best actor Emmy nomination for Netflix series "House of Cards." His overarching theme? "It's the creatives, stupid."
  • Should DirecTV Offer TWC Subscribers 'Sunday Ticket' Free?
    It's likely one provocative Wall Street analyst would say Verizon exhibited substantial selfishness last week. He might tell you Verizon allowed itself to be a pawn in the Time Warner Cable-CBS battle, using questionable judgment in pursuit of a short-term gain that could hurt over the long haul. BTIG's Richard Greenfield has suggested that distributors should support Time Warner Cable (TWC) in its efforts to keep content-acquisition costs down in its standoff with CBS. Rising costs are viewed as a scourge by distributors and backing fellow operators in disputes could be the "only way to begin to shift leverage in ...
  • War Is Hell, But Not For Networks
    However sad and twisted, let it just be said: war can be a good thing for TV networks. At least in the beginning. As Iraq and Afghanistan have shown, over time Americans' interest wanes, but initial invasions, cruise-missile bombardments or something as symbolic as the toppling of a Saddam Hussein statue can bring a ratings bump.
  • Perceived NFL Censorship Should Help PBS
    Lord Grantham has been a boon to PBS. Now, the lords of sports have offered up another gift to public broadcasting. ESPN has pulled out of its collaboration with PBS on a "Frontline" documentary exploring the effects of head injuries on NFL players. The New York Times indicates ESPN capitulated to league pressure on the film scheduled for October.
  • Cross-Platform Currency: Perfect Can't Be Enemy Of Necessity
    Several months ago, during the heart of this year's upfront negotiations, ABC's top sales executive Geri Wang lamented that logistical matters on the buy side can hold up cross-platform deals involving TV and full online episodes. She wondered why buyers may be slower in buying online video, but are satisfied with accepting it as make goods for TV ratings deficiencies. "The TV marketplace has developed its culture against a backdrop of relative balance of supply and demand," she said at an IAB event. "In digital, not so much. At least in video, as we unify these marketplaces, the two cultures ...
  • CBS Blackout May Hurt Ratings Less, But Damage Exposure
    CBS has been making the case that the blackout of its stations in some 3.2 million Time Warner Cable (TWC) homes isn't having much, if any, impact on its national ratings. There's a potential message there to TWC: our ad revenues aren't being hurt much, so we're more than willing to wait you out.
  • Wakshlag Supports Nielsen-Arbitron Merger Thinking Cross-Platform
    Jack Wakshlag, Chief Research Officer at Turner Broadcasting, offered a spirited endorsement Wednesday for Nielsen's proposed $1.26 billion deal to acquire Arbitron. The matter is rather simple from his perspective: the media industry needs reliable cross-platform measurement that can serve as a currency -- yesterday. And, he believes a marriage will move that along.
  • Weather Network Looking To Defy Forecasts
    No matter how far-fetched breakout success might be (or even getting off the ground), entrepreneurs should generally be applauded. Where would cable TV be without Ted Turner and Bill Rasmussen (the ESPN founder) gambling all those years ago?
  • Baseball Replay System Should Improve Viewing Experience
    Apologies for the awful clich, but this new plan to expand instant replay in Major League Baseball is a home run. Who cares about its intention, think about the entertainment value.
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