NBCU Chief Steve Burke Says Network Should Be Judged On Sales To 18-49 Demo

By | Monday April 7, 2014 @ 9:59am PDT

Steve BurkeSteve Burke doesn’t want people, or advertisers, to pay attention to total viewer ratings because “we’re in the 18-to-49 business,” he told a press gathering today in the run-up to the upfront sales season. Indeed, if presented with a program that would attract a big total audience, but not would be weak in the target demo, “we wouldn’t pick that show up,” he says. That’s required a change in thinking at the NBC, where shows such as Today and Nightly News With Brian Williams often are promoted on the basis of the 25-54 demo. nbc4“They should at least know both” the younger and older demo numbers, Burke says. He acknowledges that older viewers can be attractive for advertisers; for example, NBC has tried to capitalize on The Blacklist‘s popularity with 55-to-64 year olds, a group it calls the Alpha Boomers. Still, Burke says, “it’s very hard to get the industry to change” and “as long as people keep score that way [by focusing on young adults], that’s how we’re going to broadcast.”

The NBCUniversal exec renewed a familiar call for the industry to look at 52 weeks of programming instead of the 35 weeks from September to May. “We’re living in a completely different time now,” he says. “We’re competing straight through the summer.” He and research chief Alan Wurtzel also want Nielsen to step up its efforts to measure viewing on mobile devices, and advertisers to buy spots based on the number of people watching over seven days, not just three. “Those are things the industry can do today,” Wurtzel says. Burke adds that for some shows such as Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show as much as 40% of the views “we’re not monetizing and we need to change that. Read More »

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‘Modern Family’ Gets Cable Makeover For Launch On USA Network: VIDEO

By | Thursday May 16, 2013 @ 7:53pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

How would hit ABC comedy Modern Family look and sound like if it aired on cable? The show’s writers offer a peek in a promo for the Emmy-winning series’ upcoming off-network launch on USA Network in September. The video was a highlight at today’s USA upfront presentation, where … Read More »

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UPFRONTS 2013: Year Of Second Chances

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 8:30pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It’s been another upfront where projects that had been rejected in the past got to shine. Of the four new scripted series showcased at the Turner upfront presentation today, three had been previously developed at other … Read More »

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‘Hannibal’ Subject Of Outside Interest While Awaiting Renewal Decision At NBC

By | Wednesday May 15, 2013 @ 6:12pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

There are several comedy and drama pilots not picked up to series yet that are still in play. But among returning scripted series, only one, NBC drama Hannibal, went through the upfronts without learning its … Read More »

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Univision Announces Partnership With Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network; ‘Dusk Till Dawn’ TV Series Planned

By | Tuesday May 14, 2013 @ 8:38am PDT

Looks like Univision saved something extra for their upfront presentation today in NY. Promising “fun, fast-paced entertainment” Univision Networks president Cesar Conde announced that the company has a new partnership with El Rey Network, the upcoming English-language cable network from filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa’s FactoryMade. El Rey is set to launch at the end of the year via Comcast. Univision will be responsible for the back-office operations, sales and distribution of the network. “The El Rey Network is going to be the home of kick-ass entertainment,” said Rodriguez today onstage. The filmmaker said that the first shows from El Rey will be a TV version of his and Quentin Tarantino’s Dusk Till Dawn movie and an as yet unnamed action series developed by Fringe and Star Trek Into Darkness producers Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci’s K/O Paper Products.

Related: Univision Announces ‘Breaking Bad’ & ‘Gossip Girl’ Adaptations

The network today also announced Va Por Ti, a new singing competition series for Sunday nights. Additionally, Conde said Univision will be showing the award show Premios TyNovelas that will cover Hispanic programming in both Mexico and the U.S. The show will air the same day in the States and Mexico. Read More »

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Fox Execs Embrace Technology And Tout Plans For Dynamic Ad Insertion

By | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 1:50pm PDT

This summer Fox will begin testing technology that can update or swap ads that people see when they watch shows on demand, the network’s President of Sales Toby Byrne told buyers today. The goal is Read More »

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CBS Upfront Price Increases Could Hit “Low Double Digits” Les Moonves Says

By | Wednesday May 1, 2013 @ 3:30pm PDT

Les MoonvesThe upfront ad sales season would seem incomplete without a grandiose forecast from the CBS chief. But Les Moonves held his tongue regarding the upcoming market for 2013-2014…until tonight. He told analysts, following CBS’ Read More »

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Upfront TV Ad Sales Growth Will Be “Modest”: Analyst

By | Thursday March 21, 2013 @ 8:51am PDT

Credit Suisse’s Michael Senno adds fresh data today to support the increasingly popular view on Wall Street that the TV ad market is losing steam — and may endanger the boom in media company stock prices. His survey of ad buyers indicates that they “expect modest low to mid-single digit CPM inflation and flat to slightly higher total dollar volume growth” in the 2013/2014 upfront market which follows “last year’s trend of slowing growth.” Senno predicts unit prices to rise 4% with CBS +5%, Fox and cable +4%, NBC and ABC +3%, and syndication +2%. The problem goes beyond sluggish ratings. Overall ad spending was lower in relation to the GDP than it’s been at least since 1980. And national broadcast ad sales last year were still 7% below their pre-recession peak in 2006, despite a 12.6% growth in spending by auto makers. It seems that ad buyers who are cutting spending on print newspapers and magazines are shifting more dollars to online media than to TV. All told, Senno says that TV ad sales this year will fall 2.8% — which would represent 1.7% growth if you eliminate spending tied to the elections and the Olympics from the 2012 tally. Read More »

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ABC Done With 2012-13 Upfront Sales

By | Tuesday June 12, 2012 @ 4:02pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

ABC has joined CBS and the CW in wrapping its upfront sales. ABC’s volume was near its upfront haul from last year, which was $2.4 billion-$2.5 billion. In a weaker upfront marketplace, ABC’s CPMs rose 6%-8% vs. 11%-12% last year … Read More »

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CBS Wraps Upfront Sales On Par With 2011

By | Tuesday June 12, 2012 @ 1:47pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

CBS is virtually done with its upfront sales. The most-watched network’s haul is expected to be close to last year’s $2.5 billion-$2.7 billion. The network scored high-single-digit CPM increases close to 10%. They are expected to be the highest among … Read More »

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The CW Wraps Up Upfront Sales As Others Head Into Home Stretch

By | Thursday June 7, 2012 @ 11:25am PDT

The youth-oriented network was able to raise its cost-per-thousand (CPM) price by about 7% and sold about 75% of its inventory, I’m told. Retailers and mobile phone companies were especially eager to buy time. No dollar figures yet, but it … Read More »

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Broadcast Upfront Sales In Full Swing

By | Friday June 1, 2012 @ 12:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Broadcast ad sales executives hopefully got some rest during the Memorial Day holiday weekend because this coming weekend is expected to be a busy one for them. I hear that the upfront marketplace is now officially in session, with all … Read More »

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Will Fears About The Health Of The Economy Dampen Upfront Ad Sales?

By | Monday April 30, 2012 @ 6:34am PDT

They could, Barclays Equity Research analyst Anthony DiClemente says in a report this morning. He still predicts that sales in television’s pre-season marketplace will rise — by 4.3% to $9.49B for the Big Four broadcast networks, and by 6.3% … Read More »

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Fox Kicks Off Upfront Dealmaking With Double-Digit CPM Increases

By | Friday May 27, 2011 @ 10:33am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Just like last year, top-rated network Fox is setting the pace at the upfront marketplace by making the first deals. With new offerings like Simon Cowell’s X Factor and the Steve Spielberg-produced dino adventure series Terra Nova, I hear … Read More »

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Upfronts: Video Snafus Send TNT-TBS Execs Scrambling

By | Wednesday May 18, 2011 @ 8:40am PDT

TNT & TBS Upfront News: ‘Closer’ Spinoff, ‘Wedding Band’, ‘Wedding Band’ Picked Up To Series, ‘Conan’ To Hit The Road, Development Slates Announced

UPDATE, 8:35 AM: Turner executives’ nightmare is over. Koonin returned to the stage to tell advertisers that TNT and TBS plan a major campaign to appeal to viewers who want to watch shows on mobile devices. The networks will advertise that they offer “drama on demand” and “comedy on demand.” Koonin paraphrased crooner Richard Marks: “Wherever you go, whatever you do, TBS and TNT will be there waiting for you.”

PREVIOUS, 8:20 AM: Video came back about 15 minutes ago and appears to be OK. Whatever happens, the technical woes gave Conan O’Brien more ammo for a routine that took several jabs at Turner Entertainment. When the breakdown ruined one of his gags, he said, “You know I love working at TBS — the commitment to detail.” After a stagehand told him to skip the routine with the clip, he added: ”Alright, I guess I’ll do what I’m told. Beggers can’t be choosers.” Earlier he said,I did this upfront last year. Frankly, I don’t know why TBS doesn’t do what it does best and run it again -– four freaking times.” Also: “We’re already No. 1 in TBS’ key demographic: People who can’t afford HBO.” Read More »

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NBC Eyeing Brian Williams In Primetime?

By | Thursday May 12, 2011 @ 5:15pm PDT

NBC is developing a prime-time newsmagazine series with NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams as host, according to a published report, and it could be announced as early as Monday during the network’s upfront presentation in New York. The Wall … Read More »

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It’s Official: BET Renews ‘The Game,’ ‘Let’s Stay Together,’ Picks Up ‘Reed Between The Lines’

By | Wednesday April 20, 2011 @ 9:40am PDT

BET Networks is set to unveil its full lineup, which we told you about over the weekend, during its upfront presentation today in New York. Here’s the network’s release in advance of the event:

NEW YORK – April 20, 2011 – Coming off of the success of its best

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Discovery Communications’ Networks Unveil Upfront Slates

By | Thursday April 14, 2011 @ 8:43am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Discovery Communications’ networks will hold their upfront presentation in New York this afternoon. Here is the new programming they will be announcing. (The slate for OWN’s, Discovery’s co-venture with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo, was announced separately.) Flagship Discovery Channel is adding four new unscripted series to its lineup, including Penn & Teller’s Secrets of the Universe. TLC has picked up new spinoffs of its Say Yes to the Dress franchise. New series also include the previously announced Homecoming, hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, and I Kid, starring Brad Garrett. TLC also has acquired the U.K. series Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and will develop an American version. Animal Planet will add 14 new series to its lineup, including Romance is Dead, about a family running a taxidermy shop in Romance, Ark., and my personal favorite, Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer. On the heels of its recent facelift, Science announced a second season of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s An Idiot Abroad, An Idiot Abroad: The Bucket List. Here are descriptions of the new programs by network: Read More »

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OWN Renews 4 Series, Orders 6 New Shows At Upfront

By | Thursday April 14, 2011 @ 7:37am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

In its first upfront presentation since its Jan. 1 launch, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network announced the pickup of six new unscripted series and the renewal of four existing shows. The announcement didn’t include the most anticipated new OWN series, an Oprah Winfrey show, which will launch in September, after the end of her syndicated talk show. The network is yet to share details about it, though it is expected to be a talk show. OWN has been slow out of the gate, barely outperforming the channel it replaced, Discovery Health. One of the most heavily promoted first new series, Your OWN Show, flopped, and Oprah Presents Master Class has underperformed. But the network found early success with Our America With Lisa Ling, the first OWN series to get renewed, and Season 25: Oprah Behind the Scenes. The Judds also had a promising premiere on Sunday. Joining Our America on the list of renewed OWN series are Ask Oprah’s All Stars (picked up for six more episodes), Enough Already! With Peter Walsh (six episodes), In the Bedroom with Dr. Laura Berman (six episodes) and Oprah Presents Master Class (eight episodes). The six new series include Confronting…, I Owe You My Life, Louie Spence Dance Project, My Mom And Me, Sweetie Pies and Unfaithful: Stories Of Betrayal. Here are description of the newly picked-up shows: Read More »

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