Daily Marauder


ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA by Marauder

ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA

Twitter is the No. 1 fastest growing U.S. “member community destination,” says a survey from Nielsen. From February 2008 to February 2009, the microblogging service clocked in a growth rate of 1,382%. Also, Twitter counts the 35-to-49 age demo as its biggest. (Iwantmedia 3/20, http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10200161-36.html 3/19)

twitter-popularity

Apple has started offering feature films in high definition at its iTunes online store. The service currently has about a dozen movies, but Apple says that in the future it will serve up new films in HD about 30 days after their DVD releases. InformationWeek (3/19)

itunes

Have you ever sent an email, and just as it was going on its merry way, you realize you misspelled something or you sent it to the wrong person. This happens to me a lot on Gmail because sending an email is not always instant. And you have more chances to experience email regret as you are waiting for one to send. Well, now you can take advantage of that delay to “undo” the message. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/19/gmail-gets-a-panic-button 3/19)

gmail-undo

Playboy is putting 53 back issues of the magazine on the Web for free at PlayboyArchive.com. The issues cover the years 1954 through 2007. “This is a great way to allow a whole new generation to easily explore the magazine,” says founder Hugh Hefner. (Iwantmedia 3/20, http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2343502,00.asp 3/20)

pb-archive

Amazon’s IMDB.com announced plans this week at SXSW to vastly increase the amount of video streaming it offers (some 2,000 movies and 14,000 TV shows are currently available on the site) as well as begin offering made-for-the-web shows. (Cynopsis 3/20)

Market news site TheStreet.com, co-founded by CNBC analyst (and Jon Stewart punching bag) Jim Cramer, eliminated 18 staff positions in a move to try and save $2.4 million. (Cynopsis 3/20)

The market for deploying IPTV services to multiple-dwelling units such as apartment buildings and hotels will be more than $6 billion by 2013, according to new research from In-Stat. Cable providers Time Warner Cable and RCN have recorded recent new-business wins at MDUs. CED Magazine (3/2009)

Coverage of the Oscars, The Grammys and the Chris Brown/Rihanna incident helped AccessHollywood.com achieve its best month ever in Feb. across all key metrics including unique visitors (+286%), page views (+656%), visits (+262%) and video streams (+253%), according to Nielsen. AccessHollywood.com, which supplies content to Yahoo’s omg! celebrity portal, also attracted its most monthly video streams to date, with 3.3 million, according to Nielsen VideoCensus data. (Cynopsis 3/20)

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ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA by Marauder

ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA

Twitter, the subject of endless business model speculation, added another weapon to the arsenal today – house advertisements on the home page when you’re logged in, and some search results. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/16/twitter-experimenting-with-text-advertising 3/16)

twitter-ads

U.S. traffic on social networking sites rose in February compared with last year and Facebook‘s traffic more than doubled year over year, says Hitwise. Facebook’s traffic jumped 149% in February. Visitors over age 35 increased on Facebook — and decreased on MySpace. (Iwantmedia 3/17, http://www.informationweek.com/news/internet/reporting/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=215900415 3/16)

Internet Movie Database hopes to add one-button streaming for all of the 1.3 million titles it indexes, says founder Col Needham. While the vision will take some time to come to fruition, the site already offers 14,000 television episodes and a few thousand movies. (Iwantmedia 3/17, http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10197486-93.html 3/16)

An online petition FixCNBC.com, prompted by Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart‘s savaging of CNBC’s Wall Street coverage, is receiving about 400 signatures an hour. Among those listed as sponsoring the letter are reps for Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting and Free Press. (Iwantmedia 3/17, http://www.multichannel.com/article/190087-FixCNBC_Push_Gains_Momentum.php 3/16)

A big difference between Facebook and MySpace has always been how the two companies approach the privacy of user data. At MySpace your profile is public by default and users can choose to make it private (except under 18 users, who default to private). At Facebook, your profile information has always been private and shared with your friends and, optionally your network (your school, company or geographic location).  Starting today, though, users can change their privacy settings to make virtually all of their profile information public. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/16/facebook-privacy-now-optional 3/16)

fb

TheWB.com unveils it latest scripted original series today – Rockville CA, from Gossip Girl, Chuck and The O.C. show runner Josh Schwartz. The series, set in a fictional rock club in Echo Park, LA, features performances from an impressive line-up of up-and-coming acts personally selected by Alexandra Patsavas, the woman responsible for finding all the hip bands featured on Schwartz’s shows. Following the 4 initial episodes already posted, theWB.com will introduce 17 additional episodes each Tuesday, viewable on the site or via a downloadable widget available on RockvilleCA.com. (Cynopsis 3/17)

rockville

Google accounted for 72.11% of all U.S. online searches conducted in February, an 8% increase over the same period last year, according to Hitwise. Google’s February performance extended its search dominance over Yahoo, with 17.04% of all U.S. searches. (http://www.btobonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090316/FREE/903169979/1078#seenit 3/16)

Hulu this week will premiere another network prime-time ad, with a preview of it at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Following a Super Bowl ad featuring Alec Baldwin of NBC’s “30 Rock” and a February ad featuring Eliza Dushku of “Dollhouse,” the new spot will continue the theme of promoting Hulu as a way to watch TV shows and movies online. TVWeek.com (3/16)

hulu-family-guy

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BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart earned its second highest total viewer count of the year on Thursday with 2.3 million viewers (the largest viewer audience was on Inauguration Day with 2.6 million).  Why the big audience?  Stewart’s guest was CNBC host Jim Cramer.  The interview is also available on TheDailyshow.com site, which is reporting its highest traffic numbers in 2009. (Cynopsis 3/16)

daily-show-cramer

Thomas Clarke, TheStreet.com’s CEO for the past decade, is leaving, effective immediately. The financial-media firm’s board is searching for a new CEO. Clarke’s abrupt exit comes amid co-founder Jim Cramer’s ongoing fracas with Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart. (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20090313/FREE/903139975 3/13)

“Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon is interviewing bloggers and showcasing gadgets in a digital embrace that may help draw hip, plugged-in consumers who don’t watch much television. Fallon has already interviewed Digg co-creator Kevin Rose and Engadget editor Joshua Topolsky. (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-cotown-fallon16-2009mar16,0,5467182.story 3/16)

Not only are the Digg guys stars on Jimmy Fallon’s show, after witnessing the all out rock star madness at the SXSW Diggnation party, they’re surely becoming a formidable brand.  Perhaps the first credible online video series brand?  I’m sure the Gary Vaynerchuk fans will have something to say about that comment.

diggnation

“60 Minutes,” at age 30, is back in a big way. Thanks to a renewed focus on hard news, along with some exclusive interviews, the audience is up to 15 million per episode. “Our success is a direct reflection of America’s hunger for news,” says executive producer Jeff Fager. (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.newsweek.com/id/189288 3/14)

60

ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos and Arizona senator John McCain will come together online for a “Twitterview” to be conducted on Tuesday. The public will be able to read the real-time 15-minute exchange by signing up at the microblogging site. (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090313/ap_en_tv/na_us_twitter_stephanopoulos_mccain 3/13)

Reporting from the Twitter capital (Austin, TX), Twitter is reaching epic proportions while struggling to monetize itself.  Perhaps SXSW is the best place to see the advantages of a Twitterverse as my estimates are that at least 70% of the attendees are using it.  That said, as twitter reaches epic scale, how do we sort through the mass communication stream?

mccain

America‘s Next Top Model held auditions in New York City this past weekend, and before the day was over three people were arrested for inciting a riot and disorderly conduct and six others were injured.  At some point chaos broke out involving hundreds of people outside the Park Central New York hotel, reports the AP, though what exactly happened to create the free-for-all remains unclear.  Once it was all over, the street outside the hotel was strewn with clothing, sleeping bags, beach chairs and shoes, all left by several potential auditioners who had been waiting on line, many overnight.  This particular round of auditions were for shorter women, under 5’7″, the standard height minimum for previous ANTM auditions, and other auditions are schedule in several other cities across the US in the upcoming weeks. (Cynopsis 3/16).


TV Guide Network‘s season premiere of Idol Tonight delivered 325,000 households last Wednesday, marking a 26% increase over last season’s premiere.  Idol Tonight airs ever Wednesday at 8p with hosts Kimberly Caldwell and Justin Guarini. (Cynopsis 3/16)

idol-t1

In consideration of the economy and wanting to remain relevant to its viewers, Today‘s Matt Lauer will take his annual Where in the World trip starting May 1st, but Lauer will remain in the United States, visiting a variety of affordable vacation sites. (Cynopsis 3/16)

ml

Beginning today, Sci Fi Channel will be no more — it will become Syfy. The rebranding, which does not change the pronunciation of the channel, will be accompanied by the tag line “Imagine Greater” and will be rolled out for advertisers and agencies at NBC Universal’s upfront presentations. The New York Times (3/15)

syfy

Most traditional media professionals don’t understood digital media, says outgoing AOL chief Randy Falco. “Having spent two years at AOL, I would love to be able to go back to that industry knowing what I know. There are a lot of misconceptions about digital media.” (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=102085 3/13)

Last week’s News Corp. executive shakeup came as a shock to television industry insiders. The ouster of Fox Entertainment chief Peter Liguori is “shocking.” One network exec says that the jockeying for power is already intense. “The place resembles Iraq after the fall of Saddam.” (Iwantmedia 3/16, http://www.tvweek.com/news/2009/03/who_won_and_lost_in_the_news_c.php 3/15)

Discovery Channel and a few other cable networks are buying shows exclusively in high definition, even though many unscripted shows are still being produced in standard format and the economy is putting the pinch on other networks. One advantage for cable networks buying HD is they run their programs repeatedly, according to this article. Broadcasting & Cable (3/16)

Verizon is preparing an update to its FiOS-based widgets platform to enable third party developers to create applications for the platform, according to a post on Verizon’s PolicyBlog. Designers are testing new apps providing integrations with popular sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. (Cynopsis 3/16)

Time Warner, which owns cable networks such as TNT, TBS and HBO, will get more than $9 billion from its spinoff of Time Warner Cable. And that, according to Chief Financial Officer John Martin, will allow the company to consider well-researched M&A bids: “We’re going to be opportunistic and evaluate whether there are any acquisition possibilities, but we’ll be extremely disciplined in whatever we might do in that area,” he said. Broadcasting & Cable (3/16)

Hispanic Cable TV (+9.6%) and Cable TV (+7.8%) were the only two media to show ad growth in 2008 according to Nielsen. Cable was the highest CPM-based revenue-generating medium with $26.6 billion in sales. Internet advertising, not including paid search, text only, paid fee services, performance-based campaigns, sponsorships, barters, in-stream (“pre-rolls”) players, messenger apps, partnership advertising, email campaigns or house advertising activity, dropped by 6.4% in 2008. (Cynopsis 3/16)

U.S. Ad Spending -% Change 2008 vs. 2007
Media Category                                      Jan-Dec ’08 vs. Jan-Dec ’07 % Change
Hispanic Cable TV                                           9.6%
Cable TV                                                        7.8%
Spot TV Top 100                                            -0.3%
Syndication TV                                               -0.8%
National Sunday Supplement                           -1.9%
Hispanic Broadcast TV                                     -2.4%
Network Radio                                                -3.3%
Broadcast Network TV                                      -3.5%
Local Magazine                                                -3.7%
Spot Radio                                                      -4.0%
Spot TV 101-210                                             -4.6%
Outdoor                                                         -5.0%
FSI Coupon                                                    -5.2%
Internet*                                                       -6.4%
National Magazine                                          -7.6%
National Newspaper                                        -9.6%
Business to Business                                       -9.7%
Local Newspaper                                           -10.2%
Local Sunday Supplements                             -11.0%
TOTAL                                                            -2.6%
Source: The Nielsen Company

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ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA by Marauder

ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA

Comedy Central‘s digital properties benefited greatly this week from Jon Stewart‘s 8+ minute rant against CNBC after network reporter Rick Santelli “bailed out” on his scheduled appearance on The Daily Show. (Jon took issue with some of Jim Cramer‘s infamous stock misses, among other things.) Traffic to TheDailyShow.com had its best week ever with a 65% spike in weekly uniques, total video streams for comedy central video were 18% higher than average and embedded video views increased more than 3 times from the first week of March. (Cynopsis 3/12)

daily-show-cnbc

Movie trailers continue to drive huge web traffic. The new trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, featured on Heroes on Monday night, had more than 1.8 million downloads during its first 24 hours as an exclusive on Apple.com. It has gone on to be the most popular HD download ever on the site with more than five million downloads in its first five days. (Cynopsis 3/12)

star-trek-trailer

Major media companies may no longer need to operate separate digital divisions. Digital revenues at Disney, Viacom, NBC, and News Corp. are now spread across many different businesses. Digital operations are said to be “transitioning to the business-building mode.” (Iwantmedia 3/12, http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/11/the-digital-divisions-are-dead-at-big-media 3/11)

digital-media

CBS Corp. said it expects a 30% increase in revenue from online advertising for March Madness On Demand this year, per Bloomberg. Online ad revenue will be about $30 million, up from $23 million a year ago, as internet ad inventory is almost sold out according to Jason Kint, SVP/GM for CBSSports.com. GM, AT&T and Coca-Cola are among the sponsors. (Cynopsis 3/12)

Time Warner is replacing AOL CEO Randy Falco with Google senior VP Tim Armstrong, who will move the Internet company “into the next phase,” says CEO Jeff Bewkes. Falco had joined AOL in 2006 with the mandate of transforming the company into an online advertising business. (Iwantmedia 3/12, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/12/AR2009031203090.html 3/13)

Google is eyeing telephony with its introduction of Google Voice, a free IP-based management tool that routes home, office and mobile calls through a single number, retrieves voice mail and allows users to make free domestic calls, according to published reports. Google will roll Voice out today to users of its GrandCentral service and in the coming weeks to the rest of the market. The New York Times (3/12) , Reuters (3/12)

google-voice

Much is being written today about the value of a large following on Twitter. Jason Calacanis wants to pay $125,000 a year to have Twitter recommend him to other users, for example. He thinks that over time accounts with massive followings will somehow be able to pull in $1 million a year or more in incremental revenue, assuming they then have millions of followers. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/12/the-amount-and-value-of-twitter-traffic 3/12)

twitter1

Today Facebook is rolling out the update to user homepages that brings a new look, enhanced filter system, and most importantly, realtime updating. Real-time updates are Facebook’s response to Twitter, which has been able to thrive on offering users immediate updates from their friends and favorite celebrities (Facebook’s original News Feed took hours to update). (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/11/facebooks-real-time-homepage-goes-live-today 3/11)

facebook-new1

Over the last few weeks MySpace Music has quietly rolled out a number of new features that should make the service significantly more appealing to consumers. While MySpace Music kicked off to an fairly impressive start when it launched last September, seeing a huge amount of traffic and streamed songs, even its President Courtney Holt has conceded that it wasn’t very user-friendly and didn’t bring many new features to the table. The initial launch of MySpace Music was mostly about laying the groundwork to build a sustainable business. Now, the site is shifting focus to deliver what its consumers want. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/11/a-look-at-the-improved-myspace-music 3/11)

myspace-music

Widgets integrated into Verizon’s FiOS service in the U.S. will allow viewers to update their Facebook status to reflect what they’re watching and check out Twitter feeds keyed to programming as well as popular Twitter topics. Also on tap are the ability to use a DVR to record clips from YouTube and other video sites, and the inclusion of this Web content on Verizon’s on-screen guide. ReadWriteWeb (3/11)

VERY impressed with this.  Would love to see it in action.  Any live event should take Twitter/Facebook very seriously if they intend to keep appointment viewing appointment viewing.

fios-twitter

At least one of eBay‘s big acquisitions is making money. At its annual investors conference the online auction house says its PayPal online payment business continues to grow at an impressive clip and that the division will eventually become bigger than its core auction product. PayPal currently handles about 5% of online payments globally, and its share will more than double by 2011 according to eBay. (Cynopsis 3/12)

CBS Interactive’s TheInsider.com launched Celebrity Agent, a social fantasy game app on Facebook allowing fans to play the role of a celebrity agent by managing and recruiting celebrities. Invite friends to play along so you can chat or steal their talent. (Cynopsis 3/12)

celeb

Video entertainment site Metacafe launched a cool mashing app powered by Kaltura – The Last House on the Left Horror Remixer. It features video clips, audio tracks and special effects that enable Metacafe viewers to create their own trailer for the Rogue Pictures’ redux of the Wes Craven horror classic. (Cynopsis 3/12)

Internet users are entering longer search terms, Hitwise data show. Terms of at least four words are up 3% to 20% compared with the year before. Said the CEO of search agency Didit: “Longer queries are a sign of the searchers becoming more educated and savvy and essentially being trained by the fact that results for shorter queries tend to return less relevant results than longer searches.” DMNews (3/10)

The global IPTV subscriber base grew 3.2 million subscribers in the fourth quarter of 2008, to 23 million, according to a report by The Dell’Oro Group. The top regions for IPTV set-top boxes continued to be Europe, the Middle East and Africa while Motorola and Cisco remained the top vendors. Cable360 (3/11)

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BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

Super Bowl commercials cost several million dollars, but Hulu received 60 seconds on NBC for free. When the online video hub launched, it received credits to run ads on the properties of co-parents NBC Universal and News Corp., but had not cashed any in until Sunday night. (Iwantmedia 2/3, http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=99574 2/2)

Super Bowl spot buy: $0.  Very nice.

hulu-ad

This year’s Academy Awards telecast, to be hosted by actor Hugh Jackman, will “take many risks, some bold.” The 2008 broadcast, hosted by comedian Jon Stewart, hit a record low of 32 million U.S. viewers. Still, the show remains a top-rated program on U.S. television. (Iwantmedia 2/3, http://www.reuters.com/article/industryNews/idUSTRE51206G20090203 2/2)

oscars

NBC Universal is looking for an outside partner that would allow it to bring its “Lipstick Jungle” series back on the air. One potential partner is Comcast, which unsuccessfully bid on NBC’s “Friday Night Lights” and has said it was interested in participating in similar deals in the future. Broadcasting & Cable (2/2)

I say, let it die.  But then again, I would have said that after watching the first episode.  It’s no Friday Night Lights

lipstick-jungle

HBO has secured the TV rights to a book being written about the story behind the 2008 financial crisis. The book, expected in January 2010, is being written by New York Times business writer Joe Nocera and Vanity Fair writer Bethany McLean, the woman who co-authored a book about the Enron scandal that later was turned into an Academy Award-nominated documentary. Variety (2/2)

Ad-supported cable channels are averaging a 35.3 household rating during prime time, more than 10 points higher than broadcast’s 24.4, for the first 18 weeks of the current TV season, according to the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau. The CAB attributed the disparity in cable’s favor to the fact that original programming has increased 153% since 2002, to 1,837 shows. Mediaweek (2/2)

(Below) I debated with a friend about this one because this struck me as the kind of brand spot that only belongs on the channel.  No where in the ad was any reference to the shows being mentioned while the characters were on screen.  So, apart from the USA logo at the end, why would someone feel compelled to watch these unnamed shows?

With a single spot that ran right after the Super Bowl on NBC, USA Network promoted seven of its shows, including “Burn Notice” and “In Plain Sight.” “We debated how to do it: Do we promote one show or take a big shot across the bow?” said Chris McCumber, executive vice president of marketing at USA. “We decided to showcase seven shows and 10 characters in a way that was linear and entertaining.” The Hollywood Reporter (2/2)

CBS handed a series order to the producers of Top Chef, Jane Lipsitz and Dan Cutforth of Magical Elves, on a docu-reality series titled Marriage centered on arranged marriages, cites THR. The series follows four single adults age 25-45, all eager to marry, who allow their friends and family to select their marriage partners. The couples marry for real and the series watches their marriages unfold. (Cynopsis 2/3)

Hit with a downgrade to a sell rating by Natixis Bleichroeder, and tarred by worries about consumer spending patterns, shares of Disney fell 3% Monday. U.S. consumer spending fell in December by a full percentage point — a steeper downturn than had been forecast. (Iwantmedia 2/3, http://blogs.barrons.com/stockstowatchtoday/2009/02/02/disney-hit-with-downgrade-consumer-data 2/2)

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable-television provider, says that some Super Bowl viewers in Tucson, Ariz., were inadvertently exposed to adult content during the final minutes of the game. Comcast is investigating to determine how it happened, says a spokeswoman. “We are mortified.” (Iwantmedia 2/3, http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aw6hD3abaUHw 2/2)

The House of Representatives on Wednesday is scheduled to vote a second time on whether to delay the transition to all-digital TV signals from Feb. 17 to June 12. On Monday, influential Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rick Boucher, D-Va., chairman of the House Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee, threw their support behind a delay. Broadcasting & Cable (2/2)

Top cable providers are poised for strong cash-flow growth, in part, because they will be spending less on deploying new set-top boxes and DVRs, according to industry analyst Craig Moffett. He predicts companies such as Comcast and Time Warner Cable will offer investors 9% to 15% increases in free-cash-flow-yield per share in 2009. Reuters (2/3)

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GOT SLINGBOX?: DISH USERS DO by Marauder
January 11, 2009, 1:49 AM
Filed under: Feature | Tags: , , , , , , ,

GOT SLINGBOX?: DISH USERS DO

sling-dish

Announced this week, DISH is the first cable/satellite provider to offer subscribers the holy grail of placeshifting: Slingbox.  For those of you unaware of the benefits of Slingbox, this little gem gives you the power of watching your television on a laptop or mobile screen.  Watch video, change channels, or program your TiVo anywhere you have an internet connection.  Slingbox originally was a nifty little commodity but a nice-to-have at the end of the day.  I’ve had a Slingbox for 2 years and can count on one hand the number of times I’ve used it, which predominantly included airport moments when I had some time to kill or wanted to show a stranger something nifty.  At the end of the day, it’s an extra box and an additional charge.

This week, with the announcement of the iPhone and BlackBerry app and this latest inclusion of Slingbox technology in the newest HD DVR box from DISH, placeshifting has taken one momentous step forward.  As of Q3 2008, DISH was rockin’ 13.78 subscribers down from previous quarters but still strong.  Now, I know all subscribers wouldn’t have this new HD DVR upon release in the spring, but this is to say that Slingbox will undoubtedly have access to a new audience.  The other missing link is pricing, which wasn’t included in this announcement.

In addition to the hardware, DISH and Slingbox are announcing the Sling Guide.  Click on the image above for a demo video of how the guide would work.  In essence, SlingGuide enables users to program their DVR from anywhere accessible via internet.  In addition, the guide allows for easier searching of content.  Want to see how many times Jon Stewart brings the awesome town on The Daily Show?  Sling Guide.  Want to see how many times MTV will re-run The City this week?  Sling Guide.  The Sling Guide is available on this new box (ViP 922) as well as these additional boxes at launch:

  • ViP 722K
  • ViP 722
  • ViP 622

They just need to be hooked up to a broadband connection to work.  I think the announcement of the Sling Guide along with the Slingloaded HD DVR box is a little confusing only because the Sling Guide without the Slingloaded box won’t allow video playback.  Confused yet?  Yah, I thought so.

Here’s all you need to know.

sling21dishme2

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BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

Barack Obama‘s paid political half-hour on Wednesday from 8-830p collectively drew in 33.5 million viewers. The special aired on seven networks: CBS, FOX, NBC, Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One. NBC had the most total viewers at 9.78 million, followed by CBS at 8.6 million, FOX at 7.14 million, then MSNBC at 3.54 million, Univision at 3.47 million, with BET at 714,000 and TV One at 307,000. Also, the 30-minute special posted an overall HH rating of 21.7 in the top 56 local markets, according to MediaBuyerPlanner. (Cynopsis 10/31)

A Wednesday night appearance by Sen. Barack Obama on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” attracted 3.6 million viewers, beating the show’s previous high of 2.9 million people who tuned in Oct. 8 to see Jon Stewart interview Michelle Obama. Reuters/The Hollywood Reporter (10/30) , Broadcasting & Cable (10/30

John McCain is said to be planning to make a guest appearance on this week’s “Saturday Night Live,” the last live episode before the election. A rep for the show won’t confirm or deny the visit. A McCain source says: “It’s really his last chance to appeal to younger voters.” (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27460429 10/31)

Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), sent a letter yesterday to the heads of seven networks, asking them to not name the new president-elect next Tuesday until all voting polls have closed at 10p ET for the benefit of West Coast voters, reports Variety. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Wednesday’s Game 5 of the World Series on FOX ended up being the final game with the Phillies winning the coveted trophy. The game averaged a 6.2 A18-49 rating and 19.8 million total viewers from 8:40-1010p, according to Variety. The World Series postgame show from 10-1030p drew in a 3.6 A18-49 rating and 10.5 million total viewers. (Cynopsis 10/31)

With nearly 260 episodes in the can, Fox has decided this will be the last season for King of the Hill.  There are 13 episodes still to go before the “finale.”  “Finale”? Why the quotes?  Because this show has had its finale before … only to be resurrected.  So it remains to be seen if it will stay cancelled this time. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Courteney Cox and Scrubs creator Bill Lawrence are working together on a new 30m comedy for ABC called Cougar Town. ABC has okayed a single-camera pilot produced by ABC Studios. Cox will executive produce with Lawrence and star as a 40-year old mom who is newly single and based on the title is presumably on the hunt for younger men. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Hip-hop star/actor/writer Ice Cube has a one-hour untitled action comedy under development for NBC, per Variety. Cube will write the buddy cop comedy and executive produce with his production partner Matt Alvarez. (Cynopsis 10/31)

NBC Universal’s Bravo is picking up a new U.S. fashion design creative competition series called “The Fashion Show,” in which the winner is chosen by viewers. Bravo’s previous fashion-designer show “Project Runway” is in the midst of a struggle as it plans a move to Lifetime. (http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2008/10/30/Bravo_picks_up_new_Fashion_Show/UPI-33301225416834 10/30)

NBC is developing another novel handing a script commitment to Pretty Little Mistakes by Heather McElhatton for a 60m drama, reports THR. Universal Media Studios will produce about a female protagonist whose story line is decided by readers at the end of each chapter. The book begins with the female character deciding on college or travel after graduating from high school leading to 150 potential endings. (Cynopsis 10/31)

Liberty Media Chairman John Malone said that the current global economic turmoil may force the company to alter its plans to spin off Liberty Entertainment, which includes, among other assets, premium cable network Starz Entertainment. Greg Maffei, chief executive officer of Liberty Media, said it was “imaginable” that the unit would not be spun off at all. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) (10/31) , The Hollywood Reporter (10/30) , OneTRAK (10/30)

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