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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.

As the Upfronts loom, CBS releases Nielsen-backed total content ratings while A+E will use its own platform to offer data-backed audience ad guarantees. Given the measurement problems plaguing digital advertising, Turner CEO expects more digital budgets to shift back to TV.

Primetime broadcast ratings hit new lows, reflecting the destabilization of the live TV model. Now more homes have Netflix than have DVR, according to a study by Leichtman Research Group.

WikiLeaks latest data dump reveals privacy issues with Samsung TVs, which may harm addressable TV advertising progress. Two new streaming services have been announced: Boomerang, with cartoon content, and BritBox, with quintessentially British programming.

The next time the NFL broadcasting rights are up for grabs, Les Moonves expects major tech players to fight TV networks for streaming rights. Marketers would like to integrate digital and OTT plans, but a lack of complete measurement makes this challenging.

YouTube TV and Hulu may disrupt the linear TV model, but won’t dramatically change TV advertising… yet. But cutting the cord could cost as much as cable.

YouTube TV and Hulu Aren’t Reinventing the Live TV Ad Model Yet
Advertising Age — Jeanine Poggi

YouTube TV will not start selling the two minutes of commercial time per hour that is sold by traditional cable and satellite carriers– the networks will retain that commercial time to sell along with the rest of the ad time in their programs, so commercials airing on YouTube TV will mimic traditional TV ads.

As Cord-Cutting Grows, How Will Voice Activation Technologies Affect The Future of TV Advertising?
AdExchanger — Chris Dobson

A fully connected TV and voice command service could add voice data to form a more complete picture of the viewer, enabling highly targted ads and content recommendations. Currently 1% of all digital interactions are voice-activated, but that’s predicted to rise to 30% by 2020.

Sling TV Expands Access to Its Cloud DVR, as Streaming TV Competition Heats Up
TechCrunch — Sarah Perez

Dish’s streaming TV service, Sling TV just launched its Cloud DVR feature to more customers through a “First Look” early access program. Instead of storing recordings locally on a hardware device, this DVR stores them online in the cloud– $5 a month for 50 hours of content storage.

Cutting the Cord Could Cost as Much as CableUSA Today — Jefferson Graham

Cord-cutters argue that they save about $100 per month by ditching cable. But once you start combining subscriptions– Hulu, Netflix, HBO and more– your monthly bill reaches the same price.

Netflix And Hulu Are At War With The Cable Industry. It’s About To Get Ugly.
Forbes — Harold Stark

The consumer is stuck in the middle of the war between Cable Networks, digital content providers, and the FCC. Ajit Pai may make times tricky for new entrants like YouTube TV and Hulu.

MGM in Talks to Acquire Entirety of Epix
Reuters — Jessica Toonkel + Liana B. Baker

MGM is in talks to acquire the 81% of Epix it does not already own from two of its partners, Viacom and Lionsgate. The deal would give MGM control of Epix and would boost its TV business, as it seeks to build a stronger platform to distribute its content.

Les Moonves: Broadcast Will Persevere in Looming NFL Rights Battle Against Big Tech
Advertising Age — Anthony Crupi

Even though the current NFL broadcast rights package doesn’t expire until 2022, Les Moonves expect tech giants like Google and Facebook will be fighting for broadcast rights. But broadcast TV remains the most efficient and reliable way to reach the masses. While Fox’s linear TV broadcast of Super Bowl LI averaged 111.3 million viewers, the Fox Go livestream averaged just 1.72 million viewers, representing only 1.5% of the total Super Bowl audience.

Buyers Inch Closer To An Integrated Upfront, But Challenges Remain
AdExchanger — Kelly Liyakasa

Marketers want to integrate digital and OTT media plans with upfront sponsorships and commitments, but doing so has hurdles. Lack of complete measurement makes it difficult to create a holistic TV plan or gauge lost linear viewership recouped by mobile or over-the-top.

Nielsen: Smart TVs and Streaming Devices Prevalent in U.S.
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

A new Nielsen study found that almost 29% of U.S. homes have smart TVs and 23% of U.S. TV homes own a streaming device, combined with 80% of households having broadband internet. The most popular streaming devices were Roku and Apple TV, followed by Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast.

comScore Uses Home Panel To Measure Connected Devices
MediaPost — Wayne Friedman

comScore is starting a new syndicated service, called Connected Home, using its home panel to measure consumer behavior across home network-connected devices in 12,500 homes.  Media devices for over-the-top media content, including streaming boxes and sticks, account for 36%; with gaming consoles at 31%; and smart TVs at 28%.

Sinclair Launches TBD Channel

Seeking to engage with more millennial audiences, Sinclair Television Group has launched a new free, over-the-air channel called TBD. It will be available via multicast, cable and streaming on over-the-top platforms like YouTube, Twitch, Vimeo and Daily Motion.

The CIA Could Be Hacking Your Samsung TV
Wired — Michael Calore

A new WikiLeaks release says that the CIA can spy on you through your internet-connected Samsung television.

Simulmedia Partners With LiveRamp for Easier TV-to-Digital Attribution
Advertising Age — Kate Kaye

Simulmedia, a linear TV ad platform, and Acxiom-owned LiveRamp, an offline-to-digital data connector, have partnered so that advertisers can tie their TV advertising to online measurement more seamlessly.

Twitter Appeases Advertisers By Offering TV-Like Ad Buys
Advertising Age — Garett Sloane

In a move to make its ad product similar to a TV-style buy, Twitter is now beginning to offer guarantees on video ads. The brand has control over which content its pre-roll video ads appear with, and are counted according to Media Ratings Council standards and the results are confirmed by third parties like Integral Ad Science. Twitter also works with Moat.

Time Warner Debuts Boomerang, a Cartoon Streaming Service
USA Today — Jefferson Graham

This spring, Time Warner will debut Boomerang: a streaming entertainment subscription service for kids. A $4.99 monthly subscription will get viewers over 5,000 cartoons on-demand, free of advertisements.

British TV Streaming Service BritBox Launches in U.S.
TechCrunch — Sarah Perez

BBC Worldwide just announced the launch of its subscription-based, VOD service called BritBox. The service offers a huge catalog of British television series to U.S. users, many for the first time, for $6.99 per month.

TiVo: Consumers Want to Pay Less for Top Networks
Broadcasting + Cable — Jon Lafayette

TiVo’s 4Q 2016 Video Trends Report revealed that U.S. respondents thought the ideal price for a skinny bundle of their 20 favorite channels was $28.87, down from $32.92 in the third quarter– that’s also lower than the $35 to $40 being charged by new virtual MVPDs such as Google or DirecTV Now.

CNN Pivots Strategy on CNNgo to Add Free Original Programming
Variety — Todd Spangler

CNN launched CNNgo three years ago as a digital-streaming extension to its core TV service, available only to pay-TV subscribers. Now CNN, owned by Turner, is shifting gears to expand CNNgo’s reach to “cord-nevers” with longer-form original productions that are free to anyone, whether or not they have a cable or satellite TV subscription.

Primetime Broadcast TV Programs Ratings Hit New Lows
Advertising Age — Anthony Crupi

The destabilization of the live TV model continues to eat away at Nielsen primetime broadcast ratings. This will be the fifth straight year in which ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox will fail to finish with an average of a 3.0 rating or better in the adults 18-49 demo, and there’s a very real chance that all four will slip below a 2.0.

Charter Unifies Its TV App
Multichannel News — Jeff Baumgartner

Charter Communications is debuting a new TV Everywhere app that integrates Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks on one platform.

Netflix TV Homes Outpace Those With DVRs
MediaPost — Wayne Friedman

A survey by the Leichtman Research Group found that 54% of U.S. TV homes have Netflix, versus 53% that have a DVR. This is the first time that TV homes with Netflix (including those sharing Netflix passwords) have topped the time-shifting technology.

NBA Using ESports to Broaden Basketball’s Fan Base
[a]listdaily — John Gaudiosi

The NBA and Take-Two Interactive Software will launch the inaugural NBA 2K eLeague in 2018, which marks the first official eSports league operated by a US professional sports league.

CBS Claims Boost From New Nielsen Content Ratings
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

CBS says viewing of its entertainment shows grew an average of 54% using Nielsen’s new Total Content Ratings, compared to Nielsen’s live plus same day rating. CBS says that the numbers show that while traditional ratings have been declining, more people are watching CBS programming than 15 years ago.

How Phonemaker LG is Taking a TV-like Approach to Social Video
Digiday — Tanya Dua

“It’s no longer enough for brands to be just publishers; they must go a step further and become media companies,” said Jeremy Leon, VP of strategy at Laundry Service. “Brand marketers have to start thinking in terms of developing a full programming slate rather than individual pieces of content. That’s why we’re transforming LG’s social channels into a Netflix for Android lovers.” Content is pushed to Twitter and Instagram, but Facebook is at the center of LG’s social video strategy. LG puts paid support behind 90% of its Facebook videos, given the platform’s “incredible scale,” as well as “the granular data it provides.”

CBS Releases ‘Total Content’ Viewership Measures As Upfront Market Looms
Variety — Brian Steinberg

CBS just released a first batch of Nielsen-backed “total content ratings” that measure both linear TV watching and viewing by DVR playback and through video on demand. Few network execs expected total content ratings to be ready by this year’s Upfronts.

A+E Will Make Audience-Based Ad Guarantees
Multichannel News — Jon Lafayette

A+E Networks will leverage its Precision Platform to offer to guarantee its data-based campaigns will reach specific target audiences, rather than a number of viewers in the traditional Nielsen demographic categories during the Upfronts. A+E is also extending the Precision platform to include Viceland, and will use the platform to buy audiences for multiplatform campaigns across linear, digital VOD and over-the-top.

Turner CEO: Digital Ad Money is Coming Back to TV
Business Insider — Lara O’Reilly + James Cook

TV has been reaping the benefits after digital companies (like Google and Facebook) had problems with their metrics. John Martin, CEO of Turner, explained that advertisers are switching portions of their digital budgets back to TV because they feel it offers a better measureable return on investment.

TV Upfronts 2017: Buying and Selling TV Audiences Using Affinio Data
TV[R]ev — Hannah Chapple

With less inventory up for grabs and price hikes per CPM as a result, the brands who want to play at the upfronts will need defensible, high-quality data to justify spending millions of dollars on media deals. And ad sales teams must understand the audiences they are selling, beyond simple demographics, to win over potential buyers. Affinio, a data science as a service platform, allows ad sales teams and brand media buyers the ability to identify their overlapping audiences and uncover rich audience insights to support major media deals

How Snap Thinks It Can Steal TV Ad Dollars
Business Insider — Nathan McAlone

Snap’s main demographic is the same group that’s watching less TV– so Snap could score big by recreating TV ads on mobile. But Snap thinks its ads are even better because they’re highly targeted and allow users to swipe up to instantly buy a product.

Can TV Help Facebook Grow Up Without Losing Itself?
MediaPost — Fritz Brumder

Facebook’s financial growth has been fueled by ads — mobile and desktop — being successfully deployed to a growing social graph. But this ad revenue is just pennies compared to TV ad revenue– According to iSpot.tv, this year’s Super Bowl put over $420 million into Fox’s pocket, for an audience of a little over 100 million. Facebook’s biggest advantage is its social graph– something that Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, CBS, NBC or Fox don’t have. Facebook can produce a show, stick it into the existing Facebook stream (reaching up to 1.86 Billion monthly users), then have the social amplification accelerated in a major way — unlike what any other “network” is able to do.

Why Brands Must Make Programmatic TV A Reality
AdExchanger — Dini Mehta

Data-driven TV advertising will commoditize inventory and decrease prices on premium TV ads. Brands and advertisers will be the ones spearheading programmatic TV so they get greater transparency, targeting and measurement abilities.

Why Rooster Teeth is ‘Overjoyed’ by YouTube’s New Cable TV Competitor
Business Insider — Nathan McAlone

YouTube TV further blurs the line between TV and digital programming, which is good news for content creators. Piper Jaffray’s annual survey of 10,000 US teens showed a whopping 26% of teens watched YouTube every day, putting it over cable TV for the first time (at 25%).

“When Calls The Heart” Perfectly Touches Hearts For Hallmark
TV[R]ev — Mike Gasbara

Hallmark’s original show “When Calls The Heart” is coming dangerously close to perfection with its fans. Canvs, the emotion analytics company, helped TV[R]EV uncover some rare findings about the most recent season of the American-Canadian series, which has sparked over 72% of Emotional Reactions (ERs) on the network since the start of the year– with not one negative emotion in sight.

Microsoft Urges Girls to Stay in STEM in New Campaign
Adweek — T.L. Stanley

“Change the Odds” will run on broadcast TV and digital channels, and on social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter. This kicks off Microsoft’s MakeWhatsNext.com, a resource for girls interested in STEM.