Showbiz Sandbox 297: Television Networks Brace For Media Measurement Mayhem

October 5, 2015

In the digital age the viewership of television content has been difficult to track across multiple platforms and devices. The announcement of a game-changing merger between web analytics firm Comscore and the TV and box office data outfit Rentrak suggests a much needed solution for cross-media ratings may soon be available.

The combination of Comscore and Rentrak would finally create a company with the deep pockets and technical expertise to legitimately take on Nielsen, the uncontested reigning king of television ratings for the last several decades. The industry welcomes such competition at a time when advertisers are clamoring for accurate audience measurement across all screens, including mobile devices.

Thanks to the increase in delayed viewing, television ratings have become near impossible to report in a timely manner. Overnight ratings have long been the standard for touting a television program’s success (or failure), but now such numbers can represent less than half a show’s total audience once DVR data is counted. This has made keeping track of who watched what when and on which devices extremely confusing.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including the plans to the former hit series “MacGyver” a makeover, “Ghostbusters” gets animated and some of the unnecessary recipients among this year’s MacArthur Genius Awards.

Read more


Showbiz Sandbox 204: The Argument Over Broadcast Retransmission Consent Fees

September 9, 2013

After a programming blackout that lasted more than month Time Warner Cable came to an agreement with CBS over retransmission consent fees. Unless the 20-year-old retransmission consent legislation is revised or updated, the number of network blackouts will continue to increase. Unfortunately the real losers in all such disputes are consumers.

The Time Warner Cable-CBS deal was reached just as the new television season is about to begin. We’ll review some new series that have potential and are worth catching, as well as a few you might want to avoid.

Meanwhile, the book publishing industry was in the news last week with Amazon announcing plans to bundle e-books with the sale of traditional print copies, and a new startup hoping you’ll stop buying books altogether and simply rent them.

Of course we also cover the week’s top entertainment news including declining attendance on Broadway over the summer, Bruno Mars heads to the Super Bowl and a major personnel change at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Read more


Showbiz Sandbox 48: The Justin Bieber Swagger

April 5, 2010

Yet another 3D film release topped the box office this weekend, sort of.  “Clash of the Titans” was actually shot traditionally and had 3D added to it during post-production.  Many film critics and industry insiders are faulting the film’s 3D work, which was performed in only eight weeks.  Neil Feldman, the president and CEO of In-Three, a company that specializes in dimensionalizing 2D films, joins us during our Inside Baseball segment to discuss the difference between good 3D conversions and bad 3D conversions.  For Feldman, it’s all about quality, which he believes Warner Bros. was not concerned with on “Clash”.

Apparently, Warner Bros. also wasn’t concerned with producing a sequel of “The Hangover” when they set out to make the surprise comedy hit.  The studio neglected to put option clauses in the lead actor’s contracts so they are having to pay each of them $5 million to appear in the sequel.  The same may have been true for Twentieth Century Fox and “Independence Day”.  There are now rumors however that the studio has locked Will Smith in for two sequels to the blockbuster 1996 action film.  Unfortunately they are just that… rumors.

Justin Bieber continues to tear up the music charts.  His new album “My World 2.0” debuted in the number one spot and his first album is still at number five.  Read more