Posts for 'CBS'

  • Tiger Woods is Aereo's Best Friend in NYC This Week

    A fortuitous confluence of events could give Aereo a nice bump in visibility and adoption in New York City this week. First, CBS went dark for hundreds of thousands of NYC subscribers last Friday afternoon, as the broadcaster and Time Warner Cable were unable to agree on retransmission consent compensation. Then over the weekend, Tiger Woods - by far golf's biggest TV draw - smoked the field to win the WGC-Bridgestone golf tournament, which was televised by CBS (though not seen by New Yorkers). The win makes Tiger the odds-on favorite to win the fourth and final major golf event of the year - the PGA Championship, being played in upstate New York starting Thursday.

    CBS has the weekend afternoon TV rights to the PGA, following TNT's Thursday/Friday and weekend morning coverage. Tiger is gunning for his first major win in 5+ years, since his infamous infidelity scandal knocked him off his game. If Tiger is leading or among the leaders going into the weekend, it would set up intense interest and very strong CBS viewership. But with CBS blacked out - and the network blocking TWC New York subscribers' access to online programming - New Yorkers wouldn't get to see Tiger in action.

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  • Is the Day-Part Dead In an Always-On World? [AD SUMMIT VIDEO]

    The leadoff session at the recent Video Ad Summit focused on changing consumer viewing behaviors and how they upend the traditional concept of programming by day-parts. We had a great cross-section of perspectives from panelists including Ken Lagana (SVP, Sales, CBS Interactive), J.R. McCabe (SVP, Video, Time, Inc.), Andrea Palmer (VP, Group Media Director, Digitas) and Chris Smith (VP, Video and Mobile, Collective), with Jonathan Carson (former Global President, Digital, Nielsen) moderating.

    The video is below and runs 43 minutes, 12 seconds.

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  • VideoNuze Podcast #178 - NewFronts Review

    I'm pleased to present the 178th edition of the VideoNuze podcast with my weekly partner Colin Dixon of nScreenMedia. This was NewFronts week, when a slew of content providers presented their slate of programs and initiatives to advertisers. Having attended a couple of the presentations, I was impressed by the turnout, energy and interest, especially since this was only the second year for these types of presentations.

    Advertisers have clearly moved online video beyond the experimental stage and are taking a strong interest. Colin and I agree that this is mainly due to viewers' strong adoption of online video viewing. This should only increase as viewers are presented with an exploding array of content choices. We talk more about the role that mobile and apps are playing in all of this too, and why established media needs to be aggressive in this shifting landscape.

    Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (17 minutes, 53 seconds)

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  • 80 Billion Reasons Why Pay-TV Will Become Even More Expensive

    If you think your monthly pay-TV bill is already pretty expensive, then brace yourself for rate increases that will definitely be happening over the next several years, particularly in certain geographic areas of the U.S. Why? Because the cost of programming continues to spiral, led by sports. In fact, over the past 24 months, at least $80 billion has been committed by broadcast and cable TV networks to televise sports in the U.S. (note this includes $6 billion, the minimum either News Corp. or Time Warner Cable will likely pay for TV rights to the L.A. Dodgers' games).

    The chart below itemizes all of the deals that I'm aware of; no doubt there are others as well that aren't included. Also not included are the expected increased costs of renewals for some of sports' highest-profile events like the Super Bowl and NCAA March Madness in coming years.

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  • Yahoo Has Become a Magnet for Video Syndication by Big Media

    Late yesterday NBC Sports and Yahoo announced a content sharing and promotional partnership that further cements Yahoo's role as a video syndication magnet for big media companies. In addition to the new NBC Sports deal, over the past year, other major media partnering with Yahoo include ABC News, CBS Television Distribution, Wenner Media, Clear Channel, CNBC, Fox Digital Entertainment/DirecTV and others, as each has sought to extend its online video presence beyond their own properties and to generate new ad revenues.

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  • VideoNuze-TDG Podcast #150 - How On-Demand Viewing is Disrupting TV Viewership and Advertising

    Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group and I are back for the 150th (whoohoo!) edition of the weekly VideoNuze-TDG podcast. This week Colin and I talk about how on-demand viewing - through both DVRs and online - is changing the landscape for TV networks and advertisers.

    First up, Colin shares some eye-opening numbers from the start of this year's TV season, as reported by the NY Times. Certain shows like NBC's "Revolution" and "The New Normal" plus CBS's "Hawaii Five-o" gained a whopping 40% more viewers due to DVR-based viewing in the 3 days following their premieres. This new viewing dynamic, particularly among the coveted 18-49 cohort, underscores the new reality of on-demand's importance in assessing a show's potential. Premiere night alone is no longer determinative (if it ever was!).

    On-demand viewing is also a conundrum for advertisers and agencies when creating media plans. And that's why this week's announcement by Nielsen of its Cross-Platform Campaign Ratings solution is a big step forward in monetizing audiences across screens. Online has emerged alongside DVRs as a legitimate viewing alternative, and advertisers need to harness its potential. Colin and I discuss how Cross-Platform helps create a "common currency" measurement with TV, which will appeal to TV ad buyers, while helping content providers better value their online ad inventory. It's a complicated topic, but as Colin notes, the shift from "broadcaster-centric to consumer-centric" is causing huge ripple effects in the ecosystem.

    Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (18 minutes, 9 seconds)

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  • Ad Loads in Long-Form Online Video More Than Double: Report

    If you catch up on your favorite TV programs by watching them online, then no doubt over the past year you've noticed, as I have, that ad volume has been growing. A new report from ad manager FreeWheel substantiates the trend: the number of video ads in long-form content (20+ minutes) has more than doubled, from just over 3 in Q1 '11 to almost 8 in Q2 '12. But in a very encouraging sign for both content providers and advertisers, an amazing 91% of these ads (including pre, mid and post-roll) are viewed to completion, the highest level FreeWheel has yet measured.

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  • VideoNuze-TDG Report Podcast #139 - Aereo's Big Legal Victory

    I'm pleased to be joined once again by Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group, for the 139th edition of the VideoNuze-TDG Report podcast.

    Breaking with tradition, we're posting this week's podcast a day early to share our thoughts on Aereo's big legal victory - the decision by U.S. District Judge Judith Nathan to deny the broadcast networks' request for a preliminary injunction to block Aereo's service. As Colin and I agree, though the broadcasters have promised to pursue an appeal, for now it's a very significant milestone for Aereo, as it validates the company's assertion that the Cablevision precedent should hold.  

    Our discussion focuses on the ruling's implications. Certainly it opens up a whole new option for pay-TV operators to avoid paying hundreds of millions in retransmission consent fees by either partnering with Aereo or developing comparable technology (patent issues notwithstanding) to deliver broadcast programs. It also opens up opportunities for OTT providers to potentially beef up their services in partnership with Aereo. While Colin sees Aereo as offering some benefits for the broadcasters, I view the ruling as key setback to their strategy to develop a secondary revenue stream.

    The ruling also comes in the context of two other significant developments - the decision by DirecTV to drop Viacom's networks and the news that Netflix's usage surpassed 1 billion hours in June. Both underscore the impact that evolving consumer behaviors are having on the relationship between pay-TV and online video delivery. The Aereo decision scrambles that dynamic even further. No question, we are living in very interesting times.

    Listen in to hear all of the details.

    Click here to listen to the podcast (23 minutes, 17 seconds)

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  • For Video Advertising Across 3 Screens, Simplicity is Key [VIDEO]

    Each week it seems there's another research research report showing how viewers are increasingly splitting their time watching video on multiple devices. Audience fragmentation is creating new opportunities and headaches for advertisers trying to reach their target audiences efficiently and cost-effectively.

    This was the topic of one of our panel discussions at the VideoNuze Online Video Advertising Summit a couple of weeks ago, which included Marc DeBevoise, SVP/GM, Entertainment at CBS Interactive, Suzanne McDonnell, SVP, Ad Solutions, Discovery and Anupam Gupta, President and CEO, Mixpo, with Nick Buzzell, President and Executive Producer, NBTV Studios, moderating.

    Two of the recurring themes of the session were that simplicity is essential for advertisers to capitalize on advertising opportunities across three screens and that it is still early days, so multi-screen advertising approaches vary depending on specific circumstances. The excitement around new technologies and devices is compelling but understanding client objectives and their level of sophistication is crucial. This is one of the reasons that pre-rolls, mid-rolls and post-rolls have become omnipresent; they're comparable and complimentary to existing TV advertising, making them relatively easy to work with.

    There were lots of other great insights and lessons shared in this 25 minute session.

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  • VideoNuze Report Podcast #114 - Sports Rights Fees and OTT

    I'm pleased to be joined once again by Colin Dixon, senior partner at The Diffusion Group, for the 114th edition of the VideoNuze Report podcast, for Dec. 16, 2011. In today's podcast Colin and I discuss the escalation in sports rights fees, player salaries, sports networks' affiliate fees and pay-TV rates.

    Earlier this week I wrote about the massive, $254 million contract baseball slugger Albert Pujols signed with the Angels and how a new 20-year, $3 billion deal with Fox Sports enabled the team to afford the deal. But that's already old news, because since then the NFL signed $28 billion worth of deals with CBS, Fox and NBC (on top of the $15.2 billion renewal with ESPN agreed to in September), and ESPN forked over another $500 million for broader rights with NCAA.

    Why does all this matter? Because as I've said repeatedly throughout the year, these deals are largely funded by non sports fans, through their ever-higher monthly pay-TV bills. As Colin and I agree, it's an unsustainable trend that's largely being enabled by consumers' ignorance and inertia about what they're paying for. Coincidentally, just today the NY Times has an article on this topic, the first one I've seen from a mainstream newspaper. The  byproduct of escalating pay-TV rates is that they're opening the door for OTT alternatives to thrive. Listen in to learn more!

    Click here to listen to the podcast (16 minutes, 11 seconds)

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  • Verizon Needs to Bring More than a Knife to the OTT Gunfight

    Late yesterday Reuters reported that Verizon is looking at launching an online-only subscription service for streaming movies and TV shows outside its geographical footprint. While such a move initially seems disruptive to incumbents like Netflix and others, the folks at Verizon better remember the old adage about not bringing a knife to a gunfight; if they really want to compete, significant investments in content and promotions are going to be required. Even then, it's not yet clear to me how Verizon succeeds in this highly competitive space.

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  • So Far Fox is Alone Among Networks With Authenticated Pay-TV Window

    With the fall TV season upon us, Fox is alone among broadcast networks in deciding to create an 8-day authentication window for pay-TV subscribers. In fact, NBC appears to be taking the opposite posture, announcing last Friday that its iPad app would now include all the same episodes that it makes available online (and I've confirmed they'll all be available in the iPad next day as well). CBS hasn't announced any plans to change its distribution through its web site or And despite some vague signals to the contrary by Disney CEO Bob Iger, ABC, which has been the leader among broadcast networks in embracing online/mobile distribution, hasn't announced any changes either.

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  • Will Wal-Mart Expand VUDU Into Subscriptions and Compete With Netflix?

    Wal-Mart's news this week that it has more deeply integrated its movie streaming service VUDU into its web site and e-commerce operations is a good step forward in competing better with Amazon and iTunes. However, because the vast majority of users prefer all-you-can-eat subscription services, the reality is that VUDU's new visibility will likely have little impact on Netflix (except maybe for lighter users who are upset by Netflix's recent price change and aren't deterred by VUDU's per title rental model and restrictive expiration policies).

    That raises the question of when might Wal-Mart really step up to the plate and expand VUDU into subscriptions, offering a true alternative to Netflix? It seems like the time may finally be right to make the move. In particular, Netflix's recent price change, separating DVD-by-mail and streaming-only services presents a golden opportunity for Wal-Mart to go on the offensive. Here's the logic:

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  • New CBS Licensing Deal Doesn't Offer Amazon Much Differentiation vs. Netflix

    Amazon and CBS announced a licensing agreement this morning, which, while a step in the right direction for Amazon Prime, doesn't seem to offer it much differentiation. The press release states that 18 CBS TV programs are part of the deal, though the only ones identified are "The Tudors," "Numb3rs," "Medium," the "Star Trek" series, "Frasier" and "Cheers." A quick glance at Netflix's catalog shows that all past seasons of "Numb3rs," "Medium," "Cheers," "The Tudors" and the original 3 seasons of "Star Trek" are available on streaming. Only "Frasier" isn't available on streaming, though it is on DVD.

    Perhaps some of the other programs in the deal aren't already available on Netflix, but the group identified today underscores how networks' and studios' non-exclusive approach means that any distributor with a willingness to pay will get essentially the same content.

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  • NCAA's MMOD Offering In-Game Highlights, Powered by Digitalsmiths

    An exciting feature of this year's NCAA March Madness on Demand (MMOD) is the availability of highlight clips during the games themselves. This near-real time metadata tagging and indexing capability is being powered by Digitalsmiths, and it represents a key milestone in the online sports experience.

    As I described last month in my review of's "Fantasy Baseball Commissioner" product which this season will include in-game highlights as well, these initiatives move metadata tagging and indexing from the realm of on-demand libraries to live streams. Digitalsmiths' GM Patrick Donovan wrote a post about this last Thursday, and I got a chance to catch up with him about it further.

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  • NCAA MMOD Runs Home Page Takeover Ad On

    Speaking of sports, here's how big a deal live streaming of March Madness on Demand (MMOD) has become for the NCAA and its TV partners CBS and Turner Sports: yesterday, which was the tournament's big kickoff, the parties ran a pricey full-page, rich media takeover ad on the home page (see below). MMOD has developed into the highest-profile live online video sporting event of the year. It's hard to believe any real college hoops fan doesn't know about MMOD's availability, but with the NYTimes ad, clearly the parties weren't taking any chances.

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  • It's NCAA March Madness On Demand Season Again

    Speaking of sports, Turner Sports, CBS Sports and the NCAA announced this week that March Madness on Demand will be back online and free to users yet again. MMOD is by far the highest-profile sports event offered live online and the NCAA and networks just keep on improving it every year. For the 2011 tournament, the big new drawing card will be an iPad app, along with new features like personalized channel lineups, social interaction and live stats updates.

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  • CBS Sees $3 Billion In New Distribution Revenue Ahead

    CBS hosted an "Upfront for Investors" yesterday, and as The Hollywood Reporter noted, its executives envision potentially $3 billion in new, high-margin revenue coming from retransmission consent payments, reverse compensation from TV affiliates, international TV syndication and emerging digital distributors. It was no coincidence that just this week CBS announced a 2-year distribution deal with Netflix for mainly library programs, that one analyst valued at $200 million.

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  • No Surprise, Ivi is Shut Down

    Broadcasters got a win this week as a U.S. District Court judge issued a preliminary injunction against Ivi, requiring the service be shut down. The decision comes as little surprise, as Ivi's claim to being a cable system, and therefore entitled to a compulsory license to rebroadcast TV networks, seemed specious from the start. Though Ivi vows to appeal the decision, casting itself as consumers' savior, there's little reason to believe we'll see Ivi - at least in its current form - back any time soon. Moral here: just because the Internet makes it possible to rebroadcast networks, that still doesn't make it legal.
  • With New CBS Deal, Netflix Reminds Amazon (and Hulu) Who's King of the Streaming Jungle

    As if on cue, Netflix announced a new streaming deal with CBS this morning, just hours after Amazon took the wraps off its own new streaming feature for Prime users. Under the 2-year deal, Netflix will get episodes from classic series like "Star Trek," "Frasier," "Cheers," "Twin Peaks," "Hawaii Five-O," "The Twilight Zone," and others. It will also include certain episodes from current shows like "Medium" and "Flashpoint." The companies had a previous streaming deal signed in late 2008 that covered series like "NCIS," "CSI" and "Numbers" which appears to have expired.

    The new CBS agreement sends a strong message to Amazon that when it comes to premium content, Netflix is still king of the streaming jungle. If Amazon wants to compete title-for-title, it is going to have to spend aggressively for content. As I pointed out earlier today, Amazon is only likely to do this if it sees meaningful increases in Prime membership due to the new streaming feature, which I believe is unlikely.

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