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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.

Jeanine Poggi @ Ad Age finds that networks like WWE are driving revenue through new streaming services– rather than cannibalizing their business, each service has a distinct purpose for different viewers. Hulu’s new live bundle will  include A+E Networks, but not Viacom-owned properties like Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

A new study found that among younger audiences, 21% would prefer binge watching TV to having sex— let’s talk about a changing media landscape. Binge watching opens the doors for niche content that defies traditional ratings and confronts social issues, as discussed in Variety.

TV audience targeting makes headway: Fox, Turner and Viacom create the OpenAP platform, which will allow advertisers to target segments across all of their channels. Alan Wolk shares why it’s a step in the right direction, but still isn’t all that. Snapchat thinks its TV-like approach to programming will be its competitive edge against Instagram.

Nielsen is MIA — thanks to a power outage in Florida, Nielsen hasn’t provided ratings for networks’ biggest hits since Saturday. Viacom is also MIA, but in a different way– Alan Wolk shares why Viacom may be intentionally sitting out of YouTube and Hulu’s packages.

Open AP: One More Step On TV’s Journey To True Addressability
TV[R]ev — Alan Wolk

Fox, Turner And Viacom announced their new ad targeting platform, Open AP today. While Open AP is definitely a step in the right direction, it’s still what’s known as “indexed” advertising: advertisers can buy against shows that index well for specific demographics. It is not “addressable” advertising, where the network can actually show different ads to different viewers. That capability is currently only in the hands of the MVPDs who have the technological ability to deliver addressable ads to during the two- to three-minutes per hour of ad space they are allotted.

Fox, Turner And Viacom Team Up in TV Ad-Targeting Push
Advertising Age — Jeanine Poggi

The biggest barrier to audience targeting on TV has been marketers’ inability to buy specific audience segments across rival networks. But Fox Networks Group, Turner and Viacom are looking to change that by teaming up on a platform that would standardize audience targeting among the three. Called OpenAP, the platform allows advertisers to target audience segment across the three network groups, buying whatever programming will deliver those groups.

Life Without Nielsen: How Top Shows Fared for Advertisers During Ratings Blackout
Broadcasting & Cable — Jason Damata

With Nielsen on the lamb this week due to a power outage, here are some insight snacks about a few programs to calm info-starved TV and advertising nerds just dying to know who was reached. Using iSpot.tv, the real-time TV advertising measurement and attention analytics company, we can get a very clear picture on the age, gender and attention of audiences. You’ll notice how the The Bachelor leveraged the long form primetime blocks for more ad eyeballs and dollars. During the three hour season finale of The Bachelor, 67 brands ran 87 spots 111 times, generating 391.5 million TV ad impressions. The average view rate for ads during this program was: 89.56%

Buyers Will Have to Choose Between FX and AMC’s Popular Upfront Events
Adweek — Jason Lynch

On April 6, buyers and advertisers in New York will have to choose between AMC Networks and FX Networks upfront events happening simultaneously.

Turner’s Super Deluxe is Rolling Out a Facebook Show
Digiday — Sahil Patel

Platforms want to become the new cable TV. Super Deluxe, a digital comedy publisher funded by Turner, is launching a new web series next week on Facebook that will contain short commercial breaks. This makes Super Deluxe one of the first media partners to test out Facebook’s new mid-roll ads program, which also includes BuzzFeed and The Washington Post, among other top digital publishers

Snapchat Is Creating More Than 30 ‘Our Stories’ for March Madness
Adweek — Lauren Johnson

Snapchat will make its way to TV. Short, on-air Turner segments will encourage viewers to share photos and videos on Snapchat. The promos will include Snapcodes—much like QR codes—that viewers can scan with their phones to unlock exclusive filters.

‘Saturday Night Live’ to Air Live Across Country for Rest of Season
Wall Street Journal — Joe Flint

NBC said “SNL” will be time-zone agnostic for its final four episodes, hoping to boost its audience as the season winds down. “SNL” is having one of its strongest seasons in recent history in terms of ratings. According to Nielsen, its live audience plus a week’s worth of catch-up viewing is averaging more than 11 million, a 26% improvement over last season. NBC said this season is tracking as the show’s most-watched season in 24 years.

Madonna is a Media Mogul: Launches DanceOn Competition
Variety — Todd Spangler

Madonna is turning to the digital masses to find her next trainer. The singer-dancer is teaming with DanceOn, the dance-entertainment digital network she helped co-found in 2010, to solicit an open call for video submissions to be considered in the audition


No ‘This Is Us’ Finale Ratings Or Anything Else Today, Nielsen Concedes Due to Power Outage
Deadline — Dominic Patten

Due to a power outage in Florida, Nielsen hasn’t had ratings for the networks and cablers in four days. It means no data has surfaced for big shows on several broadcast networks — nor for cable blockbusters like AMC’s The Walking Dead. “This has become a joke with these emails of updates but no real information,” a patience-losing Big 4 exec told Deadline after receiving the latest correspondence from Nielsen this morning.

Here They Are: The Week’s Missing Broadcast Ratings
MediaLife Magazine — Diego Vasquez

Nielsen spent much of Thursday playing catch-up from a weekend power outage that delayed the released of daily ratings.


New Study: Most Voters Still Swayed by TV Ads, Not Social Media
USA Today — Fredreka Schouten

A study to be released Thursday by the TV broadcasters’ association shows that 58% of the people surveyed in 10 battleground states decided to vote for a candidate based on a TV ad, versus 6% who voted based on something they saw on social media.

Viacom’s Absence from Hulu and YouTube TV: Problem or part of the plan?
FierceMobile — Ben Munson

While Viacom is absent from Hulu and YouTubeTV streaming services—at least for the time being—the company still has networks on other established vMVPDs including Sling TV and DirecTV Now, though Viacom channels have been dropped by PlayStation Vue. Alan Wolk, an independent media analyst, said that YouTube TV and Hulu live will likely only represent a small size tier of the market, so financially Viacom shouldn’t be too impacted.

Walter Presents Bets One Man’s Picks Can Curate An OTT Hit
David Bloom

Walter Presents, a subscription VOD channel shaped by one quirky man’s programming preferences, launches today on most U.S. digital platforms, joining a very full slate of competitors in the race for eyeballs in digital TV. Founder Walter Iuzzolino is betting backers’ money that his taste in international TV shows will capture an audience willing to spend about $7 a month to see his favorite programs.

‘This Is Us’ Finale: ‘Love’ Was Top Viewer Emotion for Divisive Episode

Variety — Todd Spangler

While the season-one finale of NBC’s hit drama “This Is Us” generated disparate audience reactions, one thing is certain: It’s been the No. 1 show on TV in terms of giving fans the feels. For Tuesday night’s episode, “Moonshadow,” 35.2% of posts on Twitter about “This Is Us” expressed some sort of emotion, according to Canvs, an emotional-analytics startup. “Love” accounted for 25.5% of emotional reactions measured by Canvs, followed by “crazy” (11.4%) and “excited” (9.1%).

Total U.S. MVPD Revs Up, OTT Rising Faster
MediaPost — Wayne Friedman

A study by BMO Capital Market shows that newer U.S. over-the-top subscription video-on-demand services — like Netflix — will rise to $17.4 billion by 2020, from $10.9 billion in 2017. Newer OTT TV services — those services packaging live, linear TV networks, like DirecTV Now, Sling TV, and future efforts from YouTube TV and Hulu — will climb to $11.6 billion in 2020, from $4.2 billion.

TV Ads Promoting Prescription Drugs on the Rise
USA Today — Bruce Horovitz + Julie Appleby

Spending on prescription drug commercials grew 62% since 2012, even as ad spending for most other product types was flat.

Who Wants to See ‘Power Rangers’? Its TV Ad Campaign May Offer a Few Clues
TVREV — Eleanor Semeraro

Commercials for Power Rangers led spending for the movie industry with an estimated $5.98 million on 750 national ad airings across 38 networks from March 5-12, according to iSpot.tv data cited by Variety in its weekly Movie Commercial Tracker. To maximize awareness, the studio appears to be targeting two key demographics: kids/teens (such as those who watch shows on Nickelodeon) and an older crowd — perhaps the parents of said kids — who grew up on the Power Rangers TV show and movies of the ’90s.

Sinclair, Nexstar Form Group to Maximize ATSC 3.0
Broadcasting & Cable — Diana Marszalek

Bracing for ATSC 3.0 becoming reality, Sinclair and Nexstar, two of the country’s biggest broadcast groups, have created a consortium focused on promoting opportunities associated with the next-gen broadcast standard.

Fox Launches New Streaming Video App
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

Fox Networks Group just launched a new version of its Fox Now video app that includes content from the Fox broadcast network, FX and National Geographic Channel.The app will add content from Fox Sports in a few months. Combining networks will make the app a more valuable advertising vehicle.

How Snapchat is Pitching Original Shows to Advertisers
Digiday — Sahil Patel

According to advertisers, original shows on Snapchat Discover might be the differentiator Snap needs to fend off competition from Instagram. Snap is largely functioning like a TV network in the sense that it’s fronting the cash to produce these shows for Snapchat Discover, which it will then sell ads against and keep the revenue.

TiVo Tacks On Wurl TV’s OTT Channels
Multichannel News — Jeff Baumgartner

Wurl TV has launched its mix of OTT channels on TiVo’s platform for retail devices as well as set-tops that are distributed by TiVo’s various MVPD partners. Wurl TV’s business model is based on advertising. It runs ad-serving systems for its array of OTT channels that enables parties to buy ads against the OTT programming.

Hulu Adds More to Live Streaming Bundle
Business Insider

Hulu announced that its upcoming live TV streaming service, which is set to launch this spring, will include content from all six of A&E Networks original brands in addition to CBS, 21st Century Fox, Disney, and Turner. Half of US TV households now subscribe to SVOD services.

Fox Business Network Is Getting Its Big Break
BuzzFeed — Steven Perlberg

For years, Fox Business remained firmly behind the competition in the ratings. But for the past five months, the network has beaten CNBC in business-day viewership, the key part of the day for business news networks. Fox Business has seen a 59% spike in Nielsen figures from the same month last year. Ad buyers are taking notice since there aren’t a lot of places to go for business programming– financial TV advertisers pay a premium to reach business viewers.

NBC’s ‘Trial & Error’ Promos Run Up 170.5M TV Ad Impressions in One Week
Broadcasting & Cable — Jason Damata

On the strength of 170.5 million TV ad impressions for promos leading up to its series premiere last night, NBC’s Trial & Error is this week’s number one show promo according to iSpot.tv. Promos for the darkly funny take on “real-life crime documentaries” scored an average view rate of 89.75%.

SelectTV’s New Interface Gives Cord Cutters Something To Cheer About
TV[R]EV — Alan Wolk

SelectTV from FreeCast caught our attention– it’s a service that combines over-the-air broadcasts with subscription-based services but then goes on to add in the thousands of hours of free television and movies available online. By neatly organizing the world of free TV and combining it in a single guide along with skinny bundles and subscription services, SelectTV makes this a viable option for the tech-phobic cord cutters. The new guide is just $2.99/month and comes with a free indoor antenna and walks viewers through the set-up process.

How Scripted Series Are Confronting Social Issues Like Never Before
Variety — Daniel Holloway + Debra Birnbaum

In an era of extreme audience fragmentation, broadcasters must balance broadness with the risk of losing their audience to cable channels and streaming services that target specific segments. Declining Nielsen ratings and changes in viewing habits mean that live-plus-same-day numbers are no longer the sole expression of a show’s value. Advertisers now buy against C3 and C7 ratings, which measure ad-supported viewership over longer periods of time, and they have become increasingly open to multiplatform deals.

The New Rules of TV Marketing in Binge-Watching World
Advertising Age — Jeanine Poggi

Younger viewers spend twice as much time binging content than they do watching TV live, said Melanie Shreffler, senior insights director at Cassandra. 21% of these younger audiences said they would prefer to binge watch TV rather than have sex. And 28% of younger viewers are unsure what networks originally aired the show they are watching. Experts predict a resurgence in reality TV, due to its higher concentration of live viewers, and personalized programming served on people’s moods.

Upfront Season Opens in a Bullish Mood
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

As upfront season begins, television advertising sales executives are bullish, due to a strong economy and improving stock market. When it comes to broadcast, 34% of buyers and clients expect to increase spending, compared with 14% who expect to cut back. In cable, 32% expect an increase, with 12% projecting decreases, according to Advertiser Perceptions.

More Sinclair Stations Sign Up for comScore Ratings
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

comScore has just signed a new agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group that adds three more stations to its local measurement network– comScore now provides local measurement currency to 704 stations representing 82 ownership groups.

Podcasts Head to Network TV and Streaming Platforms
Adweek — Sami Main

Recently, five popular podcasts were announced as upcoming TV shows or films. “People love to say they discovered something,” said Conrad Riggs, the head of Amazon Originals Unscripted. “These aren’t marketed like other movies or TV shows. People take ownership over this discovery and then share it with their friends.

‘Power Rangers’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

According to iSpot.tv, from March 6-12 Lionsgate spent $5.98 million promoting “Power Rangers”– running 750 national ad airings across 38 networks. A look at Lionsgate’s placements suggests the studio is targeting a split demographic: today’s kids/teens as well as the adults who grew up on previous versions of the franchise. The studio prioritized network-specific budget for NBC and Nick, and show-specific spend during The Big Bang Theory, The Walking Dead and Nickelodeon’s 2017 Kids’ Choice Awards.

Snapchat Discover Publishers Face Tough Challenge as Platform Chases TV
Digiday — Sahil Patel

Snap plans to prioritize the placement of original shows made for Snapchat Discover. Snap either splits revenue or sells TV-like ads against the content, and is continuing to partner with TV networks and production companies.

Why Pay-TV Bundles Will Just Take a New Form as Cord-Cutting Grows
Advertising Age — Jeanine Poggi

WWE introduced its direct-to-consumer streaming product WWE Network in 2014 at $9.99 per month, and it has since grown to the company’s second largest revenue stream. Initially, there was concern that an OTT product would cannibalize WWE viewing on TV, but it’s found that the streaming and TV products each serve distinct purposes for fans. When it comes to advertising on OTT, said there is more of a tolerance for commercials in free products than in paid tiers.

With An Eye On Viewer-In-Chief Trump, Advertisers Drink Up ‘Morning Joe’
Forbes — Madeline Berg

Advertisers seeking to speak directly to Trump pay a pretty penny to feature their products where Trump is most likely to see them– President Trump reportedly loves “Morning Joe,” so John Oliver ran an ad specifically to reach him. “Morning Joe” raked in $17.3 million for MSNBC in 2016, according to iSpot.tv, marking a 37% increase from its 2015 ad revenue. While these numbers did not beat the underdog MSNBC’s competition in terms of ad revenue (Fox News’ Fox and Friends brought in $36 million in 2016, and CNN’s New Day brought in $24.7 million), ratings show a bright future for the morning show.

Upfronts: Game Show Network Wants Its Viewers to Become Contestants Themselves
Adweek — Jason Lynch

Game Show Network, which is owned by AT&T Entertainment Group and Sony Pictures Entertainment, is available in nearly 80 million homes. GSN is unveiling more interactive formats where fans can compete with contestants.

Digital Horror Startup Crypt TV Raises $3.5 Million
Wall Street Journal — Mike Shields

Crypt TV a two-year-old startup whose short, horrifying videos have built a following of over 2 million Facebook fans, is about to raise another round of fundraising. Crypt TV’s move to lengthier, serialized videos comes as Facebook shifts to promoting more long-form content. In addition to posting its videos on social platforms like Facebook, Crypt TV plans to produce and license content to digital outlets such as Verizon’s go90 mobile app and RatedRed.com.

A+E Is In, Viacom Out in Hulu’s New Live Online TV Service
Bloomberg — Lucas Shaw

Hulu LLC will carry six cable channels from A+E Networks (including the History network, Lifetime and Viceland) in its upcoming live TV package, and has decided not to offer networks from Viacom Inc, which owns Nickelodeon and Comedy Central.

Infographic: What Consumers Really Think About Cause Marketing
Adweek — Emma Bazilian

Nearly half of Millennials prefer to purchase products from brands that support causes, versus 34% of Gen X people and 13% of Baby Boomers.

Personalized Recommendations Give Publishers an Average 70% Increase in Video Views
Campaign — Emily Tan

Northern & Shell Media Group has signed a deal with IRIS.TV to enable customized digital video programming across its Express, Daily Star and OK! Magazine sites. IRIS.TV creates ad inventory by surfacing the most relevant video content to the individual reader from the publisher’s archives– these personalized recommendations give publishers an average 70% increase in video views.

Programmatic TV Needs A Reboot To Scale
AdExchanger — Chris Paterson 

Today’s programmatic TV focuses on a combination of advanced targeting and buying automation. In the digital realm, these were two large problems. The problem with applying the digital model to TV is that the value of attaching advanced targeting to automated buying is relatively low. Because there are a limited number of sources for TV inventory and since targeting is indexed versus one-to-one, there is no critical need to combine the two in an automated fashion.

PlayStation Remains in the Lead for TV Ad Spending Despite Skipping the Super Bowl
VentureBeatJon Cappetta

Despite skipping the Super Bowl, PlayStation continues to lead gaming industry spend with an estimated $15.3 million outlay in February, according to iSpot.tv, the real-time TV ad measurement company with attention analytics from 10 million smart TV screens. PlayStation ran nine spots over 2,700 times for a grand total of 375.3 million TV ads. PlayStation is followed by Nintendo, who spent an estimated $13.7 million in February, or 18.6% of the industry’s spend.