Comcast Technology Solutions - leaderboard - 3-28-18

Analysis for 'Broadcasters'

  • Perspective What's this? Dateline NAB: Broadcasters Are Ready to Embrace 'Future Fronts,' a Converged Approach to Their Biggest Financial Event of the Year

    Fresh off the show floor at NAB Show in Las Vegas, I was struck by three very clear trends:

    - Broadcasters are keen to understand what they need to do to adopt ATSC 3.0, the IP-based over-the-air (OTA) TV broadcast standard that combines broadcasting and broadband internet,
    - Many are working to reorient workflows to support 'Advanced Advertising' and cross-screen measurement, and
    - Cross-screen multi-touch attribution is now a 'must-have' for the sell-side to merchandise their unique value to buyers.

    Meanwhile back in New York, the annual TV Upfronts and Digital Video Newfronts are in full swing. My only hope is that we're not going another year planning our Marketing efforts in separate linear vs. digital siloes.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #415: NABShow Highlights

    I’m pleased to present the 415th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    Colin and I were both at the NABShow in Las Vegas this week. I was producing the Online Video Program once again, which featured 30+ speakers on 8 different sessions. On today’s podcast, I share some of the highlights of the keynote session with Christy Tanner, EVP/GM of CBS News Digital, who oversees CBSN, the 24x7 OTT news service. CBSN has an average viewer age of 38, which is 20 years younger than the average CBS News viewer.

    Christy explained how the CBSN team collaborates internally with its focus on news/facts vs. punditry. She also noted that 50% of consumption is on connected TVs, with 30% on desktop and 20% on mobile. CBSN is an example of how OTT is giving traditional media a whole new way to connect with viewers.

    We then turn our attention to some of Colin’s takeaways from the show, including Android TV deployments and the value of open platforms, how operators are broadening their focus to broadband/OTT as viewers are increasingly assembling their own preferred services and the growth of live-streaming.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (21 minutes, 39 seconds)




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  • 5 Soundbites from NABShow Online Video Program

    Yesterday I produced the Online Video Program at the NABShow in Las Vegas. It was a great day of learning, with 30+ speakers on 8 sessions focusing on the rise of OTT. There were many highlights, but to be brief, below I’ve summarized 5 soundbites that hit my radar:

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  • Oscars are Latest Marquee TV Event in 2018 to Suffer Viewing Decline as Audiences Splinter

    Preliminary overnight numbers for the Oscars show an 18.9 rating in prime time, down 16% vs. 2017’s 22.4 rating. The overnight rating is a new record low for the Oscars, and importantly continues the dismal showing for 2018’s marquee TV events: Golden Globes (-5% vs. 2017), Super Bowl (-7% vs. 2017, worst in 9 years), Olympics (-7% vs. 2014, worst ever) and Grammys (-24% vs. 2017, worst in 9 years). Clearly TV’s biggest events are losing their luster.

    There are always challenges particular to each event (e.g. Olympics time zone issues, Patriots fatigue, etc.). In the case of the Oscars, an ongoing problem is the disconnect between best picture winners and box office performance. A fascinating WSJ article on Friday detailed how only 4 best picture winners in the past 12 years have been among their year’s 25 highest-grossing movies, with none cracking the top 15. In the current era of superheroes, animation and franchise movies, thoughtful best picture nominees simply don’t draw the biggest audiences, in turn diminishing the Oscars’ relevance (2018 could be a quasi-exception with “Black Panther”).

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #409: Exploring NBCUniversal’s Ad Reduction Decision

    I’m pleased to present the 409th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    On this week’s podcast we dig into NBCUniversal’s decision to reduce the number of ads in commercial pods by 20% and ad time by 10% across all its networks in prime time. Colin and I agree that it’s a clear recognition that the traditional TV ad experience isn’t sustainable for viewers or advertisers.

    But how the move will ultimately work out for NBCUniversal isn’t clear. Colin is skeptical that the math is going to add up, citing larger industry headwinds, such as Netflix’s massive content investments, that will keep depleting TV audiences. While the challenges are steep, TV does have certain inherent advantages and the move is a start in the right direction. It will be fascinating to see how things unfold.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 6 seconds)



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  • Can NBCUniversal Make the Math Work on Fewer Ads and Less Ad Time?

    Yesterday, NBCUniversal announced plans to reduce the number of ads in commercial pods by 20% and reduce ad time by 10% across all its networks in prime time. The move will almost certainly meet its goals of creating a better viewer and advertiser experience. But an overarching question is whether it will ultimately benefit NBCUniversal and the broader TV industry? The answer to these questions lie in whether NBCUniversal can make the math work on fewer ads and less ad time.

    Obviously it’s a risky move for any business to reduce the quantity of what it sells, betting that customers will be willing to pay more for a scarcer resource. But basic laws of supply and demand are in NBCUniversal’s favor: when supply is reduced, then even at constant demand, prices should rise.

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  • CBS News Digital Head Christy Tanner Will Keynote NABShow Online Video Program

    I’m excited to share that Christy Tanner, EVP and GM of CBS News Digital, will be the keynote guest at the NABShow’s Online Video Program on April 10th in Las Vegas. I will be interviewing Christy about how CBSN, which is CBS News’ streaming video news service launched in 2014, creates new value for viewers, advertisers and the CBS Corporation.

    As a direct-to-consumer service, CBSN offers live news coverage from 5am to 10pm 7 days a week. It delivered 280 million live streams in 2017, up 17% vs. 2016. CBSN leverages CBS News’ original reporting, simulcasts special reports and rebroadcasts programming such as “CBS This Morning” and “Face the Nation” in addition to its own original programming. CBSN is a free, ad-supported service.

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  • A Superb Super Bowl Streaming Experience

    As a Patriots fan, it was a bummer watching them go down in last night’s Super Bowl, but one major positive surprise was that streaming the game was a superb experience. I was on the road, and watched the entire game (except for the last minute) using the NBC Sports app on my iPad, on the public WiFi network in Palm Beach International airport in Florida where I arrived early for my flight which ended up delayed.

    I could have watched on any number of TVs in restaurants or camped out on the floor like the fans below watching on TVs mounted in the terminal. But the circumstances created a good opportunity to see what it would really be like to be dependent on streaming.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #405: Does Fox’s New NFL Thursday Night Deal Make Sense?

    I’m pleased to present the 405th edition of the VideoNuze podcast, with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week we dig into Fox’s newly announced deal to broadcast NFL Thursday Night Football games for the next 5 years. The price was reportedly $3 billion, which translates to an average of $60 million per game, a 30% increase vs. what CBS and NBC paid last season.

    Sports have long been thought of as TV’s firewall, but given the NFL’s own ratings declines, combined with accelerating changes in viewers’ behaviors, cord-cutting and adoption of ad-free SVOD, this deal carries risks for Fox. Can Fox turn a profit on the games as pay-TV operators push back on rate increases and advertisers balk at smaller audiences? Will we see a direct-to-consumer streaming service emerge? Time will tell.

    Listen in to learn more!

     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 15 seconds)



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    Also note, Colin has a new white paper out on content portability in the EU. Download it here.

     
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  • Fox’s Multi-Billion Dollar NFL Deal Shows Live Sports are Still TV’s Firewall (or Not)

    Fox will have broadcast rights to NFL Thursday Night Football for the next 5 years in a deal that is reportedly worth over $3 billion. That would work out to an average of $60 million per game, up from the $45 million NBC and CBS paid per game over the past 2 years and up from the $37.5 million CBS alone paid in 2014 and 2015. The broadcasts will be presented by Bud Light.

    The deal gives fresh credence to the idea that “live sports are TV’s firewall” against changing viewer behaviors and the rise of SVOD. The “firewall” concept has been around for years now and has driven the exorbitant rise in sports rights and the multi-billion dollar “sports tax” that pay-TV subscribers who are not sports fans pay each year.

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  • TV Ad Execs Make Their Case for Relevance and Impact in a Changing World

    On two separate sessions at AdExchanger’s Industry Preview conference last week, NBCUniversal’s Chairman, Advertising and Client Partnerships, Linda Yaccarino and CBS’s President and Chief Advertising Revenue Officer Jo Ann Ross made forceful cases that TV is still highly relevant for advertisers and its impact is essential in the overall marketing mix.

    It’s no secret that TV networks are fighting a pervasive media narrative that traditional TV viewing is becoming anachronistic for younger audiences in particular, ad-free SVOD viewing is dominating and big digital platforms like Google and Facebook offer improved ROI to advertisers through targeting.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #390: CBS All Access Gains on Star Trek; YouTube TV Takes Risky Bet on World Series

    I’m pleased to present the 390th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week, we discuss the impact of the “Star Trek: Discovery” launch on CBS All Access. CBS has said that All Access daily subscriber growth is up 200% over last year since the show’s launch. As Colin notes though, it’s hard to draw conclusions yet about how sustainable the additions will be or whether churn will spike. More originals are clearly needed to broaden the service’s appeal.

    We then turn to the surprising news this week that YouTube TV will be the presenting sponsor of the 2017 World Series. Colin and I agree it’s really a sign of the times when a skinny bundle has stepped up this way. However, since Fox, the network broadcasting the games, isn’t even available yet on YouTube TV in half the top 50 U.S. markets, the sponsorship carries risks. Colin also notes that given YouTube TV’s programming costs, it is likely losing money for each new subscriber.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 6 seconds)



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  • Inscape and Sorenson Media Provide Local Broadcasters With Real-Time Viewership Data

    Inscape and Sorenson Media announced a partnership this morning to help local broadcast station gain insights into viewers’ behaviors. Inscape, whose automatic content recognition (ACR) technology collects viewership data from over 7 million opted-in smart TVs in the U.S. is powering Sorenson Media’s Spark Station Analytics. The companies have been collaborating for over a year with over 80 local broadcasters now using Spark Station Analytics.

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  • Target On Board For NBCU’s Self-Serve Programmatic TV Powered By 4C

    NBCU is enabling clients to buy national TV ads using a self-serve programmatic TV approach. The new private market arrangement is powered by technology provider 4C. NBCU already works with AOL, TubeMogul and Videology to enabling programmatic buying of its ad inventory. The first client using the self-service approach is Target, which will be able to meld its first-party customer data with NBCU’s own audience data to target certain viewers with ads.

    Target’s agency of record is GroupM’s Essence, which is where Adam Gerber, formerly SVP of Client Development and  Communications at ABC, was recently appointed SVP of Investment for North America.

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  • Broadcast TV Poised to Play Bigger Role in Skinny Bundles’ Success

    The competitive dynamics among skinny bundles are still developing, but one thing is becoming increasingly clear: including a full array of broadcast TV channels in all of the biggest U.S. markets, and even many of the smaller ones, will be table stakes. It seems as if a week doesn’t pass these days without one of the five major skinny bundles announcing a new carriage deal for certain broadcast channels in a variety of local markets.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #382: Digging Into CBS All Access and Star Trek Premiere

    I’m pleased to present the 382nd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    It’s been a little while since Colin and I last discussed CBS All Access, which now has approximately 1.5 million subscribers. But with the launch of “Star Trek: Discovery” coming on September 24th (first episode on-air, then exclusively on All Access), the timing is good to dig into its place in the market and the role of originals.

    Interestingly, Colin and I have differing views on almost everything related to CBS All Access; he sees their progress to date as modest (whereas I’m more impressed), but he thinks Star Trek alone could boost subscribers all the way to the 4 million point, which is the 2020 goal (whereas I’m much more cautious), and he sees All Access as threatening to CBS’s local affiliates (whereas I think they’ve largely been brought under the tent).

    Most of all, Colin believes Star Trek is a relatively risky move by the company, while I see it as taking a page from a playbook well-established by Netflix and others who have used originals to methodically build their businesses.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 23 seconds)
     


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  • VideoNuze Podcast #377: NBC’s Premier League Pass; Sinclair’s ATSC 3.0 Vision

    I’m pleased to present the 377th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    This week we start by discussing NBC Sports’ new “Premier League Pass,” which I wrote about a couple days ago. Colin and I agree that Premier League Pass is a clever way for NBC Sports to provide access to cord-cutters and cord-nevers. Going forward, we both like the idea of an “Olympics Pass” as well. Combined with AMC Premiere, which Comcast and AMC announced yesterday, it’s clear established media companies are innovating to offer more flexible access to viewers.

    Colin then shares his reactions to an interesting presentation by Chris Ripley, President and CEO of Sinclair Broadcast Group, on the company’s ATSC 3.0 vision. I’ll admit this is not a topic I’ve followed too closely, but as Colin explains, Sinclair sees ATSC 3.0 as an entirely new delivery infrastructure it can use to deliver all kinds of services. Important to keep in mind, all of this is still very long-term.

    (Note, the audio quality is a bit low this week with Colin being out of office when we recorded)

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (24 minutes, 42 seconds)



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  • NBC Sports Extends Push Into OTT Subscriptions with $50 Premier League Pass

    Yesterday NBC Sports Digital announced its latest OTT subscription service, “Premier League Pass,” which provides access to 130 live matches during the 2017-2018 season for $50. Premier League Pass augments NBC Sports’ broadcast of 250 matches carried on its linear networks and online via TV Everywhere.

    Premier League Pass is the latest OTT subscription service to be part of what’s known as “NBC Sports Gold.” Other services include “Cycling Pass” ($40), “Pro Motocross Pass” ($50), “Track and Field Pass” ($70) and “Rugby Pass” ($60).

    As NBC Sports continues rolling out these various services, it’s becoming clearer that the company is seeing success in offering super-fans online access to specific sports. But what’s more intriguing is that NBC Sports may be laying the groundwork for how consumers will be paying for more mainstream sports somewhere down the road.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #373: BBC-Twitter, More On Facebook’s Video Plans

    I’m pleased to present the 373rd edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia.

    First up this week, Colin shares his thoughts on the BBC’s new partnership with Twitter to stream coverage of the upcoming U.K. election. We agree this seems strategic for both companies and picks up on Twitter’s work in the U.S. election. As Colin points it, Twitter gives BBC access to critical younger audiences. For Twitter, the BBC deal also follows its recently announced partnership with Bloomberg.

    Then we turn our attention back to Facebook video, which we discussed on last week’s podcast. News that A&E, MTV and WGN are all cutting back on scripted originals in the face of SVOD companies’ mounting investments got us wondering exactly what Facebook will get for its $250K per episode (which Mike Shields at BI also raised). Given the middling success AOL, YouTube and others have had with originals, the question of how Facebook will differentiate is intriguing.

    Listen in to learn more!
     
    Click here to listen to the podcast (20 minutes, 40 seconds)
     


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  • Broadcast TV’s Role in Skinny Bundles Bolstered by Networks’ Affiliate Deals

    I’ve been a skeptic of skinny bundles, partially because of the huge holes in their channel lineups (what I’ve dubbed the “Swiss cheese” problem) which I believe narrows their appeal. The most glaring hole has been the absence of all the broadcast TV networks except in a handful of the biggest metropolitan areas. Not having all the broadcast networks is a serious drawback because even in the fragmented cable era, they still draw the biggest audiences outside of sports.

    But there’s reason to be cautiously optimistic that this problem may soon be solved. Three of the four big broadcast networks have announced agreements with their affiliate boards which essentially allow the networks to negotiate carriage in skinny bundles on their behalf. NBC was the first to announce its deal, on April 13th. That was followed by Disney ABC on April 24th. And then yesterday, CBS announced its own deal. While FOX hasn’t announced a deal, it has added more affiliates to DirecTV Now, which is a positive sign of progress.

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