Daily Marauder


BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

Also this past Thursday at 10p, Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta concluded its second season drawing in a little more than 2.0 million A18-49 viewers and nearly 3.0 million total viewers. These tallies are up 22% and 35% respectively compared to the season one finale. (Cynopsis10/26)

DH Atlanta


NBC, Universal Sports and UniversalSports.com plan 1,250 hours of coverage of Olympic sports leading to the Winter Games in Vancouver. “For the first time ever, this all happens and is accessible to the American public,” says NBC Olympics president Gary Zenkel. (Iwantmedia 10/26, Yahoo10/26)


HBO renewed its 30m drama series In Treatment, starring Gabriel Byrne as Dr. Paul Weston, for a third season. Production on season three begins early next year in New York with a premiere slated for later in 2010. (Cynopsis 10/26)

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WE LOVE YOU FILM: HIPPIES UNITE by Marauder

WE LOVE YOU FILM: HIPPIES UNITE

we-love-you-film

During a fun-filled night at the SXSW pre-party in NYC last night, a man handed me a flyer for this film.  From Three-Time Academy Award ®-nominated producer Steve Kalafer, this film focuses on The Rainbow Family of Living Light.  Never heard of it?  Neither had I.  This group has been gathering in a remote location in the woods to pray for world peace since 1972.  It’s like Burning Man but will less nudity and more peace-signs. Groovy…

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ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA by Marauder

ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA

NBCOlympics.com got off to a promising start garnering 70 million page views on Friday – 10 times the usage achieved on opening day of the Athens Games in 2004. Some 4.8 million people watched 3.1 million video streams on Saturday, more than four times the peak number of daily streams during the 2006 winter Games in Torino, Italy. Features such as a 4-screen video display, the ability to schedule alerts and the capability to jump back and forth to specific periods within an event make the Olympics online a whole new ballgame. Better yet, NBC’s exhaustive online coverage of the Games (designed to complement and protect the broadcast schedule) is only helping to boost linear ratings. More viewers tuned in to watch the first two days of Olympic telecasts than any summer games in 10 years.

(Cynopsis 8/11, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/sports/olympics/10stream.html?scp=1&sq=olympics%20online,%20with%20a%20hook&st=cse 8/9)

The stats above prove that the required download is a barrier in this case, given that no other destination allows for so many hours of online content. I am very impressed by the shear volume of content available to watch online. My only disappointment, thus far, is in the navigation of that content. I have found it difficult to find the particular video I’m looking for. Given the time difference between Beijing and NYC, I have also found it difficult to navigate the online site without reading a headline which ruins the planned TV viewing later in the night. I can see from the numbers above that the online site is complimenting the TV viewing, I’m a bit of a frustrated viewer. In essenceNBC, stop blowing up the linear TV spot.

Google pulled in $5.37 billion in revenues last quarter, and $1.25 billion in net profits (nearly ten times what Yahoo made last quarter). Yet behind the consistently amazing financial performance, a few chinks are beginning to appear in Google’s armor. The biggest one may be the increasing gap between its organic revenue growth and its total revenue growth. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/09/does-google-have-an-organic-growth-problem 8/9)

Google and Yahoo are releasing excerpts of the pact covering their proposed search advertising partnership. The U.S. government filing keeps secret financial terms and the extent of other ties. The contract is heavily redacted in an area that covers “other business opportunities.” (Iwantmedia 8/11, http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSN0840128220080809 8/9)

Google’s new Knol ad-supported online encyclopedia is raising new fears that the Internet search giant is becoming a “media company.” Knol is seen as a potential rival to the New York Times’s About.com. (Iwantmedia 8/11, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/11/technology/11google.html?_r=1&oref=slogin 8/11)

Twitter isn’t for everyone, and you may have dismissed the service a long time ago. But regardless of your own use, it’s hard to dismiss the phenomenon itself and the passion of so many that has built up around it. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/10/why-twitter-hasnt-failed-the-power-of-audience 8/10)

Google’s YouTube is launching a Beijing Olympics channel — accessible in the United States — aggregating video from news outlets covering the activities in China. The channel does not air sporting events but offers news and footage from the New York Times, Reuters and others. (Iwantmedia 8/11, http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6585816.html 8/8)

The spoof U.S. presidential campaign video clip starring Paris Hilton is attracting millions of visitors to Funnyordie.com. However, “in terms of advertising sales, that’s yet to happen,” observers point out. “It is questionable how many of these sites the market will sustain.” (Iwantmedia 8/11, http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/technology/article4492694.ece 8/10)

The plan by Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp to split itself into five parts is set to be completed Aug. 21. HSN, Interval Leisure Group, Ticketmaster and Tree.com will become stand-alone public companies. Also: The restructuring is expected to bring IAC shareholders “a lot of value.” (Iwantmedia 8/11, http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080811/iac_spinoffs.html 8/11)

Time Warner Cable is taking heat from players of the “World of Warcraft” video game who are griping over lags in their Roadrunner Internet connections. The lags, they say, are forcing them to drop TWC for Verizon’s FiOS service. TWC execs insist they are not causing the problem. (Iwantmedia 8/11, http://www.nypost.com/seven/08102008/business/twc_blamed_for_internet_interference_123880.htm 8/10)

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BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

Sci Fi is working on a two-hour “Battlestar Galactica” movie that will begin shooting at the end of the summer in Vancouver, Canada, and will be directed by star Edward James Olmos. On the series side, the 10-episode final season will debut early next year. (Yahoo!/E! Online 8/7)

The Olympic flame is still burning … at least on Madison Avenue, which has committed more than $1 billion in ad spending to NBC Universal‘s coverage of the Summer Games in Beijing. Besides the NBC broadcast network, advertisers have snapped up Olympic-related inventory on NBCU cable nets such as USA, MSNBC, CNBC, Oxygen and Universal HD. (Variety 8/7)

One rumor making the rounds within various News Corp. outposts is that president and COO Peter Chernin might leave if private equity money were to buy a big media concern and he is offered a piece of the action to run it. Chernin is declining to comment. (Iwantmedia 8/8, http://money.cnn.com/2008/08/08/news/newsmakers/siklos_chernin.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2008080809 8/8)

RCN Corp. President and CEO Peter Aquino said the company had increased revenue-generating units in its TV, telephony and broadband divisions during the second quarter, which helped the cable provider boost total revenue 16%, to $184 million, against the comparable period a year earlier. “Our growth strategy of winning customers from both cable and telecom incumbents across multiple products and customer segments is paying off, as we continue to leverage our unique metro and regional fiber platform,” he said. (CED Magazine 8/2008, OneTRAK 8/7)

Top Cablevision executives including CEO James Dolan, Chief Operating Officer Tom Rutledge and Chief Financial Officer Michael Huseby will meet next week with some of the company’s largest shareholders to discuss ways to improve its stock price, according to this article. Strategic moves considered to be up for discussion include the sale of Rainbow Media, the parent of cable nets such as AMC and IFC, or Madison Square Garden, the home of the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers, or both. (The Wall Street Journal 8/8)

It’s still subject to the approval of the mayor and City Council, but Verizon has received preliminary approval to bring its FiOS service to Washington. If it happens, FiOS will compete with Comcast, the prospects of which don’t seem overly worrisome for the country’s top cable provider: “Competition is not new to Comcast,” said spokeswoman Jaye P. Linnen. “The phone company is simply trying to catch up to where we have been for years.” (The Washington Post 8/8)

Perhaps picking up some of the 25,000 customers Dish Network lost, DirecTV posted higher than expected revenue growth as net profit rose to $455 million during Q2. The satellite provider reduced churn, added 129,000 net new subscribers and enjoyed healthy growth in Latin America. Average revenue per user also rose by 7%, thanks to HD and DVR signees. (Cynopsis 8/8)

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ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA by Marauder

ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA

The New York Times is pulling out all the latest digital bells and whistles for its online Olympic Games coverage, devoting 20 staffers in the U.S. to keeping the content refreshed (in addition to two dozen Beijing Bureau members on the ground in China.) Check out the Olympics Tracker, allowing you to easily keep track of the events you’re interested in. It’s available as a web tool or a desktop application. The audio-driven After the Games feature is also very well done. (Cynopsis 8/8)

Yahoo!Telemundo is hoping to attract U.S. Hispanics in search of their Olympics fix. The site’s new Olympics portal features a full complement of news, photo galleries and video highlights (courtesy of the EFE news agency,) as well as social networking options with Flickr and Yahoo! Respuestas. (Cynopsis 8/8)

Digital revenues increased nearly 40% year-over-year at Warner Music Group during the quarter ending June 30 to $166 million, making up 20% of the company’s total revenue intake. But CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. thinks the company can do even better in the digital space. He complained in a conference call that Warner is helping to make music-themed console games like Activision’s Guitar Hero and Viacom’s Rock Band huge successes but seeing little in the way of compensation. (Cynopsis 8/8)

The music industry’s attempts to create its own digital distribution business is like a bad horror movie. It just keeps coming back no matter how badly bludgeoned it gets. Back in 2001 in response to Napster, the music labels launched two competing music download sites, PressPlay and MusicNet (the latter became a white-label music service called MediaNet. Meanwhile, Pressplay was bought by Roxio, and formed the basis for the current version of Napster). Both were utter failures. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/08/07/the-record-industrys-digital-distribution-plan-totalmusic-comes-back-from-the-dead 8/7)

Rainbow Media-owned Fuse and Microsoft have finalized a deal that will bring the network’s “Summer of Music” series to members of the Xbox Live marketplace. The deal, which includes artists such as Pearl Jam, Metallica and Jack Johnson, will run through September and be offered free to Xbox Live’s 12 million users worldwide. (Broadcasting & Cable 8/7)

TheWB.com, now in beta testing, will launch on Aug. 27, offering classic series that aired on the now-defunct WB television network along with new Web series. Comcast will offer classic WB series via its video-on-demand service; TheWB.com content will also be on Facebook. (Iwantmedia 8/8, http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/content_display/news/digital-downloads/broadband/e3ibbaddb3b39b75b77ddd52b8aa35224bb 8/7)

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Blinkx, an Internet video search company, is proposing buying U.S. search-based advertising network Miva for $39 million to accelerate its expansion in targeted Web ads. Blinkx’s proposed bid “has the potential to significantly change the shape of the business,” analysts say. (Iwantmedia 8/8, http://www.reuters.com/article/marketsNews/idUSL869961320080808 8/8)

The 5% stake in AOL that Google bought in 2005 “may be impaired” and worth less than the $1 billion the search giant originally paid, according to regulatory filing. As part of its investment, Google has the right to demand that Time Warner spin off AOL or buy back its stake. (Iwantmedia 8/8, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080808/ap_on_hi_te/google_aol 8/8)

Google is developing a system that lets advertisers limit and measure the number of times users view ads on its partners’ sites. Clients will be able to better place ads based on the number of views they get and the number of users that visit a Web site after seeing it. (Iwantmedia 8/8, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601204&sid=adXENueI5QbQ 8/7)

Yahoo is set to announce that it will allow users to shut off targeted advertising on its Web sites, as a U.S. congressional committee continues to air concerns about consumer privacy. As media companies struggle to make money online, Congress is mulling what kind of ads ought to be allowed. (Iwantmedia 8/8, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/07/AR2008080703104.html 8/8)

The beta version of Sling Media’s SlingPlayer 2.0 is now available for Windows PCs as a free download on the Sling site. The new software suite adds a bunch of new functions including a live video buffer for more DVR-like controls, an interactive player guide and multiple viewing modes and sizes allowing you to shrink the feed on your desktop. However the much-hyped Clip+Sling feature, allowing you to clip up to 5 minutes of video to share with friends online, is not a part of the beta. (Cynopsis 8/8)

Video metadata management company Gotuit announced a partnership with Move Networks integrating services to better define logical ad insertion points within video libraries. The Gotuit-Move solution will create an ad timing system to insert ads at strategic places within a clip using rich scene-level metadata. The idea is to improve engagement and enhance search functionality by enabling video to be indexed scene by scene. (Cynopsis 8/8)

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