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Today’s TV Top 10

TV biz in a basket for you. If you care about the TV business like we do and want to stay up on the latest but don’t have time to digest everything from everywhere– take advantage of our work: save this link and sign up for our weekly newsletter. Every day we’ll post the top ten (or more) articles on the business of TV disruption. And each day we’ll push what you missed to the bottom. So, you can stay on top of the news or at the end of the week have a sick batch of news to skim through. You’re welcome, we love you.

Prior to this election, advertisers didn’t care too much if their brand messaging ran during news programming. But ad sales leaders from Cable TV networks are feeling benefits of a Trump Bump heading into the upfronts. Targeted advertisements will reach more viewers than ever before thanks to YouTube TV and the OpenAP.

Bill O’Reilly’s show continues to lose advertisers, as ad load time drops from 15 minutes to 7 minutes.

TV’s get smarter by the day, as Roku TV can now track what you watch and offer recommendations and Burger King’s latest ad can trigger Alexa to tell you even more about The Whopper.

Oracle Plans Aggressive Move Into TV Advertising
Advertising Age — Kate Kaye

Oracle is gearing up for an “aggressive” move into TV advertising. To kick off what should lead to more partnerships like it, the company’s Data Cloud division has joined with linear TV data firm Simulmedia. Oracle hopes the pair-up will coax advertisers still spending big bucks in TV to look to its platform and audience-linked transactional data offerings, typically employed for digital advertising, before planning TV media buy. 

Source: Getty Images No-Sports TV? Viacom, AMC, Discovery Said Eyeing Web Bundle
Bloomberg — Gerry Smith + Lucas Shaw

Cable programmers including Viacom Inc., Discovery Communications Inc.and AMC Networks Inc. are in talks with pay-TV distributors about creating new online TV services for consumers who don’t want to pay for sports, according to people familiar with the situation.The media companies have explored offering entertainment-only packages over the internet with four to six pay-TV providers. Sports-free TV would cost less than $20 a month, according to one person. That’s about half the expected price of Hulu’s upcoming live TV service and YouTube’s new TV package, which came out last week.

Analyst Predicts Bleak Future for Traditional Media
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

Analyst Todd Juenger of Sanford C. Bernstein paints a bleak picture of the future of traditional media in a new report that likens the effect Netflix will have on TV to how Amazon’s technology disrupted the retail industry. From a financial point of view, Juenger notes that cable TV network margins have dropped from a peak of 49% to 44% now, and says that when margins hit 40%, earnings go from growth to decline.

Hulu’s Live TV Service to Cost $39.99 Per Month
TechCrunch — Sarah Perez

The pricing for Hulu’s live TV service, a competitor with cable television – as well as a host of other streaming TV services like Sling TV, PlayStation Vue, DirecTV NOW, and YouTube TV – will likely be $39.99 per month, with ads and access to Hulu’s on-demand library, according to sources with knowledge of Hulu’s plans.

NBC Sports Puts Track Package Over-the-Top
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

NBC Sports is adding a package of track and field events to its NBC Sports Gold direct-to-consumer subscription over-the-top streaming product. Subscribers will get access to more than 25 major track and field events from April through December, including uninterrupted access to the Boston Marathon, the Nike Prefontaine Classic, the USA Track & Field Outdoor Championships and the IAFF World Track & Field Championships from London. The Track & Field Pass costs $69.99.

Shelly Palmer: TV May Actually Die Soon
Advertising Age — Shelly Palmer

The goal of the commercial TV business is to package a specific, targeted audience and sell it to the highest bidder. The more precise the targeting, the higher the fee; the bigger the targeted audience, the bigger the fee. Therefore NFL on Amazon Prime or YouTube TV has profound implications on TV. Because the broadcast television industry is data poor (it only offers metrics about itself), this model has never been a complete solution for brand or lifestyle advertisers. In practice, an advertiser needs to translate ratings and demographic information from Nielsen into knowledge and insights it can link to its key performance indicators (KPIs). Because content is distributed across so many non-TV platforms, this process gets more difficult every day. There are four data sets that help define each of us: attention, consumption, passion and intention. While traditional broadcast TV tries to measure or attribute some of these to TV viewership, FANG has actionable data that drives KPIs.

The Reports Of TV’s Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated
MediaPost — George Simpson

Shelly Palmer wrote an ominous-sounding column this week predicting that “TV May Actually Die Soon,” thanks to the too-cute acronym of FANG that he assigns to Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and  Google/YouTube. But where has Shelly been the past five years, as each and every network has begun to append their minute-by-minute viewing data with third-party data that runs the gamut from Oracle Data Cloud (which tracks $3 trillion worth of purchase a year, including Visa) to Acxiom’s 5,000 data elements from thousands of omnichannel sources to Nielsen Catalina Solutions’ purchase data from more than 90 million households. Then there is Nielsen Buyer Insights and Rentrak-TV Solutions Outcome data sources including credit cards, app downloads, first-party data, point-of-sales data, loyalty cards, CRM systems and digital conversions — not to mention prebuilt syndicated audience segments from IRI, Mastercard, and Datalogix.

Google Shuts Down Burger King’s Cunning TV Ad
The Verge — Natt Garun

Just under three hours after Burger King unveiled a new advertisement designed to hijack your Google Home to read a long-winded description of its Whopper burger, Google has disabled the functionality. It was fun / horrifying while it lasted!

If Content Remains King Of TV Advertising, Will Audience Or Performance Be Queen?
MediaPost — Dave Morgan

The television ad industry knows that big change is afoot. Ratings are declining, audiences are fragmenting, digital competition is fierce, and agencies and advertisers are pushing back hard on their CPM increases. Fortunately, however, TV companies have recognized that the future of their ad business will  look a lot like digital’s, which is why many are working hard to develop digital-like, premium-priced, data-optimized ad products.

Roku TVs now track what you watch to suggest streams, target ads
CNET — David Katzmaier

Roku’s newest feature recognizes the show or movie you’re watching on a connected cable box, satellite box or antennas using Automatic Content Recognition (ACR) technology, and suggest additional viewing options via streaming. Roku, for the record, has previously targeted ads by tracking your streaming habits, but this is the first time it’s used ACR.

TV Industry Struggles to Agree on Ratings Innovation
Variety — Brian Steinberg

If the industry can’t come to a consensus on which solution is best to evolve TV’s hopelessly broken measurement system beyond its current reliance solely on Nielsen monitoring of linear TV audiences, it risks losing no small portion of the approximately $44 billion in advertising dollars that ad-buyer Magna Global says was spent on national TV last year.

SVOD Impact: Some Declines In Traditional TV
MediaPost — Wayne Friedman

Total TV consumption across all households fell to an average of 63.7 hours per week at the end of the first quarter 2017 — from 66.5 hours per week at the end of first-quarter 2016 and 68.5 hours per week at the end of first quarter 2015.  Declines during 2016 and 2017 were 3% and 4%, respectively.

NBC Sports Hopes to Move Hockey Fans to Goal: Stanley Cup Viewership
Variety — Brian Steinberg

NBC Sports will run hockey promotions that tell the stories of NHL teams on the media assets of its own parent company, including Comcast’s regional sports networks, but will also turn to cable networks that are not a part of NBCU; YouTube; gaming channels; and other media outlets. TV promos are being crafted for each market involved in the playoffs, featuring the on-air personnel who broadcast in each area as well as players from the team.

Americans Watched 44 Billion TV News Hours During First 99 Days
MediaPost — Joe Mandese

Analyzing the first 15-weeks of the year, Wall Street analyst Brian Wieser finds what appears to be a record volume of viewing of TV news. Using a metric, the Pivotal Research Group analyst calls “person-viewing hours,” he says the total volume of TV news consumed peaked at 44 billion hours, accounting for 12% of all national TV viewing. That number represents a 21% annual growth vs. a decline of 1% for overall television viewing.

Watch Out, Burger King’s Using TV Spots to Trigger Your Google Home
Digiday — Tanya Dua

Burger King’s new “Connected Whopper”  campaign has a TV spot that serves as a hack for Google Home, by using the “OK Google” prompt to activate Home to read the Whopper’s Wikipedia page. The dirty trick essentially turns the 15-second spot into a 30-second spot — without the additional ad buy.

Bill O’Reilly’s Show Lost More Than Half Its Advertisers in a Week
New York Times — Karl Russell

Days after The New York Times published an article on April 1 detailing how $13 million had been paid out to address complaints from women about Bill O’Reilly’s behavior, advertisers like Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai began pulling their ads from his show, with more following. An analysis of the “The O’Reilly Factor” by the ad-tracking firm iSpot.tv shows which companies are still advertising on the show. A month ago, marketers bought more than 15 minutes of advertisements on the show, about one quarter of its airtime. But on Friday, that figure had fallen to under seven minutes.

Youth Will Be Served as MLB Campaign Promotes Drama of the Game
Advertising Age — Anthony Crupi

Major League Baseball has developed a marketing campaign designed to underscore the you-couldn’t-script-this-if-you-tried excitement that lies ahead as the new season gets underway. The 60-second spot positions the 2017 MLB season as if it’s a long-running reality TV show, introducing multiple storylines and a cast of characters that includes some of baseball’s hottest young talents. Since going live in the run-up to Opening Day, the “This Season on Baseball” spot has already aired 92 times, per iSpot.tv estimates, with the bulk of the initial buy finding its way to ESPN and its various spinoff networks. The ad also has appeared on MLB Network, FS1 and MLB.com.

Subscribe National TV Ad Projection: Slight Decline, Media Stocks Up
MediaPost — Wayne Friedman

MoffettNathanson Research projects a 1.4% fall in national TV advertising for the first quarter, with broadcast networks sinking 2.8% and cable networks slipping 0.2%.

LeEco Backs Out of $2 Billion Vizio Acquisition
Variety — Todd Spangler

Chinese online video and consumer electronics upstart LeEco won’t be acquiring U.S. TV manufacturer Vizio after all: Both companies officially announced Monday that the deal is being called off “due to regulatory headwinds.”LeEco had officially announced plans to acquire Vizio for $2 billion in cash last July as a way to kickstart its expansion into North America. However, the deal had yet to be approved by Chinese regulators, and sources indicated in recent months that LeEco was affected by tighter regulations to get Chinese capital out of the country.

Comcast Said to Plan Online Rival to Netflix Using Hit NBC Shows
Advertising Age

Comcast Corp. plans to introduce an online video service offering hit shows from its NBC Universal TV networks in the next 12 to 18 months, an effort to compete with rivals Netflix and CBS Corp., according to people familiar with the matter. The new service will include programs from the NBC broadcast network, and could include shows from Comcast cable channels Bravo, Syfy and USA, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private plans. Comcast is still determining many of the particulars of the service, including whether it will have a live feed of the broadcast network and whether it will include sports, the people said.

Analyst Says OpenAP Could Help TV Recover Digital Dollars
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

The TV industry alliance formed by Viacom, Turner and Fox could help TV in its battle with digital media for advertising dollars, analyst Tom Eagan of Telsey Advisory Group said. Eagan also said he expects other cable networks, including Disney and Scripps Networks Interactive to join up with OpenAP.On the measurement side, Eagan sees OpenAP as a positive for comScore but a “slight negative” for Nielsen.

Nielsen Launches Out-of-Home TV Ratings Service
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

Nielsen said it launched its national out-of-home reporting service, which measures linear TV commercial viewing in bars, restaurants and other locations. Nielsen will combine the in-home viewing from its National TV ratings panel with the out-of-home viewing captured by its Portable People Meters, which has nearly 77,000 installed panelists. ESPN, which signed up as the service’s first client, has been working with Nielsen for some time and has already been incorporating out-of-home viewership in some of its ad sales for ESPN and ESPN2.

MRC Accredits Nielsen’s Viewable GRP Digital Ad Ratings
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

Nielsen said it received accreditation from the Media Rating Council for its viewability integrations with Integral Ad Science and Moat for desktop display and video viewable GRP estimates in Digital Ad Ratings for age and sex demographics. Nielsen last year offered subscribers choice of viewability monitors, including Integral Ad Science and Moat. It says it is the first company to receive MRC accreditation for viewability providers across display and video ads.

Cable News Touts Trump Traffic Bump Ahead of Upfronts
Advertising Age — Jeanine Poggi

Cable news is entering the TV upfronts in the strongest position in its history thanks to Trump-related traffic. Ad sales leaders at CNN, Fox News and MSNBC all say that demand for commercial inventory is strong and they are attracting not only an increase in dollars from returning clients but bringing in non-endemic advertisers who don’t typically advertise in news programming. According to iSpot, an ad-tracking firm, mobile games and wine, alcohol and e-cigarette categories didn’t run spots on the cable news networks in 2014 but bought in last year. There was also an uptick in housing and home improvement ads and beer ads.

YouTube TV Will Force You to Watch Ads on Many DVR’d Shows
Wall Street Journal — Shalini Ramachandran

YouTube TV viewers will be forced to watch the on-demand episode and all of the ads, even though consumers thought they saved the show on their DVR. It’s an unusual compromise with TV networks that marks a departure from how traditional cable operators like Comcast operate. Most cable operators tend to offer both the option to watch your recorded show, thereby allowing ad-skipping, or the on-demand version.

Surprising New Band of Rivals Could Make TV Targeting Finally Work
Advertising Age — Jeanine Poggi

Advertisers that met with Turner, Fox and Viacom on Friday said the competitors’ new collaborative offering seems like a real step toward buying targeted audiences on TV in a big way. The timing for OpenAP couldn’t be better, as advertisers are increasingly worried about making sure their messages run within trustworthy content.

‘Fate of the Furious’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

Ads placed for the eighth installment of the “Fast and Furious” franchise had an estimated media value of $7.13 million through Sunday for 1,412 national ad airings across 42 networks, according to TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv.

Chipotle Leans On Comedy For Biggest Ad Campaign Yet
Fortune — John Kell

Chipotle’s latest ad campaign, dubbed “As Real as It Gets”, features performances by four comedians in a bid to lure back diners via humor after a food-safety inspired exodus led to a prolonged sales slump. The ad campaign, which launched Monday, is the largest Chipotle has ever undertaken with media buys planned for national TV spots, online/social, print and radio. The majority of the planned spending will be for national TV.

Sans CMO, Build-A-Bear Tries TV
Advertising Age — Adrianne Pasquarelli

“TV advertising to both moms and kids continues to provide consistent performance for Build-A-Bear,” said their CEO. Digital media has been taking a battering lately as ads have shown up on inappropriate video on YouTube, JPMorgan Chase has vastly culled the number of sites where it advertises and Procter & Gamble has attacked the entire ecosystem for not making faster progress on issues such as ad fraud and viewability. Even before all that, media buying firm Carat found that TV ad spend increased 3% for the year ended September. It expects another 2.3% bump for the year ending this September.

As O’Reilly Factor Loses More Advertisers, John Oliver Says He’ll Buy One
Adweek — Jason Lynch

The O’Reilly Factor’s advertisers have been fleeing in droves ever since a New York Times investigation detailed five harassment cases against Fox News host Bill O’Reilly. At this point, more than 60 advertisers have pulled their ads from the show, but at least one person is actually trying to run a spot on the program: John Oliver. The show has produced a new ad about sexual harassment, which it would like to air on The O’Reilly Factor in the New York and Washington D.C. markets. “We submitted it to stations on Friday, but weirdly, we haven’t heard back from them since,” said Oliver.