Lots of broadcasters grumble about Nielsen‘s ratings methodology — which frequently relies on antiquated paper diaries — as well as the price increases it wants and its willingness to include homes that have broadband but not cable or satellite service. But Fox would have been the biggest challenger in recent memory to Nielsen’s status as the gold standard for ad deals if its TV station group had not agreed today to stick with the data provider. On the last day of their contract, the companies “have come to a mutually beneficial resolution to continue their longstanding relationship,” they said in a statement attributed to Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy and Nielsen’s Lynda Clarizio, President, U.S. Media. “Both companies are committed to more meaningful and accurate measurement in local markets. We look forward to a strong and productive relationship going forward.” The companies offered no information about terms.
Related: Fox TV Stations Adopt Rentrak Local TV Ratings
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Fox Television Stations will test three programs this summer, Hollywood Today Live, The Daily Help Line and Laughs. Each will air on select Fox-owned stations in several markets, including New York and Los Angeles. One-hour daytime strips Hollywood Today Live and The Daily Help Line, will debut July 14 and Laughs, a half-hour weekly program, will premiere August 2.
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Fox Television Stations will become a power in the San Francisco Bay area as a result of this deal. It will pick up its SF area affiliate KTVU and independent KICU and give Cox Media Group WHBQ in Memphis and WFXT in Boston — which will remain Fox affiliates — the companies say. Regulators will have to approve the deal. But assuming they do, then Fox “will benefit from both the strong demographics of the Bay area market as well as the alignment with our package of sports rights,” FTS chief Jack Abernethy says. KTVU carries Fox’ broadcasts of NFL games and shares a studio with KICU. SF is the largest market where Fox didn’t own a station. Cox’s Bill Hoffman says that the Memphis and Boston stations “fit nicely into CMG’s broadcast portfolio” and offer an opportunity to have “a great news presence in these two markets.”
The heat is on for Nielsen, which had been feeling pressure from digital upstarts. Fox Television Stations has become the first network owned and operated station group to adopt Rentrak’s Local TV ratings across all of its 28 stations across 18 markets from New York City to Ocala-Gainesville, Fla. In a ringing endorsement, FTS has entered a long-term agreement with Rentrak, which has evolved from a video cassette distributor to a viable challenger to Nielsen’s monopoly in the ratings measuring by using data from cable set-top boxes. FTS is not dropping Nielsen — at least not for now — adding Rentrak as an alternative source of local market television ratings data. Per the announcement, the agreement will provide Fox with access to Rentrak’s StationView Essentials software and TV ratings information including Rentrak’s single-source auto and political ratings. “We are happy to have immediate access to Rentrak’s Advanced Demographics data,” said Jack Abernethy, CEO of FTS. “More importantly, we expect this will accelerate the long overdue progress toward an accurate digital measuring system in local TV, one based on a census, not estimates, and one that measures all screens.”
That has been a long-time complaint by the TV networks — that Nielsen has fallen behind the rapid evolution of TV viewing and its ratings are not capturing the true size of their audiences who are watching TV in a slew of alternative ways: online, … Read More »
UPDATED: TMZ’s TV footprint is fast expanding. The Fox TV Stations have picked up TMZ Live through 2017 as I hear the one-hour live daily series is eyeing a nationwide rollout in fall 2014. The strip, featuring Harvey Levin and his motley crew of gossipmongers, is the second TMZ-branded syndicated daily program from Warner Bros, along with six-year-old TMZ On TV, which also airs on the Fox stations under a long-term pickup. Unlike TMZ On TV, which started on television, TMZ Live originated online before migrating to the Fox L.A. affiliate KTTV last year, gradually expanding to other Fox stations in fall 2012 and this fall. The series, which ranks as the top talk show in the Fox markets among women 25-54 and adults 25-54, now airs on all Fox stations after Charlotte’s WJZY began carrying the program this week.
That’s three legal losses in a row for FilmOn X in a week. Today the D.C. District Court denied emergency stay motions by the company and its CEO Alki David against an almost nationwide injunction from a case launched by Fox Television Stations, ABC and NBC. The free-TV-over-the-Internet company was trying to stop the September 5 ordered preliminary injunction from taking effect, to have it modified it so that it covered only the court’s direct jurisdiction and to increase the amount of the bond form $250,000 to 2.75 million. The judge said No all round. “FilmOn X’s arguments are not persuasive. The Court weighed the relevant factors – likelihood of success on the merits, possibility of irreparable harm, balance of the harm, and the public interest – it its Opinion and concluded that all four considerations favor Plaintiffs. That conclusion remains in equal force now. Most importantly, Plaintiffs are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim,” said Judge Rosemary Collyer Thursday in a memo opinion accompanying her order (read them here and here). The injunction is set to take effect today though FilmOn X subscribers can still access material that the service has licenses for. Still for David, the broadcasters’ win today is a mere battle in his war with them. “They continually try to thwart innovation, destroy the first amendment and steal from the public. It is best they give up soon because it will be cheaper less bloody for them in the long run,” he told me this afternoon.
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Free-TV-via-web provider FilmOn X looks like it’s going to be shut down in Washington D.C and across the nation, thanks to a federal court ruling today. The granting of a preliminary injunction for plaintiffs Fox Television Stations, ABC and NBC by the D.C. District Court could also have implications for Barry Diller’s Aereo service, which is fighting various legal battles of its own against the networks – winning some, losing others and grinding away at more still. “This Court concludes that the Copyright Act forbids FilmOn X from retransmitting Plaintiffs’ copyrighted programs over the Internet. Plaintiffs are thus likely to succeed on their claim that FilmOn X violates Plaintiffs’ exclusive public performance rights in their copyrighted works,” wrote Judge Rosemary Collyer in an opinion released Thursday (read it here). However despite today’s opinion by the court, FilmOn’s CEO Alki David says it ain’t over yet. “We will continue without the Networks and appeal. We will win in the appeal,” the billionaire media provocateur told me this afternoon. On the other hand, the 35-page decision was exactly what Fox wanted to hear after the court fights it and other networks have had with FilmOn X and its former incarnation Aeroekiller in various jurisdictions. Read More »
IFC has ordered a second season of comedy series Maron from Fox Television Studios. The 13-episode season will debut next year. Marc Maron exec produces, writes and stars. Here’s IFC’s announcement:
NEW YORK, NY –July 23, 2013 – Boomer lives! And so does Maron on IFC. The network announced today the renewal of the critically acclaimed comedy series Maron for a second season with 13 all new half-hour episodes, up from 10, scheduled to premiere in 2014.
“In many ways, Marc is a perfect representation of IFC and our approach to comedy,” said Jennifer Caserta, president and general manager of IFC. “He also seems to be in need of a less dysfunctional family, so we’re happy he’s returning to ours for an expanded second season.”
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For the second time in the past week, a program that had the media hyperventilating ahead of its premiere does not appear to have impressed the public to the same degree. Only time will tell if Kris Jenner’s new talker is the new Sharknado. Monday’s Kris rollout, on Fox stations in six markets — New York/WNYW, Los Angeles/KTTV, Dallas/KDFW, Phoenix/KSAZ, Minneapolis/KMSP and Charlotte/WJZY — included three of the country’s Top 5 markets (NY, LA and Dallas). In those six markets, Kris averaged a 1.1/3 household rating, failing to build over the year-ago time period, and retaining its lead-in share. Kris did noticeably improve the stations’ May sweep performance in female demos, finishing first in its time slot in Los Angeles ahead of Katie, Steve Harvey, and Dr. Phil.
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But the launch of the show’s six-week test run was not a home run, despite the bajillion bucks worth of free publicity it enjoyed compliments of the press. In New York, for instance, Kris clocked a 1.1/4 household rating, falling below both its Wendy Williams lead-in (1.4/5) and its leadout, the launch of The Real (1.5/5). That’s an accomplishment — for The Real, given how much less advance noise was made on that show’s part, owing to its shocking lack of Kardashian-ness. Read More »