Showbiz Sandbox 317: Bundling Cable Networks May Work For Advertisers, But Not For Cable Customers

April 4, 2016


In yet another sign that the difference between broadcast and cable networks is eroding, NBCUniversal announced that it would include all of its cable outlets in their traditional upfront presentation to advertisers for NBC. By combining shows from networks such as Bravo, Telemundo and Oxygen with the big primetime hits on NBC, the Comcast owned media giant is signaling that the best way for advertisers to reach viewers is through aggregating audiences.

Time Warner Cable, on the other hand, is struggling to distribute its own content through different cable providers. Specifically, none of the other pay-TV companies is willing to force their customers to pay for SportsNet LA, the regional sports network owned by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Could this be an indication that cable operators finally understand that technology will force them to unbundle their basic cable offering?

Meanwhile, short, cheap and entertaining books – once called dime store novels or pulp fiction – are making a comeback. As are serialized novels, short stories and lots of things that don’t fit into the 250 pages or more standard of most books today. Technology and the need to hold the attention of readers are the reasons it’s happening.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including the controversial film pulled from the Tribeca Film Festival lineup, the death of comedian Gary Shandling and the porn industry gets into virtual reality.


China Box Office Grows by 50% in First Quarter

‘Batman v. Superman’ Launches DC Superhero Universe With Record $166.1M U.S. Debut

Screening Room Headed to CinemaCon; Brett Ratner Checks Out Technology

NBCUniversal to Combine Broadcast and Cable in Dramatic TV Upfronts Shakeup

Morning-Show Wars Take a Twist as ‘Today’ Trumps ‘GMA’ in Total Viewers

Fox News Posts Record Ratings as Cable News Surges at Top of Election Year

‘Wolf Hall’ Leads Nominations Race for BAFTA Television Awards

‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ Renewed for Record-Tying Seasons 13 and 14

NBC to Produce ‘A Few Good Men’ Live, Written by Aaron Sorkin

Time Warner Cable Throws In The Towel on Dodger Channel Negotiations

Robert De Niro Pulls Anti-Vaccine Documentary From Tribeca Film Festival

Olivier Awards: Judi Dench Wins Historic Eighth Trophy

Hollywood Speaks Out Against Georgia’s Anti-Gay Bill

Even if Studios Boycott Georgia, There Are a Lot Worse Places They Do Business

Georgia Governor to Veto Anti-Gay Bill After Hollywood Pressure

Netflix’s Original Content Library Is Growing By 185% Each Year

‘Doctor Who’ Heading to Amazon Prime Under Exclusive BBC Pact

Netflix’s US Catalog Has Shrunk by More Than 2,500 Titles in Less Than 2.5 Years

Open-Source Animation Production Software OpenToonz Available March 26

Anti-China Movie ’10 Years’ Crowned at Hong Kong Film Awards

Billy Joel, Gloria Gaynor and The Supremes’ Songs Named to National Recording Registry

‘Midnight Rider’ Director Released From Jail Early

Virtual Reality Porn Is coming But will Mainstream Success Follow?

Broadway Enjoys a Spring Fling at the Box Office

The Pulp Fiction Dime Novel Is Making a Comeback

Jim Harrison, Poet, Novelist and Essayist, Is Dead at 78

Garry Shandling, Star of Groundbreaking Sitcoms, Dies at 66

Patty Duke, Oscar Winner and Sitcom Star, Dies at 69


  • mgiltz

    Cutting the cord? Unbundling? OTT? People don’t care about that. They just want an easy way to find their favorite shows, discover new ones and not have to pay through the nose of jump through hoops to do so. We’re at least a few years away from that. Anytime I wanna catch up on a series, I have to do some serious investigating, which most won’t bother with. And while cabe bills are sky high, so is going cordless, with HBO and Netflix and a few other channels adding up pretty fast. Help! Can Apple come to the rescue?