Daily Marauder


BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

Comedy Central is developing a weekly series with satiric newspaper The Onion that will poke fun at the sports world. The as-yet-untitled series will play off the Onion Sports Network online video series, which is, according to Lauren Corrao, Comedy Central’s president of original programming development, “outstanding, hilarious and exactly what you’d expect from the gang.” Broadcasting & Cable (11/5)

Onion Network


With an average delivery of 19.4 million viewers, this year’s six-game World Series outdrew last year’s set by 38%, per Nielsen ratings data. The 2009 World Series ranks as the sixth most-watched of the 12 Major League Baseball championships covered by Fox. (Iwantmedia 11/6, Mediaweek11/5)


Oprah Winfrey has yet to decide whether she’ll extend the life of her syndicated daytime talk show on broadcast television, a spokesman for her production company said Thursday, in response to an Internet report saying her show would move to her new cable network in less than two years. (Dow Jones 11/5)

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ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA by Marauder

ONLINE SERVICES/INTERACTIVE MEDIA

Companies using Twitter for commercial purposes may soon start getting charged for that activity, according to an interview British trade magazine Marketing (part of BrandRepublic) held with co-founder Biz Stone. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/02/10/twitter-to-start-charging-companies-for-having-an-account 2/10)

twitter1

The founders of ConnectU were apparently paid as much as $65 million in cash and Facebook stock to settle their longstanding dispute with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, according to an ad unearthed by The Recorder this morning. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/02/10/law-firm-blunder-reveals-value-of-facebookconnectu-settlement-65-million 2/10)

Time to induldge your inner animator. Home animation site GoAnimate is officially announcing tomorrow that they have obtained the rights from CBS to allow you to create your own Star Trek animated stories. (http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/02/09/first-look-at-star-trek-animation-studio 2/9)

star-trek-animation

Google has announced its plan to help consumers gain better information about their personal electricity usage.  The plan, which is listed on Google’s philanthropic website, promotes the adoption of smart electricity meters in homes across the world. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/02/10/googles-powermeter-project-for-when-the-webs-data-is-not-enough 2/10)

ESPN and Major League Baseball have formed a marketing partnership involving two of their premium online assets: MLB.TV Premium, which streams regular-season games, and ESPN Insider, which has exclusive sports-related content. Starting next week, the companies will begin offering a subscription package that combines the two services, and the arrangement is being promoted via an online and print ad campaign. Mediaweek (2/9)

Fox Sports renewed and expanded its online partnership with MSN to include a broader array of brands and ad components. FoxSports.com will adopt Microsoft products such as Windows Live and Live Search, continue to be the exclusive sports channel for MSN including content from Fox Sports Interactive’s Scout Media and WhatifSports.com for the first time, and take a “more integrated approach” to the development of new products for both online and mobile. (Cynopsis 2/10)

Sony Music Entertainment created an online app to allow users to send an ecard featuring a personalized sing-along with Mariah Carey. (Sony actually launched the concept with a Christmas card app to promote the release of the Elvis Duets CD.) (Cynopsis 2/10)

Comcast’s broadband video services company thePlatform announced a series of new initiatives aimed at lowering streaming costs for small and mid-sized publishers. To save on content delivery costs – typically the biggest cost associated with offering video – thePlatform is partnering with EdgeCast to resell CDN services at a volume-discounted rate typically reserved for larger providers. The company also announced a new “Advantage” program offering discounts for companies who use partners’ services including ad insertion platform Panache, ad management firm BlackArrow, video metrics specialist TubeMogul, video ad network ScanScout and analytics firm Visible Measures. thePlatform managed video for clients who collectively drove 440 million views in Dec. according to comScore, ranking it 3rd behind Google sites and Fox Interactive Media. (Cynopsis 2/10)

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GAMING by Marauder

GAMING

ESPN‘s casual gaming portal ESPN Arcade recently launched Cameraman – the network’s first downloadable game for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Find and tap on the differences between two nearly identical photos taken from the Olympics, the NFL, Major League Baseball, College Football, soccer and other sports. EpicTilt developed the game. (Cynopsis 10/28)

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BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

NBC‘s Meet the Press this past Sunday morning, featuring Colin Powell’s anticipated endorsement of Sen. Barack Obama, averaged 6 million viewers along with a national 4.3/12 HH rating. This was the largest audience for Meet the Press since February 8, 2004 when the late Tim Russert interviewed President George W. Bush. Also on October 19, ABC’s This Week pulled in nearly 3.4 million viewers and CBS‘ Face the Nation had close to 2.9 million viewers. (Cynopsis 10/24)

HBO is taking Curb Your Enthusiasm back into production this December for a seventh season. Ten new 30m episodes will be ready to debut in 2009. The comedy completed its sixth season, headlined by Larry David and Cheryl Hines, in November 2007. (Cynopsis 10/24)

For political junkies wanting to watch multiple news updates on election night, November 4, DirecTV offers a special Election Mix Channel, cites Variety. DirecTV will spotlight election coverage from ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC as well as alternating feeds from Comedy Central and BBC America. Eight networks will be on screen simultaneously and viewers will select one to hear audio and also have the option to go full screen with any one network. DirecTV will broadcast Election Mix Channel in both hi-def and standard def beginning 7p on November 4 until 6a November 5. DirecTV offers a similar interactive service for its sports programs. (Cynopsis 10/24)

As more and more polls cast doubt on the McCain-Palin ticket, Hollywood producers and agents are discussing possibilities for capitalizing on Sarah Palin’s fame, ranging from an Oprah-style syndicated talk show to a Sean Hannity-like perch in cable news or on radio. (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/hr/content_display/news/e3icc3b73373ecfd4eb935ddcc53cb38f27 10/23)

So you won’t vote for her ticket but you will make money off of her?  [sigh] I love Hollywood.

Fox television’s broadcast of the opening game of Major League Baseball’s World Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Tampa Bay Rays drew 14.6 million viewers, a drop from last year. The audience declined 14% from the 16.9 million viewers of last year’s first game. (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601204&sid=aHC7TgbfTmA0 10/23)

CBS will give frosh comedy Gary Unmarried a shot in the arm by re-airing the pilot episode next Monday at 930p, replacing Worst Week, says THR and Live Feed. The network is hoping the higher rated Two and a Half Men will give the new sitcom a viewer boost. Wednesday’s night’s Gary Unmarried averaged 7.8 million viewers and posted a 2.5/7 among A18-49. (Cynopsis 10/24)

E! has re-upped with late-night comedian/talk show host Chelsea Handler, a move that will keep her “Chelsea Lately” show on the cable net through 2009. The show turned in a stellar third quarter, when it boosted its household rating 21% in the 11:30 p.m. time slot. Mediaweek (10/23)

NBC is using its legal clout to delay “Project Runway” from moving over to Lifetime while it launches a copycat show on its Bravo network, according to insiders. A casting call for Bravo’s new “Fashion House” is remarkably similar to pitches made by “Project Runway.” (http://www.nypost.com/seven/10242008/gossip/pagesix/nbcs_stealth_runway_clone_134982.htm 10/24)

FX has paid an estimated $8 million to get first cable rights to a trio of films from 20th Century Fox, according to this report. The cable network gets the movies — the currently showing “Max Payne,” “The X Files: I Want to Believe” and “The Rocker” — for a reported four-year window that opens in late 2010 or early 2011. Reuters/The Hollywood Reporter (10/23)

Sports fans in northern New Jersey should cheer: Comcast has announced that it will begin carrying MSG HD and MSG Plus HD. MSG HD has the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty as well as the Buffalo Sabres, while MSG Plus HD’s lineup includes the New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils and a variety of programming from Fox Sports. Multichannel News (10/23)

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BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

TBS hit a home run Sunday night as Game 7 of the American League Championship Series, with the Tampa Bay Rays beating the Boston Red Sox and going to the World Series, attracted 13.4 million total viewers. This game became the most-watched regular or postseason MLB game this year as well as in cable’s history. (Cynopsis 10/21)

Rob Riggle, correspondent on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart made a talent holding agreement with CBS and CBS Paramount Network Television to create and star in a half-hour comedy, according to Variety. Riggle has not yet committed to a storyline for his show although he may base it on his own background as a major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. (Cynopsis 10/21)

Comcast-owned FearNet on Nov. 6 will premiere “The Dark Path Chronicles,” a series about a young vampire who explores parallel realities with a gal pal. The series is expected to have a strong musical element and was created by music video director Mary Lambert, who has worked with Madonna and Janet Jackson. Reuters/The Hollywood Reporter (10/21)

MSNBC Films will premiere on Oct. 29 its first theatrical release, “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father.” The film, about the custody battle that ensues after the murder of a Pennsylvania doctor, will debut in Manhattan and then be rolled out to select markets, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Santa Fe, N.M. Variety (10/20)

BBC is gearing up to broadcast our November 4 presidential election night to more than 200 countries worldwide. Broadcasting live from its Washington, D.C. bureau, BBC will present U.S. Election Night on BBC America and BBC World News with limited commercial breaks starting at 6p. (Cynopsis 10/21)

Comcast, the country’s largest cable TV provider, will continue to look for new ways to add original content to its video-on-demand menu, including more aggressively seeking out co-production deals with the broadcast networks, according to Steve Burke, the company’s chief operating officer. “We’re very interested as a company and as an industry in future product that becomes available for the VOD platform,” he said. Broadcasting & Cable (10/20)

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GAMING by Marauder

GAMING

With time running out before the holiday season, Electronic Arts has abandoned its bid for Take-Two Interactive Software, maker of the “Grand Theft Auto” series. Given “GTA IV’s” strong performance this year, Take-Two had consistently said EA’s $2 billion offer, or $25.74 a share, was too low in value, and EA had said it wanted to fold Take-Two’s business into its own in time for the holiday-selling season. The Wall Street Journal (free content) (9/15)

With licensing deals from Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and ESPN in hand, Six Degrees Games this fall will introduce a virtual world game called ActionAllStars. The online game will feature avatars that compete against one another in a variety of sports. Los Angeles Times (9/12)

As gamers show positive responses to in-game advertising, the model is starting to shift from one of just creating brand awareness to a direct-response forum. “Marketers want consumers to buy their products, that’s why they’re in the advertising model to begin with,” said Manny Anekal, Electronic Arts’ global director of ad operations. “If the in-game message is clear and nonintrusive … you will see more consumer change or actual purchase [as a result of interactive ads].” Brandweek (9/14)

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BROADCAST/CABLE by Marauder

BROADCAST/CABLE

Nick Jr.’s internationally popular “Dora the Explorer” children’s animated series will kick off a new season next month. Fresh episodes, which, for the first time since the show premiered, will feature a new voice cast, will run Sept. 15 to 19 and culminate with a five-hour marathon. Multichannel News (8/21) , Financial Times (8/21)

Travel Channel has picked up the cable rights to the CBS series “The Amazing Race.” As part of the deal, the cable network gets Seasons 12 through 14 and plans to debut the Emmy-winning show Sept. 3 in the 8 p.m. time slot. Variety (8/21)

Film credits from the 1920s reveal imprecision in copyright claims that experts say could invalidate Disney‘s long-held copyright to Mickey Mouse. The cartoon character is said to be worth more than $3 billion to Disney. A Disney lawyer dismisses the idea as “frivolous.” (Iwantmedia 8/22,  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mickey22-2008aug22,0,6883462.story 8/22)

ESPN and Major League Baseball have come to terms on a new rights contract that will enable the cable sports network to leverage various media platforms, including video game consoles and iPods, to deliver baseball content. The deal, which runs through 2013, includes online streaming of live games and highlights, as well as the development of new interactive elements in televised games. USA TODAY/Associated Press (8/21)

A company called Visible World says it has created an open standard for addressable TV advertising that will allow marketers to more precisely target their chosen demographic. Visible World President Tara Walpert-Levy said the new application enabled advertisers to deliver specifically tailored messages, down to individual households. MediaPost Communications (8/21)

AT&T has started offering potential customers $125 if they switch their broadband service away from a cable provider. Those who do so by Nov. 15 also get AT&T’s introductory broadband price for two years. CED Magazine (8/2008)

Harbinger Capital Management, which earlier this month disclosed to federal regulators that it had acquired a 4.9% stake in Cablevision, has upped its influence to 8.1%, or 18.95 million shares, according to this report. Harbinger, which is led by fund manager Phil Falcone, has a reputation for shaking up the management of the companies in which it significantly invests. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) (8/22)

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