Showbiz Sandbox 366: Shifting TV Viewership is Affecting Ratings, Ad Sales and Future Programming Decisions

May 15, 2017

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All the major television networks are preparing their dog-and-pony shows for advertisers at this year’s upfront presentations as they look to sell $9 billion worth of commercial time for the upcoming season. However with viewership continuing to become more fractured, the industry has grown concerned that falling ratings over the past year will lead to lower ad sales. Which raises the question about just how accurate audience measurement is these days.

Networks have begun taking measures to shore up potentially weaker ad sales by demanding harder bargains from production companies, owning more of their own series and making untold fortunes internationally with certain shows. They’re also dabbling more and more with live television specials including musicals such as “A Christmas Story”.

The 70th edition of the Cannes Film Festival will also begin this week, though not without some controversy over two Netflix titles screening in competition, but not in French movie theaters. This has led Cannes to create a new rule beginning in 2018 that any film selected for the festival must have a theatrical release in France.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including why Spotify might abandon plans for its IPO in lieu of a direct list o the stock market, Cheryl Boone Isaacs decides not to run for another term as head of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Kelly Clarkson joins “The Voice” just as ABC announces the return of “American Idol.”

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comScore Announces Official Worldwide Box Office Results for Weekend of May 14, 2017
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/comscore-announces-official-worldwide-box-office-results-for-weekend-of-may-14-2017-300457247.html

Watch Renée Fleming Take Her Final Bow in ‘Der Rosenkavalier’
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/13/arts/music/renee-fleming-final-bow-der-rosenkavalier.html?_r=0

Netflix CEO Rips Cannes Theater Policy: “Closing Ranks Against Us”
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cannes-festival-keeps-netflix-titles-lineup-requires-theatrical-releases-all-films-future-1002103

Cannes Purists Decry Netflix Inclusion as “Dangerous” Precedent
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/cannes-purists-decry-netflix-inclusion-as-dangerous-precedent-1001663

Cannes Keeps Netflix Movies in Competition but Says Future Films Must Have Theatrical Release
http://variety.com/2017/film/global/cannes-film-festival-maintains-netflixs-movies-in-competition-sets-new-rule-amid-turmoil-1202420874/

Apollo 8 by Jeffrey Kluger – BookFilter
http://bookfilter.com/2016/10/11/apollo-8/

Irish Police Investigate (but Don’t Charge) Stephen Fry for Blasphemy
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/world/europe/irish-police-investigate-but-dont-charge-stephen-fry-for-blasphemy.html

A Ripped Col. Sanders Stars in KFC’s First Romance Novel
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2017/05/05/ripped-col-sanders-stars-kfcs-first-romance-novel/101318014/

Kelly Clarkson Joins ‘The Voice’ Season 14 as Coach
https://variety.com/2017/tv/news/kelly-clarkson-the-voice-1202424125/

Katy Perry in Talks to Judge ABC’s ‘American Idol’ Revival
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/katy-perry-talks-judge-abcs-american-idol-revival-1003631

Lionsgate Ordered to Pay $5.8M to ‘Biggest Loser’ Star Jillian Michaels Over YouTube Channel
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/lionsgate-ordered-pay-58-million-biggest-loser-star-jillian-michaels-youtube-channel-1002581

Editor Resigns Over an Article Defending ‘Cultural Appropriation’
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/11/arts/editor-resigns-over-article-defending-cultural-appropriation.html

Election of New South Korean President Heralds Film Industry Reforms
https://variety.com/2017/film/asia/film-industry-reforms-for-korean-president-moon-jae-in-1202421834/

Richard Simmons Sues National Enquirer Over “Cruel” Sex-Change Story
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/richard-simmons-sues-national-enquirer-cruel-sex-change-story-999863

Netflix ISP Speed Index for April 2017
https://media.netflix.com/en/company-blog/netflix-isp-speed-index-for-april-2017

What L.A. Reid’s Sudden Sony Music Exit Means for Epic Records
https://variety.com/2017/music/news/la-reid-leaves-epic-records-sony-music-ramifications-1202424611/

Epic Records Chief L.A. Reid to Exit Sony Music
https://variety.com/2017/music/news/la-reid-exits-sony-music-epic-records-1202423198/

DHX Media Acquires ‘Peanuts’ in $345 Million Purchase of Iconix
https://variety.com/2017/tv/global/dhx-media-acquires-peanuts-in-345-million-purchase-of-iconix-1202422001/

Disney Parks and Movies Soar, but ESPN Is a Concern
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/09/business/media/disney-earnings-espn.html

New Amazon Buy Button Program Draws Ire of Publishers, Authors
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/73542-new-amazon-buy-button-program-draws-ire-of-publishers-authors.html

Cheryl Boone Isaacs Stepping Aside From Academy Board, Netflix Chief Throws Hat Into Ring
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/oscars-cheryl-boone-isaacs-stepping-academy-board-netflix-chief-throws-hat-ring-1003104

Spotify Said to Lean Toward Direct Listing on N.Y.S.E.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/12/business/spotify-said-to-lean-toward-direct-listing-on-nyse.html

‘The Crown’ Loses Out at BAFTA TV Awards; ‘Happy Valley’ Scores
https://variety.com/2017/tv/awards/the-crown-loses-out-in-all-categories-at-bafta-tv-awards-1202426521/

‘A Christmas Story’ Live Musical Set at Fox
https://variety.com/2017/tv/news/a-christmas-story-live-musical-fox-1202425303/

‘Rent’ Selected as Fox’s Next Live Musical
https://variety.com/2017/tv/news/rent-live-musical-fox-tv-1202423844/

‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ Set as NBC’s Next Live Musical
https://variety.com/2017/tv/news/jesus-christ-superstar-nbc-live-musical-1202422678/

‘This Is Us’ Lands Post-Super Bowl Slot, Plans Christmas Special
https://variety.com/2017/tv/news/this-is-us-season-two-super-bowl-christmas-1202426373/

On Network TV, the Gap Between a Hit and a Dud Is Shrinking
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/14/business/media/fall-shows-2017-tv.html?_r=0

TV Upfronts 2017: Where the Networks Stand Ahead of the Annual Cash Grab
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/tv-upfronts-2017-networks-stand-annual-cash-grab-1003538

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