Broadcasters and Pay TV distributors will have to make sure that ads have the same average volume as the shows they accompany according to the rules the FCC adopted today. It will take a year before the regulations that implement a congressional mandate — the 2010 Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (also known as the CALM Act) – take effect. When they do, consumers shouldn’t have to lunge for the remote control to avoid volume spikes for sales pitches. While the order sounds straightforward, the industry had big concerns: Cable and satellite companies warned the FCC that they might not be able to monitor all of the channels they carry. To deal with that, the FCC says the distributors are off the hook if they can get channels to certify that their ads comply with the rules. Large pay TV providers will be subject to spot checks every two years; regulators will investigate smaller operators if there’s a pattern of complaints. In addition, pay TV and broadcast companies urged commissioners to READ MORE »
The dust has barely settled from the turmoil that last week engulfed the Academy Awards cermonies for 2012, and word is out that ABC is asking from $1.6 million-$1.7 million for 30 seconds of ad time during the 2012 telecast. That’s about the same as or a bit less than the $1.7 million the network sought for the same amount of time for the 2011 show. The commotion over the departures of producer Brett Ratner and host Eddie Murphy had little to do with pricing, which was established weeks ago according to Ad Age’s MediaWorks blog. Brian Grazer and Billy Crystal quickly filled those slots. Back in 2009, prices for Oscar ads dropped to about $1.3 million because of the recession, ratings performance and other factors. Current asking prices haven’t fully restored Oscar’s luster to 2008 levels when 30 seconds of time went for about $1.8 million.
The 2012 election campaign has barely begun, but broadcasters can expect to see “an unprecedented frenzy of political advertising,” with total sales running as much as 18% higher than the $2.3 billion spent in 2010, Moody’s Investors Service says in a report today. The U.S. Supreme Court has tossed out spending caps for corporations and unions, making this the first presidential election in more than a decade without such limits, the research firm says. “The campaign frenzy will get some of its oxygen from high-visibility headline issues, including a weak domestic economy, high unemployment and a continued slump in real estate,” Moody’s says. “Control of Congress is also in close contention.” Republicans “may possibly view the Senate to be within their reach in 2012.”
Back on December 12th, I broke the news about a Cola War between Coke and Pepsi raging over Simon Cowell’s new U.S. version of The X Factor coming to Fox this fall. And I tipped that Pepsi was leading. Now that sponsorship battle has been won by Pepsi, according to an announcement just made by Fox Broadcasting Company, Cowell’s Syco Television, and FremantleMedia North America today. ”The comprehensive sponsorship of The X Factor by Pepsi includes an extensive, multi-platform off-air marketing partnership; weekly in-show integrations and placements; and an immersive content experience online. Pepsi will be the exclusive beverage sponsor of THE X FACTOR both on and off-air,” the announcement states.
Obviously all those scandals affecting the UK version of Cowell’s The X Factor talent show didn’t scare away advertisers for the American version. I heard there was a $50 million to $100 million auction going on between Coke and Pepsi. Coca-Cola has been a longtime sponsor of Fox’s American Idol; it got in on the ground floor for less than $10 million. That was a bargain based on ratings that were off the charts for the 12-week program, beating network promises by about 10% and capturing 23 million viewers for the closing finale. The soft drink company has one year left on its Idol contract and it made sense that Coke would want to jump on The X Factor bandwagon as well. But even though I heard Coke was offering more money, my sources said Cowell et al thought Pepsi would make a better fit. And he said so today. “I am absolutely delighted Pepsi is going to be our partner for The X Factor in America,” Cowell officially announced. “It feels like the perfect fit, and I love their ambition and excitement.”
Because of doubts about American Idol‘s format, Pepsi passed on a multimillion-dollar sponsorship when the show was still an unknown in the early stages when dealmakers were trying to have more of the show’s expenses underwritten. Pepsi didn’t want to make that mistake again. Not to mention that different sponsors would help The X Factor brand itself a new identity on Fox in the U.S. market outside of Idol’s shadow. No matter, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is convinced that with both a reworked Idol kicking off this month and a transplated X Factor, Fox could have a banner 2011. Unless America is just saturated with talent contest shows. That’s not the case in Britain where Cowell’s UK version of The X Factor enjoyed its biggest season to date despite of, or because of, the constant controversies. Meanwhile, Fox is said to have earmarked a whopping $35 million to promote the launch of The X-Factor next fall.
It is the zeitgeist show at the moment, so it was probably inevitable that politicians would turn to Glee in their campaigns for the November elections. A new ad for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, which represents a full-court assault on his Republican challenger, Bill Brady, is virtually a carbon copy …