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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 and save this link. 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.

The first-ever overtime Super Bowl attracted 111.3 million TV viewers and generated an estimated $509.6 million in ad revenue for Fox. The Wall Street Journal discusses how today’s divided political climate drove advertisers to split between cracking jokes and calling for unity. Vizio is in big trouble with the FTC for secretly spying on its smart TV viewers, resulting in a $2.2 settlement and the FTC declaring that TV viewing data qualifies as “sensitive data.” Snapchat tries to lure ad dollars away from TV, arguing that the user experience on Snapchat is more like TV than social media.

Disney’s earnings are hurt by ESPN’s subscriber decline, and CEO Bob Iger explores the idea of running fewer commercials to remain competitive with Netflix. While ESPN’s declining profits are partially due to the high cost of producing sports programming, Fox reaffirms the power of sports TV following Super Bowl Sunday which saw 170 million viewers and gave the network its first $500 million revenue day. Both Disney and Viacom restructure their TV business, impacted by the changing streaming-centric landscape. Vizio’s scandal may slow down adoption of addressable TV programmatic advertising.

ComScore and Rentrak, once hoping to eat at Nielsen’s profits, are held back by their own shoddy accounting practices. Facebook continues to infringe on the TV marketplace, hiring an MTV exec to develop original content which it can sell ads around.

The Cringeworthy ComScore – Rentrak Deal
By Tara Lachapelle @ Bloomberg

Before merging, ComScore‘s strength was tracking consumers’ online behavior, while Rentrak measured TV viewing and movie box-office results. The merger was intended to help ComScore rival Nielsen, but ComScore’s faulty accounting practices have prevented both ComScore and Rentrak from making serious headway.

Traditional TV’s Surprising Staying Power
The Economist

Pay and broadcast TV are being eroded by social videos and well as subscription models. Advertising rates have been flat or declining in most of the industry, but spending on ads for sports has risen rapidly, by 50% over the past 10 years, according to Nielsen and MoffettNathanson.

Research Reveals Link Between Emotion and Campaign Metrics
By Tobi Elkin @ MediaPost

BBC partnered with tech platform CrowdEmotion to study the connection between emotions and campaign metrics. Their research used a combination of traditional research metrics with facial coding techniques.They found that the triggering of serious emotions (puzzlement, fear, and sadness) resulted in a deeper subconscious relationship with the brand, and 50% increase in subconscious positive emotion toward the brand. Content-led marketing campaigns on BBC resulted in a 30% increase in subconscious positivity, a 49% increase in average brand image, a 56% increase in recommendation, and a 50% increase in consideration. The findings suggest that 55% of consumers who express happiness, puzzlement, and fear are likely to share content.

Linear TV Sees Triple-Digit Increase in Ad Spend
By Michelle Clancy @ Rapid TV News

According to Videology, there has been a 273% increase in spending on linear TV advertising campaigns and an 840% increase in the number of linear TV impressions available to be bought and sold programmatically in the last 12 months. The view-through rate was the highest chosen objective for campaign goals (42%), followed by viewable rate (31%) and click-through rate (24%).

Chick-fil-A Puts VR Headsets on Cows
By Jessica Wohl @ Advertising Age

Chick-fil-A is playing into the VR/360 hype: this week Chick-fil-A began teasing a “Cowz VR” site and distributing thousands of free Chick-fil-A-branded cardboard viewers. On Sunday, more of the story will appear when Chick-fil-A makes the site live and runs two 30-second commercials during the Grammy Awards. This is the first time Chick-fil-A has bought time during the Grammys on a national level, after running local spots in the past.

Super Bowl Ads From NatGeo, Kia and Bud Score With WSJ Audience
By Suzanne Vranica @ Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal surveyed its readers and found that their favorite Super Bowl ads were National Geographic’s Genius, Kia, Budweiser, Honda and Buick.

Super Bowl Spots Dominate List of 10 Most Engaging Ads This Week
By Chris Ariens @ Adweek

iSpot.tv reports that this is by far the most socially active time of year for TV advertisers. All told, Super Bowl LI ads generated 1.45 billion paid and earned views across Facebook and YouTube. The social impressions total (an estimate based on the reach of those who posted or shared on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) came to a whopping 5.4 billion. Altogether, the nine advertisers that aired social-issue-related ads accounted for 7.52% of TV ad impressions — i.e., actual screen time — but generated almost a third (31.35%) of digital engagement around Super Bowl ads.

Nielsen’s Total Audience Business Grows
By Wayne Friedman @ MediaPost

Nielsen’s Watch business — its media audience measurement and analytics services — grew 5.8% to $788 million in revenues. The company’s audience measurement business grew 8.4%, thanks to continued business deals for its new Total Audience Measurement system.

Facebook to Develop Original TV Content
By Andrew Liptak @ The Verge

Facebook has been entering the TV space with Facebook Live, and rumors that it would be creating an app for television boxes such as Apple TV. Now, the company has hired MTV executive vice president Mina Lefevre to be its head of development. Having dedicated programming would open a new advertising market for Facebook.

Insights: What Will We Be Watching in 10 Years? Probably Nothing Viacom.
By David Bloom @ Tubefilter

Viacom’s youth-geared channels– Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, BET and Spike– may not be relevant by the time Generation Z graduates high school. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Hulu, nearly every digital-video channel or the video-streaming operations of Amazon and Netflix didn’t exist a decade ago, and now they are all investing in premium video content. Gen Z doesn’t have time to watch traditional TV between all of the digital options.

Netflix Dominates Saturdays — Here’s How it Stacks Up Against TV Networks the Rest of the Week
By Nathan McAlone @ Business Insider

According to new research from SymphonyAM, broadcast TV networks dominate viewership every night of the week except for Saturday, when Netflix gets 26% of viewers.

Disney Restructures Ad Sales for Entertainment Networks
By Joe Flint @ Wall Street Journal

Disney’s new design for ad sales will combine all of the channels under one umbrella, looking more similar to how Comcast and 21st Century Fox operate. Currently, each of the networks in the Disney/ABC TV Group, which includes the ABC broadcast network and cable channels Freeform and Disney Channel, operate as individual fiefdoms.The structural changes do not include ESPN.

Viacom Revamps its Cable Operations
By Cynthia Littleton @ Variety

Viacom is adapting its cable operations to fit within a “skinny bundle,” designating six out of its 25 channels as its flagship brands. While the other 19 channels won’t necessary be eliminated, the flagship six will be the focus of Viacom’s global efforts.

One thing is for sure, political TV viewership is alive and well as shown by the ratings increase in line with an appetite for political information. But it gets interesting when Fox Network leverages its political network for say, an interview with President Trump from Bill O’Reilly before the big game. Some would say that seemingly biased political volleyball doesn’t have a place in front of what is objectively America’s annual TV fest. The pre-game show served up over a billion (1.3) TV ad impressions for Fox according to iSpot.tv. Say what you will, but we should all agree on one thing- it’s good business for Fox.

Study: What Advertisers Need to Know About Rural American Values
By Katie Richards @ Adweek

81% of Americans live in rural areas, so Saatchi & Saatchi conducted a survey of 1,000 Americans in 30 small towns across the country. They found that these Americans value independence, craftsmanship, local companies, innovation and hometown pride.

Live Viewing Still Matters
By Steve Sternberg @ MediaPost

At their height, with 90% penetration of U.S. TV homes, VCRs only accounted for about 5% of prime-time rating points. According to Nielsen, there’s still more traditional TV viewing on in-home television set than on all other screens combined. More and more viewing is not done live, particularly in prime time.

How Vizio’s Privacy Settlement Hurts Programmatic TV Advertisers
By Tanya Dua @ Digiday

Vizio’s scandal is a major setback for the internet of things– Vizio has been mentioned around 33,000 times on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram within the past week, and the sentiment is overwhelmingly negative. This is going to make advertisers wary of programmatic TV advertising, wanting to avoid any brand association with a scandal.

Time Warner Turns to Digital and Pay-TV Deals
By Business Insider

Time Warner’s Q4 2016 earnings beat analyst expectations as revenue climbed 11% year-over-year to $7.9 billion. The positive results come in part from AT&T acquiring the company for $85.4 billion, plus Turner increased revenue on higher fees from pay-tv distributors.

Media Buyers Want Nielsen to Roll Out Total Content Ratings
By Bill Cromwell @ MediaLife

A survey by MediaLife magazine found that 90% of media buyers think Nielsen should go ahead and roll out their Total Content Ratings as planned, before all of the network criticism arose.

CBS Stations Renew Nielsen Local Digital Measurements
By Wayne Friedman @ MediaPost

Following Nielsen’s announcement about accreditation by the Media Rating Council to include its “digital” measurement, Nielsen and CBS Television Stations have signed a multiyear renewal agreement for Nielsen’s Local Television Measurement, which includes ‘Local Digital in TV’ ratings.

Amid TV Spying Scandal, Vizio Releases “Best Practices” on Data Collection
By Christopher Zara @ Fast Company

Following Vizio’s settlement with the FTC for spying on viewers, Vizio has released its “best practices” for data collection and Vizio says it’s “leading the way” on consent practices going forward.

TV Ratings are Stuck in the 1960s
By Anthony Crupi @ Advertising Age

Nielsen had only been measuring TV audiences for about a decade when ABC approached it with a request to measure discrete audience segments. In 1962, in an attempt to align its programming slate with the automakers’ fall release, ABC set all of its new series’ premieres to air in a single week in September, thereby ushering in the modern broadcast season. Five years later, ABC became the first network to offer ratings guarantees. More than 50 years later, TV is still reliant on Nielsen ratings and this release schedule.

ESPN Drags Down Disney’s Cable TV Profit
By Christopher Palmeri @ Bloomberg

A decline in ESPN’s profit has lowered Disney’s overall revenue by 3%, eating at cable TV results–which is Disney’s largest business. ESPN is losing subscribers as viewers switch to skinny bundles without sports or cut the cord altogether. Programming costs for NFL and NBA games are on the rise.

Disney’s CEO Says TV Has Too Many Ads
By Nathan McAlone @ Business Insider

Disney CEO Bob Iger thinks there are too many ads on TV, and he’s exploring whether Disney’s ESPN and ABC channels should reduce their ad load– especially to be competitive with Netflix and other new entrants. Disney is committed to optimizing streaming packages and making sure that ESPN gets included in even the skinniest bundles.

Fox: Power of Sports Seen in $500 Million Day
By Jon Lafayette @ Broadcasting & Cable

Fox saw its first $500 million revenue day, thanks to Super Bowl LI. Fox CEO James Murdoch noted that sports was a key driver in the company’s second quarter, with the World Series. While production costs of sports are on the rise, Murdoch reminds networks that the Super Bowl was seen by 170 million viewers.

Audi’s tactic of promoting equal pay paid off– iSpot.tv found that Audi’s Daughter ad captured almost a third (28.4%) of the auto industry’s share of voice and already has earned 7 million online views. This made it the most engaging auto ad during the Super Bowl LI.

Almost a Quarter of the Super Bowl was Commercials
By Lara O’Reilly @ Business Insider

This year’s Super Bowl featured 51 minutes 20 seconds of ads — accounting for 23% of the total broadcast — the second highest amount of ad time in the big game’s history, according to Kantar Media.

Programmatic TV Buying Sees Massive Increase
By Tobi Elkin @ MediaPost

Videology’s Q4 2016 U.S. TV & Video At-A-Glance report found a 273% increase in spending on linear TV advertising campaigns and an 840% increase in the number of linear TV impressions available to be bought and sold programmatically. More than one in four advanced TV campaigns use their own first-party data for targeting.

Vizio settles case that said its smart TVs spied on owners
By Devin Coldewey @ TechCrunch

Vizio has agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle a case with the FTC about Vizio secretly collecting and selling data about its viewers. According to the lawsuit, Vizio was literally watching its watchers — capturing “second-by-second information” about what people viewed on its smart TVs. That included data from cable, broadband, set-top boxes, over-the-air broadcasts, DVDs and streaming devices. Vizio also was accused of linking demographic information to the data and selling the data — including users’ genders, ages and incomes — to companies that do targeted advertising.

For First Time, FTC Says TV Viewing Data Is Sensitive Data
By Kate Kaye @ Advertising Age

The Vizio ruling required the FTC to take a stand on television viewing data for the first time: “In this case is we have alleged that television viewing information is sensitive information that requires companies to get opt-in consent,” said Kevin Moriarty an attorney with the FTC’s Division of Privacy and Identity Protection. According to this definition, TV viewer data would be akin to other sensitive data such as financial and health information, and thus subject to tighter use restrictions.

Nielsen’s Digital TV Measurement Receives Media Rating Council Accreditation
By Jason Lynch @ Adweek

Following Nielsen’s troubles with its Total Audience measurement rollout, Nielsen is sharing some good news: Nielsen has received Media Ratings Council (MRC) accreditation for its digital measurement in its TV ratings. The MRC seal of approval gives clients assurance of Nielsen’s digital methodology, which is “particularly important” to the C3 and C7 metrics used to transact ad sales.

Four Brands Bet on Super Bowl Overtime and Scored
By Mike Shields @ Wall Street Journal

SoFi, Hulu, Sprint and Proactiv purchased discounted ad slots in case of a Super Bowl overtime (which has never happened in history) and benefited from the Patriots’ comeback. SoFi got its ad in front of 100 million captivated viewers for less than half of the going $5-million rate for a Super Bowl 51 ad– if the overtime doesn’t occur, money never exchanges hands.

More Than 800 Advertisers Say They Won’t Support Breitbart News
By Simon Dumenco @ Advertising Age

According to Sleeping Giants, a total of 818 companies have pledged to remove Breitbart from their media plan so far. Throughout the past few months, big name companies like Kelloggs, BMW, Visa, T-Mobile, Nordstrom and Lufthansa have all cut ties with Breitbart.

During Super Bowl Breaks, Brands Enter Political Debate
By Sapna Maheshwari @ New York Times

Even brands with very subtle political messages in their Super Bowl ads generated lots of digital buzz–both positive and negative. Budweiser’s immigrant tale paid off for the brand: the spot had garnered more than 22 million views on YouTube and the #BoycottBudweiser trending Twitter hashtag was used largely by supporters, not haters.

Why Snapchat Is the New TV
By Christopher Mims @ Wall Street Journal

Once your Snapchat network is large enough, viewing stories can feel like the “lean back” experience of watching TV. Snapchat’s swipe-based interface makes it easy to mindlessly cruise; it even has a mode where you can play through all the stories you like without interruption.Video ads on Snapchat are more like TV commercials than the pre-roll ads that have failed to generate profit at YouTube.

TV Networks Raising Ad Rates for Trump’s Favorite Shows
By Daniel Lippman and Anna Palmer @ Politico

MSNBC and Fox News are capitalizing on Trump’s TV habits, dramatically increasing issue-advocacy advertising rates in recent weeks as companies and outside groups try to reach Trump and his cabinet. The ad rates for “Morning Joe” have more than doubled post-election, according to one veteran media buyer.

NFL Super Bowl TV Ratings Down from Previous Years
By Tim Baysinger @ Reuters

According to Nielsen data, the Super Bowl LI drew 111.3 million viewers– the smallest audience for the NFL’s title game in four years. Despite lower ratings, the overtime allowed Fox to add four more commercials, each of which brought in an additional $5 million. According to advertising analytics company iSpot.tv, Fox brought in an estimated $509.6 million in ad revenue for the broadcast.

First-Ever Overtime Super Bowl Attracts 111.3 Million TV Viewers
By Joe Flint @ Wall Street Journal

Super Bowl LI drew an average TV audience of 111.3 million on Fox, according to Nielsen, making it the fourth most-watched Super Bowl in history. The game also drew an additional 650,000 viewers on the Spanish-language service Fox Deportes and 1.72 million watched it online via Fox Sports Go.

Super Bowl LI’s Brand Winners and Losers
By Tanya Dua @ Digiday

Budweiser’s “Born The Hard Way” spot resonated with viewers well before the first touchdown, ranking first in terms of pre-game buzz, according to iSpot.tv’s Digital Share of Voice. As of Sunday morning, the spot had already generated 14.3 million earned online views and 235,000 mentions across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and unique search engine inquiries. The spot has also garnered more than 7 million Facebook views, half of them (almost 47%) eliciting the “love” reaction according to Canvs, an emotion analytics company.

Super Bowl Ads Split Between Humor and Unity
By Suzanne Vranica @ Wall Street Journal

Super Bowl commercials that resonated with marketing experts starred a sexy Mr. Clean, a sloppy Terry Bradshaw, and a pot-seeking Snoop Dogg. But this year was also full of ads that weighed in on political and social themes were also on full display.

Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ Super Bowl ad tops the Twitter charts
By Claire Atkinson @ New York Post

Twitter’s most talked Super Bowl ad came from Netflix, which unveiled a spooky trailer for season two of “Stranger Things.” The teaser generated some 307,000 mentions during the game, according to social-media measurement firm Amobee.

Even in a Divided America, Super Bowl Advertisers Seemed to Focus on Politics
By Patrick Coffee @ Adweek

In terms of generating buzz, taking a political approach appeared to work: Amobee found that Airbnb and Coke inspired more tweets than any other brand during the first quarter. Breitbart named 84 Lumber, Audi, Airbnb, It’s a 10 and Budweiser among the game’s “most politicized” ads.

The 10 Things in Advertising You Need to Know Today: Super Bowl Takeover
By Lara O’Reilly @ Business Insider

Check out all the ads that aired during the Super Bowl, including the five best and five worst. People loved Audi’s gender equality spot, while others are threatening to boycott Budweiser for its immigration-themed ad.

The Live Bowl — and How It’s Changing the TV Landscape
By Jeanine Poggi @ Advertising Age

Snickers, Hyundai and Tide all leveraged live during the Super Bowl LI, and this trend is only going to grow within TV. “This trend has a lot to do with Facebook Live,” said Kirsten Atkinson, VP-media and brand integration at Walton Isaacson. “The social media space pushed advertisers to find unique ways to engage. This bled into the traditional space and begs the question, why wouldn’t we be doing this in broadcast?”

Super Bowl Ads: Fox Won’t Say if Big Game is Sold Out
By Brian Steinberg @ Variety

According to Bruce Lefkowitz, executive VP of ad sales for Fox Networks Group, Fox had “less than a handful” of 30-second slots available a week before the Big Game. As of Sunday afternoon, however, there is no confirmation that Fox has reached its goal.

Want to Talk to Trump? Advertise Here
By Derek Thompson @ The Atlantic

Trump loves TV, and politicians and causes are realizing they can catch Trump’s attention by advertising during his favorite shows on MSNBC and Fox News. Stand Up Republic, the nonprofit led by conservative presidential candidate Evan McMullin and his running mate Mindy Finn, is now airing commercials on Morning Joe for just that purpose. The ad targets Trump’s relationship with Russia and dares him come clean or else risk being seen as an illegitimate president.