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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.

Digital Advertising Tops TV in the U.S. for the First Time
Advertising Age — Jeanine Poggi

Digital advertising sales surpassed linear TV ad sales in the U.S. for the first time in 2016, pulling in $70 billion compared with $67 billion for national and local TV, according to IPG Mediabrands‘ Magna. The agency expects 3.7% growth in advertising spend domestically in 2017, a slowdown from the 4.7% increase seen in 2016, which was driven by the presidential election and Olympics. National TV advertising sales are expected to be flat again, as high-single-digit CPM inflation will just barely offset high-single-digit ratings declines. Still, many mass consumer brands will continue to invest in traditional TV campaigns, as some CMOs believe digital advertising still lacks accountability while not being that much cheaper than traditional TV.

NCAA’s March Madness Scores Uptick In National Ad Revs
Media Post — Wayne Friedman

The 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament has brought in slightly more in national TV advertising dollars through the early rounds leading up to the Final Four this weekend. So far, it has pulled in $748.6 million for CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, according to iSpot.tv — up 2% versus a year ago. There has been some 224 brands with 514 spots, airing 8,168 times.

Wealthy Trump Donors Rush to Back Him With a Media Blitz
Bloomberg — Joshua Green

Making America Great, a nonprofit run by Rebekah Mercer, one of Trump’s most influential donors, will begin airing $1 million in television ads on Wednesday, coupled with a $300,000 digital advertising campaign. The TV ads will run in the District of Columbia, along with ten states Trump carried in the presidential election where a Democratic senator is up for re-election in 2018: West Virginia, Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan, North Dakota, Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Montana and Pennsylvania. The digital campaign also will focus on voters in those states.

Viacom Ditches Boys for Housewives With New Paramount TV Network
Bloomberg — Lucas Shaw

Viacom is using Paramount to transform a TV network identified with juvenile masculinity into a home for upscale dramas a la FX and AMC. Those networks command higher advertising rates, and the prestige of their shows discourages pay-TV operators from omitting them from smaller packages of channels. Paramount is one of six flagship channels identified by new Viacom Chief Executive Officer Bob Bakish, which means it will garner a larger share of resources.

Billboard Charts The Future Of Premium Video In A Platform Environment
AdExchanger — Kelly Liyakasa

Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter use Iris.tv and other tools to determine which digital video assets work best alongside organic versus paid content or which video creative is catching on, which helps Billboard create better original content.

Verizon Insiders Describe the Fight to Save go90, its Video Service That Has Burned $200+ Million Trying to Catch the Eye of Millennials
Business Insider — Nathan McAlone

In an attempt to revitalize go90, Verizon has narrowed its approach, zeroing in on niche audiences. The tech and the content are finally coming together, with specificity and personalization. Verizon has learned that young people are watching a ton of video on their phones, but the freedom to watch on any screen is valuable as well.

New Report: Cord Cutting Remains Low in Rural Areas
CED Magazine

For the second year in a row, 82% of North American rural video consumers surveyed are still subscribing to a traditional video service provider, according to a study by Cronin Communications. The number of rural homes that are getting all of their video over the internet is a modest 4%.

2018 Winter Olympics To Change Ad Guarantee Metric
MediaPost — Wayne Friedman

During a press conference call, Dan Lovinger, EVP, advertising sales for NBC Sports Group, says NBCUniversal will no longer offer Olympic TV marketers guarantees based on a TV household metric. Now guarantees will be on viewers 2-plus (2 years and older). NBCUniversal will do this as part of what it calls its Total Audience Delivery measurement — amassing broadcast, cable, and digital viewership together. Lovinger: “It’s first time we are combining the audience guarantees across platforms.” If “makegood” advertising inventory is needed for under-delivery of its viewers 2+ guarantee, Lovinger says this will be reconciled — and adjusted — according to each Olympics TV advertiser’s media plan. That inventory will be expressed on broadcast, cable and/or digital platforms.

NBC Predicts Pyeongchang Ad Sales Will Surpass Sochi
Advertising Age — Jeanine Poggi

NBC met with advertisers on Wednesday as part of its upfronts tour to highlight opportunities for clients, which include coast-to-coast live coverage, beefed up Snapchat partnership and a move to include digital viewing in ad guarantees. NBC previously told Ad Age that instead of guaranteeing audiences for advertisers based on a household rating, which is how ad inventory in the games is typically sold, it will now also account for the viewing that is taking place beyond the linear screen when selling commercial time.

YouView develops AdSmart-style targeted advertising
Digital TV Europe

According to the UK TV platform’s commercial projects director, YouView is working on a project to offer addressable linear or dynamic ad insertion.

Cartoon Network Looks Beyond TV, Launching Games and Shows Simultaneously
Adweek — Jason Lynch

Simply launching a new linear show is no longer enough for Cartoon Network, which is now creating multiplatform experiences—usually including a tie-in mobile or console video game—for all of its new series.The network has unveiled its upfront slate for this year, which includes 13 shows (six new ones, and seven returning series) with more than 20 mobile and console games to better reach its kid audience. Cartoon Network is the most-watched cable and broadcast network on VOD, with 413 million “orders” last year.

Grappling with the decline in traditional TV viewing, advertisers increasing look to agencies for answers
The Drum — Laurie Fullerton

Continued viewing declines in traditional television are a concern, with an 18% viewing decline since 2014, and on average a three percent decline each year since 1990. With a level that exceeds all global traditional television viewing, addressable marketing is not completely understood by advertisers but is increasingly considered to be their best option.

eMarketer Releases New Report on the Challenges of TV Audience Measurement

Time spent with connected devices has grown rapidly in recent years, resulting in a steady decline in live TV viewing—especially among people younger than 35. Many of these consumers prefer watching TV programs through OTT services like Hulu or CBS All Access, or viewing ad-free fare via Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and other subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) services.

Comcast Plans to Launch Low-Cost Broadband Skinny TV Bundles Across U.S. Footprint in Q3
Variety — Todd Spangler

Comcast is rebranding its broadband-delivered “skinny bundle” service as Xfinity Instant TV, rolling out in Q3. The service isn’t an over-the-top play like Dish’s Sling TV, DirecTV Now, or the forthcoming virtual pay-TV services from Hulu and YouTube. Rather, Xfinity Instant TV will be available only to Comcast’s broadband subscribers in metro areas.The service won’t require a Comcast-branded set-top, and Comcast hopes this easy and cheap service will be a stepping stone for subscribers to upgrade to full-blown pay TV.

WCVB Boston: Skewed Nielsen Ratings Warrant Bigger Look
Broadcasting & Cable — Diana Marszalek

WCVB, Hearst’s ABC affiliate in Boston, is calling on Nielsen to investigate the accuracy of ratings dating back to 2016 after a single household in the market skewed the February sweeps, pushing Fox affiliate WFXT to late-night wins. WCVB has no input over how Nielsen selects its Boston households, and would like the investigation expanded to even more instances in 2016.

Many Cable TV Networks Continue To Lose Subscribers
MediaPost — Wayne Friedman

According to Pivotal Research Group, Nielsen’s April subscriber figures showed declines for Viacom’s Spike (7.2%) and CMT (10.4%). Spike will be rebranded as the Paramount Network, one of Viacom’s new core six networks. Pivotal Research says only 21 out of 117 measured networks showed some subscriber growth. Those include AMC’s Sundance, up 9.5%; BBC America, up 3.1%; Discovery’s Velocity, up 4.8%; and Fox’s FXX, growing 7.8%.

Discovery CEO Warns of Cable ‘Street Fight’ as Viewers Go Online
Advertising Age

According to Discovery Communications Inc.’s chief executive, Comcast and Charter Communications may have to sell their TV services nationwide to fend off online rivals, creating “mayhem” in a cable industry without head-to-head competition. For big cable operators like Comcast and Charter, selling a bundle of channels to any consumer in the U.S. would upend a long-held tradition of not competing with each other in the same market. But if the popularity of new web-TV services grows, cable operators may have no other choice but to go nationwide with online versions of their services.

With Ratings Soaring, the Hallmark Channel Opts for Celebration Over a Hard Sell at Its Upfront
Adweek — Jason Lynch

In the fourth quarter of 2016, Hallmark Channel was the highest-rated cable network in total day among women 25 to 54. In its upfront talks, the company will be looking to expand its brand partnerships outside of traditional 30-second ads, both in its series and the 90-plus original movies that it produces each year for the two networks. Counter to much of this year’s upfront negotiations, the Crown Media pitch will be light on non-Nielsen audience data– because Hallmark’s ratings are up, there isn’t as much urgency to find new measurement.

Sling TV Dishes Up Programmatic Supply
AdExchanger — Kelly Liyakasa

In an effort to monetize its cross-platform audience, Dish has been “quietly refining” Sling TV’s integration into larger programmatic stacks over the last few months, including integrations with several new demand partners like Adobe. One issue Sling and other streaming TV providers must overcome is shoring up enough demand in a still-nascent over-the-top space. But experts predict that demand will scale as buyers become more accustomed to OTT buying beyond TV GRPs and as emerging metrics are standardized.

Discovery Upfront Pushes Multiplatform Reach For Advertisers
MediaPost — Adam Buckman

Discovery Networks is making its pitch for upfront dollars by emphasizing the company’s global reach on a wide range of platforms, highlighting its digital mobile extensions in addition to its traditional linear cable networks.

New Hollywood Panic and Pressure Over Rival Premium VOD Plans
The Hollywood Reporter — Pamela McClintock

During CinemaCon, studios and theater owners are having serious discussions about shortening theatrical windows, the amount of time films play exclusively in theaters before they are made available for home viewing. Universal, owned by Comcast (which is in the home-delivery business), has staked out the most aggressive position and ideally would like a title to be made available for home viewing for $40 after 10 days. Warner Bros. — which AT&T is buying — has put forth a proposal for $50 after 17 days. Fox has recently come in with a PVOD plan that theater owners could find it easier to live with since it would charge consumers $30 to rent a movie 45 days after it is first released in cinemas.

TV Networks See an Opportunity in Google Ad Backlash
Wall Street Journal — Suzanne Vranica

In the upfronts, negotiations between media companies and advertisers generally don’t heat up until a bit later into the spring. But one TV ad sales executive said he would push to advance those deal discussions to take advantage of the uproar over Google. “Some advertisers use YouTube as a TV replacement and as a way to offset declining TV ratings. If they still need that reach, some of the money could come back to linear TV,” said one ad buyer. TV networks can push their ability for advertisements to always be adjacent to safe content.

US uses social media for TV discovery
Net Imperative

Almost half (49%) of US consumers and nearly 60% of Gen Z, millennials and Gen X subscribe to at least one paid streaming video service. 73% of US consumers and nearly 90% of millennials and Gen Z have binge watched video content; almost 40% of millennial and Gen Z binge watchers do so weekly. Gen Z and millennials spend about half their time watching television shows and movies on devices other than a TV. 99% of millennials and Gen Z are multitasking while watching TV, averaging four additional activities, such as texting, browsing the web, using social networks, reading email and online shopping.

Millennials Aren’t Watching TV–At Least Until They’re Older
Newsweek — Janice Williams

A study from Nielsen and Catalina found that, according to data of TV viewing across the four major broadcast networks, television consumption increased as Millennials got older and started to settle down.

Decline in North American Pay-TV Subscriptions
Broadband TV News

The number of pay-TV subscriptions in North America is predicted to fall by 10 million by 2022. Digital TV Research says the 9% decline to 102 million subscriptions does not indicate a massive cord-cutting problem. The digital cable TV total will remain flat at about 57 million subs from 2015.

The VMVPD: Cable’s Answer To Cord Cutting
AdExchanger — Jordan Decker

In the near term, the effect of vMVPDs is small in both subscriber scale and advertising opportunities. Nielsen includes vMVPDs in its cable household universe estimates, so these households are not counted as cord cutters. The power of the vMVPD to change the television advertising landscape rests mostly in future capabilities from internet-delivered linear television. The technology allows for dynamically inserted and potentially addressable ads to be served on a one-to-one basis.

Democratize Your Data; How Buzzfeed Gave All Its Creators Deep-Dive Tools
TVREV — David Bloom

Buzzfeed has long been a king of data-driven content, using numbers to identify and leverage its creators’ most effective stories, quizzes, headlines, images and video. Now, according to Digiday, the company has taken a logical next step: pushing the data out into the newsroom so creators can do their own deep dives.In the newsroom of the future, understanding data is going to be an essential skill set for everyone.

Toyota Finds Data-Driven Advantage
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

Toyota used Viacom Vantage to help launch its new small SUV, and said the result was 100% higher than it would have gotten using more traditional media buying techniques. It’s worth noting that Viacom is one of the three members of the OpenAP consortium looking to standardize and measure audience buying-based targets determined by data. Vantage also incorporated mobile geolocation data to look at where there was a lift in physical visitors to Toyota dealerships.

Research Company 4C Dives Deeper Into TV Data
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

Data science company 4C Insights launched a new product that adds TV viewing data to the information about consumers. 4C works with 70 of the 200 largest global advertisers, and for them, TV remains an important marketing tool. That led 4C to add more TV data to what it provides to its clients. The 4C TV suite includes programmatic buying, and real-time viewer and engagement analytics.

Why data-driven TV will sink old ad buying habits
AdNews — Pippa Chambers

Despite the ongoing concerns around smart TVs, the Adobe DSP has already onboarded Vizio and is still in the market for making more such integrations. It benefits all advertisers to eliminate the silos encompassed by TV and digital advertising.

One Nation, Under Fox: 18 Hours With a Network That Shapes America
New York Times — John Koblin + Nick Corasaniti

Fox News provides extensive news coverage, but sometimes the line between opinion and hard news blurs. 24 hours spent watching Fox provided an…uniqe view of American and Global news.

Mattel Is Teaming Up With ABC for a New Competition Series to Find Its Next Big Toy
Adweek — Jason Lynch

Mattel and ABC have teamed up to launch a new, Shark Tank-like reality competition series, The Toy Box, in which toy inventors vie for approval from a group of toy experts, followed by a precocious panel of kid judges.

SMI: TV Ad Spending Rose 0.4% in February
Broadcasting & Cable — Jon Lafayette

According to new figures from Standard Media Index, advertising spending on national TV rose 0.4% in February, slowing down from bigger gains in the preceding months. Spending on news and sports was up, while entertainment was lower. In primetime, the broadcast networks were down 2.3% but NBC was up 11.3% thanks to This Is Us. Benefiting from a Trump Bump, television news was up 11.7% across all dayparts in broadcast and cable. Cable news was up 7% in total day and 30.9% in primetime.

World Baseball Classic: Advertiser Breakdown
Sports Business Daily — David Broughton

For those watching World Baseball Classic games on MLB Network, it may have felt like a certain Alfa Romeo car ad was on loop, as the Italian brand has 121 airings across 40 games, according to an SBJ/SBD analysis of iSpot.TV data.

YouTube Advertiser Exodus Highlights Perils of Online Ads
New York Times — Sapna Maheshwari + Daisuke Wakabayashi

The pullback from advertisers strikes to the core of YouTube’s appeal. Unlike television, with specific programming during which brands choose to run their advertising, YouTube mirrors the internet’s sprawl, specializing in niche content that may not appeal to a mainstream audience but attracts engaged viewers.