“Apple TV rebuffed by the cable guys”
MarketWatch: Media Report column, Sept. 6, 2012
There’s a reason cable-company stocks haven’t faltered on Thursday’s news that talks with Apple TV about a video service offering this year have broken down.
Cable companies — and sometimes their investors — realize that there’s no reason to make any rash decisions, when they still have firm control over how information and entertainment gets to the average modern consumer: through a broadband Internet connection.
“GM’s moves to skip Super Bowl, Facebook show ad savvy”
MarketWatch, The Tell blog, May 25, 2012
Advertising veteran Rob Frankel hopes General Motors Co.’s decision to opt out of buying ad time for the CBS telecast of Super Bowl XLVII in February forces big companies to think more carefully about how to reach their target audiences.
GM revealed late last week that it would not run ads during the big game, which is expected to command $3.5 million for a 30-second commercial, because it wouldn’t get a big-enough return on the investment. The move came days after the auto giant said it would stop buying ads on Facebook, due to a lack of effectiveness.
“‘Coast to Coast AM’ a popular haunt with radio fans”
MarketWatch: Media Report column, March 26, 2012
George Noory’s “Coast to Coast AM” guest on the morning of July 31, 2009 was polite, but firm — he insisted that he was not a spokesman for the Antichrist. Noory wasn’t so sure.
Benjamin Creme explained that he represented the “world teacher” Maitreya, the leader of a group of super beings who “have evolved to the point where they no longer need to be on this planet.” Noory asked, with no trace of irony, if Maitreya happened to be the Antichrist, and listened patiently to the answer. Noory then prepared to plunge into a second hour with Creme, this time with calls from listeners.
“Paywalls Catching On With More Newspapers”
MarketWatch: The Tell blog, Feb. 29, 2012
As recently as two years ago, the idea of more than just a couple of newspapers across the U.S. charging for access to their online stories seemed insane.
The Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times could do it, the conventional wisdom indicated, because they serve business readers, whose companies often pay for print and online subscriptions.
When the New York Times made it clear that it would begin a metered paywall system that would let non-print subscribers see 20 Web-based articles for free and then charge $15 a month, some observers were skeptical, but the thought was that a newspaper with such a broad national following could justify making the effort.
“Time Warner’s Bewkes talks up TV for tablets”
MarketWatch: The Tell blog, Feb. 28, 2012
Time Warner Inc. Chief Executive Jeff Bewkes urged media industry executives Tuesday to move faster to make premium video content available to pay-television subscribers across tablets and other online video devices, before consumers seek other alternatives.
Bewkes has spearheaded a drive to restrict online viewing of current TV shows to people who have subscriptions to a cable, satellite or telephone company-provided video service. The premise is that existing subscribers can go online, click on the show they want to see, provide verification of their status as a pay-TV customer, and enjoy. Non-subscribers would be blocked.
“Studios disarming cable in battle with Netflix”
MarketWatch: Media Report column, June 20, 2011
The cable industry can negate any threat from Netflix or Hulu, but only if studios, networks and distributors work together through a maze of copyright negotiations, in the view of Time Warner Cable Inc.’s chief executive.
“The reason why there’s interest in these Internet video providers that is that they’re deploying technology that’s making the experience better for consumers,” Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt said in an interview with MarketWatch during the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s annual Cable Show last week.
“Washington presses in as Cablevision, Disney fight”
MarketWatch: Media Report column, March 4, 2010
U.S. lawmakers could have a complicated decision to make about longstanding rules that frame a dispute between Walt Disney Co. and Cablevision Systems Corp.
Disney is threatening to pull the signal of its New York ABC affiliate from Cablevision cable systems on Sunday unless Cablevision agrees to pay greater retransmission fees. The move could prevent 3 million viewers in the area from watching ABC’s Academy Awards telecast Sunday night.
“NBC’s Leno fiasco shaping up as one for the books”
MarketWatch, Jan. 11, 2010
NBC’s failed attempt to plug Jay Leno into primetime five nights a week will go down as one of the biggest blunders in television history, experts said Monday.
After NBC controversially moved Leno out of his “Tonight Show” slot to a 10 p.m. program five nights a week, affiliates found that the show provided a poor lead-in to their local-news programs, which depend heavily on popular shows but instead got sharp ratings declines coming after Leno.
“Cable exec worries about free online TV”
MarketWatch: Media Report column, June 29, 2009
As Time Warner and Comcast announced plans to begin a trial of Time Warner’s “TV Everywhere” initiative, making a number of cable TV shows available online only to Comcast subscribers, some of that cheering you heard came from Josh Sapan.
Sapan is the chief executive of Cablevision (NYSE:CVC) -owned Rainbow Media, the parent of cable networks AMC, WE: Women’s Entertainment and IFC, and he’s a fierce opponent of making cable shows available for free online when people normally have to pay to see them on television.
“AMC uses originals, scheduling to expand audience”
MarketWatch: Media Report column, April 8, 2009
At AMC, there’s room for movie nostalgia, as long as there’s a way to play with the ironies that join the past to the present.
AMC President Charlie Collier has transformed the Cablevision-owned channel, part of the cable landscape since 1984, into one of the edgiest providers of original dramatic programming while hanging on to its central mission of giving perspective to the history of cinema.
“Exec: On demand ‘great,’ but advertisers need assurances”
MarketWatch: Media Report column, May 21, 2008
Cable-based on-demand viewing of television shows has significant potential for a variety of reasons but won’t work as a business model if consumers are able to fast-forward past commercials, according to a senior NBC Universal executive.
“I’m a huge supporter of VOD,” said Jeff Gaspin, president and chief operating officer of NBC Universal Television Group, during an interview this week at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s annual Cable Show in New Orleans. “I think it’s a smart offering for the [cable] operators and for us. But a couple of things have to happen: Fast-forward has to be disabled, we have to have dynamic ad insertion, and we have to have legitimate measurement of the viewership.”
“Viacom CEO Tom Freston exits”
MarketWatch: Sept. 5, 2006
Viacom Inc. Executive Chairman Sumner Redstone said Tuesday that the company’s board of directors ousted Chief Executive Tom Freston after only nine months on the job because it was dissatisfied with the stock price and wanted the company to be more aggressive in pursuing acquisitions.
The entertainment company’s shares were down 4.7% at $35.24 in afternoon trading.
Analyst Jessica Reif Cohen at Merrill Lynch downgraded the shares to neutral from buy, telling clients there is now “significant uncertainty with regard to both why the change was made and what it means for the company moving forward.”