Hot Off The Press! The Latest Television News and Info - Page 466 - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #13951 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 01:32 PM
AVS Special Member
 
dg28's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Boyds, MD
Posts: 1,257
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

I'm not a D* customer, but I'm curious as to why they would abandon a "glitch-free and user-friendly" HD-DVR from TiVo that works so well in order to create the same thing themselves from scratch? Seems pretty silly and a gigantic waste of resources to me.

It's called "synergy" (and perhaps greed). NDS, the new software supplier for D*'s DVRs, is owned by Fox. TiVo is not. So now Fox companies will get to keep 100% of that pesky monthly DVR fee.
dg28 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #13952 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 01:34 PM
Senior Member
 
mike_somd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 221
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

I'm not a D* customer, but I'm curious as to why they would abandon a "glitch-free and user-friendly" HD-DVR from TiVo that works so well in order to create the same thing themselves from scratch? Seems pretty silly and a gigantic waste of resources to me.

I can see why, it's all about the money. If they give customers a box created by them, they don't have to give tivo any of the subscription fee. It's all about lining their pockets even if the software will be no where as polished and user friendly as tivo's.
mike_somd is offline  
post #13953 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 01:42 PM
Advanced Member
 
Joe3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 508
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hey, wouldn't be funny if the only DVR on the planet that forces adverisements down your throat is TiVo, the people who ivented a way to give us a choice?
Joe3 is offline  
post #13954 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
TV Critics Summer Press Tour
Oops

With all the postings from the TCA Tour, I forgot to update the weekly network and Top-10 program ratings.
They are now complete at the bottom of the first posting of this thread. Sorry.
fredfa is offline  
post #13955 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 03:26 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Marcus Carr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Baltimore City
Posts: 8,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 31
Franchise Bill May Have Its 60 Votes

By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/27/2006 12:24:00 PM

Lengthening odds on a telecom bill be-darned, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) told reporters Thursday that he thinks he has the 60 votes he needs to pass a franchise streamlining bill, and one without network neutrality.


"I haven't been personally told we have [the votes]," he cautioned. " My staff and I believe that we have them, but I have not personally talked to Senators to make sure that we have them," he told reporter. "And the Leader's asked me to make sure, so I'm going to visit with a series of Senators to make sure that they will be with us."


Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) won't give the bill precious floor time as the session winds down unless he is sure it is filibuster-proof

Stevens did not say whether and how the omnibus bill might have to be trimmed or tailored to get the votes, but he said he did not expect to trim it on the floor--that would leave it to the conference committee--and was adamant about the absence of network neutrality.

Joe Barton, chair of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which has passed its own streamlined video franchise streamlining bill, has reportedly said net neutrality won't be on the final bill, either.

Large computer companies like Microsoft, Google and Yahoo! have put millions into a campaign to put strong network neutrality language in the bill, which they say is key to keeping the internet safe for entrepreneurs and start-ups. They argue that networks, now that the FCC has ruled that they don't have to open their networks to independent Internet Service Providers, will create a system of 'net haves and havenots divided by the amount of money they are willing to pay. They also argue the telephone and cable networks will have too much power to quash speech, say slowing traffic to a Web site or e-mail campaign on an issue they don't favor.

Networks, who have put millions into campaigns opposing tough network neutrality language, say they would never do that, that the FCC has the power to punish anyone who does, and that they must be able to get a return on investment by managing their networks. The alternative, some argue, is an Internet where everyone's service is equally slow and jerky, and that the Internet of today, with everyone wanting to send high-res video of the family, is different from the one in which mostly data was bicycled around between computers.


Stevens also said he had been contacted by a noted scientist who backed his much-mocked "tubes" analogy for the Internet, and even said he would be willing to go on The Daily Show. Jon Stewart has been a long-time lampooner of the chairman.

http://broadcastingcable.com/article...=Breaking+News

YOU ARE READING AVS FORUM

Marcus Carr is online now  
post #13956 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 03:32 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
(In the interest of full disclosure, I have no idea what this means. But it may be important to many of you with a greater tech knowledge.)

The Digital Revolution
FiOS Takes Big Step Toward IPTV

By John Eggerton Broadcasting & Cable7/27/2006

As it ramps up its FiOS video system, already available in seven states, Verizon has just taken a "Very big" step toward going all IPTV, all the time.

Currently its video system is a hybrid of traditional video delivery via cable for its linear programming and IPTV for its video on demand offerings and electronic program guide. the goal is to put it all on the 'net.

The "very big" was from Verizon spokesman Mark Marchand, who says the company expects to delivery FiOS via IPTV within the next several years. "Eventually, this sets the stage for going all-IPTV when we feel the technology is more mature and scalable," he said.

The "step" is quadrupling broadband download speeds-and octupling upload speeds--through equipment deals with equipment from Motorola, Tellabs and Alcatel.

The rollout of what it is calling a Gigabit Passive Optical Network (G-PON) will come by the end of the year, and will have immediate impact on the speed and flexibility of VOD.

Currently, Verizon starts with 633 megabits per second, but that is divided among as many as 32 customers by the time it gets to the home. The new network will start out at 2.4 gigabits per second.

Why eight times upload speed but only four time for download? "We're trying to do more with upstream given that the Internet is more interactive," says Marchand.

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/ind...leID=CA6357086
fredfa is offline  
post #13957 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 03:39 PM
AVS Club Gold
 
Keenan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 28,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 458 Post(s)
Liked: 449
It means they'll be able to carry more signal, about 3 times the current cable company capacity.
Keenan is online now  
post #13958 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 03:55 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Marcus Carr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Baltimore City
Posts: 8,090
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Liked: 31
Comcast Digital-Cable Push Pays Off

Strong Second Quarter as Subscribers Switch to Digital

By Abbey Klaassen

Published: July 27, 2006

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- This is the kind of quarter CEO Brian Roberts has been anticipating. Comcast's aggressive investment in digital cable, phone and high-speed data is paying off in second-quarter earnings that beat analyst expectations.

Comcast shares surged almost 5% on the news that net income rose 7%, as the company earned $460 million, or 22 cents per share, compared with $430 million, or 19 cents, for the same period in 2005.

Mr. Roberts, the CEO of the country's largest cable operator, spent much of first quarter lamenting what he considered to be a depressed stock price, stagnating in the $26 to $27 range. Today it hit $34.

350,000 new subscribers

The company grew digital-cable subscribers by 350,000, offsetting a loss of 66,000 basic cable homes. It also added 227,000 net phone subscribers and 305,000 high-speed data subscribers. Digital-video penetration is now at 49% of Comcast's 21.7 million video customers. Comcast also looks to add more of what it calls enhanced-basic-cable customers, or those who have low-cost digital boxes that allow them to access the video-on-demand library.

The company detailed how quickly its customers are adapting to new technologies, noting that about 30% of digital customers are subscribing to high-definition DVR products, compared with 28% last quarter and 20% a year ago. VOD use continues to grow as well, with 150 million VOD sessions in June, 33% more than the same month last year.

The cable companies' continued aggressive rollout of digital cable is fueling DVR penetration. According to research conducted by Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing (CTAM), digital-cable households are the most likely to have a DVR -- 30% of them have the time-shifting device vs. 22% of satellite customers. DVR penetration in cable households overall -- including both basic- and digital-cable subscribers -- has more than doubled, rising to 17% in 2006 compared to 7% in 2005.

Ad revenue up 8%

Advertising revenue, a small but growing part of Comcast's total profits, was up about 8% (the increase drops to 6% when political ads are excluded). Comcast Chief Operating Officer Steve Burke did touch vaguely on a couple of addressable advertising trials the company is conducting on a small scale.

"You're going to see us put our toe in the water in terms of interactive advertising, and we are very bullish on that immediate and long-term," he said.

Comcast executives also said they expected the Adelphia transaction, which will add 1.7 million new subscribers, to close in the next few days. The FCC approved the deal earlier this month.

http://adage.com/mediaworks/article?article_id=110763

YOU ARE READING AVS FORUM

Marcus Carr is online now  
post #13959 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
As I understand the structure of the Adelphia deal, it supposed to close no later than July 31st.
fredfa is offline  
post #13960 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 07:34 PM
AFH
AVS Special Member
 
AFH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 2,988
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa View Post

Tech Notebook
Survey Shows Trends of Households With DVRs

By Katy Bachman MediaWeek.com JULY 26, 2006 -

Households with digital video recorders tend to watch less TV than those without.......

DVR households are 23 percent less likely to be heavy TV viewers...............

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/news/rec..._id=1002912929


Wait, but haven't we been hearing that DVR households tend to watch more tv? So which is it? Do they watch more tv or do they watch less tv?

"I'm going to call them scallywags" - Ollie

Xbox Live: Stunt1on1
AFH is offline  
post #13961 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 08:00 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Maybe it depends on who is paying for the survey?
fredfa is offline  
post #13962 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 08:11 PM
AVS Special Member
 
DoubleDAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Peoria, AZ (75 Ave & T-Bird)
Posts: 9,886
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Liked: 61
Can someone explain why Dish can't abide by the law on distant broadcasts? Do they not have the capability to block subs who can rceive local channels OTA?

Cheers, Dave
DoubleDAZ is offline  
post #13963 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 08:30 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
The Digital Revolution
Stevens says telco bill may have to wait

By Brooks Boliek The Hollywood Reporter July 28, 2006

WASHINGTON -- While the chief sponsor of hotly debated legislation making it easier for the big telephone companies to get into local markets feels sure he has the votes to pass it, he admitted Thursday that it might not come up in the Senate until after the November elections.

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, told reporters that he felt he had the 60 votes necessary to break a filibuster and bring up the bill.

"I believe we have the 60 votes," Stevens said, but he admitted that he had not received personal commitments from all 60 senators. "I haven't been personally told we have them," he said. "I've not talked to them personally."

Stevens, the bill's primary author, chairs the Senate Commerce Committee.

While he pushed the bill through the committee in June, it was immediately put in a holding pattern. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., has already put an informal "hold" on the bill, keeping it off the floor.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr..._id=1002914216
fredfa is offline  
post #13964 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
TV Critics Summer Press Tour
Holding course on coarse words
PBS' president cites need to keep war vets' profane usages in a documentary

By Matea Gold Los Angeles Times Staff Writer July 27, 2006

PBS is prepared to do battle with the FCC over "The War."

Next fall, the network plans to distribute an unedited version of the World War II documentary by Ken Burns, told through the firsthand experiences of soldiers. Some of the veterans use profanities in recounting their battle stories, and that could raise the ire of the Federal Communications Commission.

But PBS President Paula Kerger said Wednesday that it's "important for public broadcasting not to just roll over, but to be very clear that in order to tell some stories, we may need to use language that, at the moment, the FCC is not sure that they feel is appropriate for broadcast television."

Kerger made her comments at the semiannual television press tour in Pasadena, during which she deplored recent FCC rulings and warned that the tighter restrictions and higher fines could have a chilling effect on public broadcasting.

With less than five months on the job, Kerger a former executive at the Educational Broadcasting Corp., parent company of two New York public television stations is showing no compunction about wading deep into the fray over indecency standards.

The PBS president told reporters that she recently met with each FCC commissioner to seek more clarity in their rulings, but came away with very little.

"If you're sitting in a local station, it's hard to figure out how to navigate through these decisions because there's no clear guidance," Kerger said. "And so we certainly have a couple of cases coming up where I hope we, as an industry, will stand up and be bold and sort of bring it on."

One of the highest-profile test cases will likely come in the fall of 2007, when PBS is scheduled to distribute "The War."

PBS executives said Wednesday that they are planning to run the Burns documentary without edits at 9 p.m., an hour before the so-called "safe harbor" when children are less likely to be watching.

"I think this is going to be one of the seminal pieces of work of his career, and it deserves to be seen by the broadest possible audience," Kerger said. "So if that means putting it on at 9 o'clock and putting flags around it ... I think that should be enough."

The PBS president said "The War" is an example of a program in which editing out provocative language would diminish the overall piece.

"If you have someone telling a story about their experiences in the war, and in telling that story a profanity is uttered, sometimes it makes a really big difference," she said. "And the impact of it is washed away or radically diminished if it's just bleeped."

That said, Kerger said each local PBS station will have to make the decision about its willingness to risk FCC fines by airing the program unedited.

KCSM, a station in San Mateo, was fined $15,000 in March after a complaint about profanities in the music documentary "The Blues." The station is appealing the fine, and Kerger said PBS is filing an amicus brief next week in support of its position.

"I think the pendulum has swung so far in this case that I really worry about the chilling effect it will have on the stations that don't want to take the risk," she said.

Still, when it comes to "The War," Kerger said she hopes "stations will stand firm."

Kerger also said that the Public Broadcasting Service would stop using pixels over the mouths of people seen using coarse language in programming. PBS recently instituted that policy to avoid possible FCC violations.

But in an interview after the media session, Kerger said she plans to end the practice after she unsuccessfully sought clarification from the FCC about whether the measure was needed. "I think we will cease pixellating," she said. "I don't know that that is necessary."
http://www.calendarlive.com/tv/cl-wk...?coll=cl-tvent
fredfa is offline  
post #13965 of 25503 Old 07-27-2006, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
TV Notebook
ABC Dumps The One

By Ben Grossman Broadcasting & Cable 7/27/2006

ABC has pulled the plug on music-talent competition show The One after two weeks of low-rated airings.

The show debuted July 11 with a 1.1 average rating in the adult 18-49 demo, before recording a 1.0 for its results show the following night. This week the numbers were no better, with Tuesday's show averaging a 0.9 and Wednesday's results show coming in at a 1.0.

ABC is currently finalizing plans to fill the two one-hour holes next week and beyond.

Earlier this week, Fox Entertainment President Peter Liguori used the low ratings of ABC's The One to fire a shot back at ABC Entertainment President Steve McPherson and others who have accused Fox of mimicking show ideas in the past.

McPherson probably owes [Fox reality chief] Mike [Darnell] an apology, he said Monday. He spends a lot of time dumping on Mike for copycatting, and I think he got a big stiff one there.

Liguori, who admitted that even he was surprised by how low those numbers were, says they were a product of the over-saturation of shows this summer trying to catch the American Idol success.

There have been a ton of copycats this year, he said. Everyone has had some variation of a talent show in hopes of catching this wave.

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/ind...leID=CA6357162
fredfa is offline  
post #13966 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
TV Notebook
'Tonight' Host, helmer Smith to sub for Ebert


By John Dempsey Variety.com

NEW YORK -- "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno will be the first replacement co-host for the syndicated review series "Ebert & Roeper" as Roger Ebert recovers from cancer surgery earlier this month.

The Leno half-hour will hit the air on the Aug. 5 weekend; the movies under discussion are "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," "Miami Vice," "Little Miss Sunshine," "The Night Listener" and "Shadowboxer."

Buena Vista will move "Ebert & Roeper" from its home base in Chicago to Los Angeles to accommodate Leno's schedule.

As previously reported, Kevin Smith, director of "Clerks 2," will sub for Ebert the weekend of Aug. 12. Buena Vista hasn't named any other co-hosts but said Ebert is under doctor's orders not to rush back to work.
fredfa is offline  
post #13967 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
TV Critics Summer Press Tour
The new fall slate barely treads water

By Melanie McFarland Seattle Post-Intelligencer TV Critic Friday, July 28, 2006

Pasadena CA--At midnight, the Ritz-Carlton's outdoor pool lights up with a blue glow not unlike a television set. Usually the pool is empty by that late hour -- except for a few nights, when a man could be seen floating on his back and, oddly enough, smoking.

Gently kicking his legs to keep his head and chest above water, the man circled lazily, pausing every so often to take a puff, forefinger and middle scissoring the filter so his cigarette didn't get too wet.

This was a guy enjoying his place in the universe -- either that, or he was in the throes of an existential crisis, wrestling with "Who am I?" or "Where am I going?"

Think of him as the mascot for the fall TV lineup, a slate full of new series that seem to have very little idea of where they're going. Holding out for that one tremendous hit that'll renew your faith in TV? Don't. Intriguing pilots are everywhere, but behind a fair share of them are producers lacking in concrete vision.

That's what happens when network TV settles into a comfortable middle territory.

Fall 2006-07 isn't "Lost"-in-the-first-season fantastic, but it's not "Whoopi" terrible, either. The upcoming schedule is solidly built, with just enough fat around the midsection to float.

You may not think this after seeing a few premieres, because a lot of these introductory hours are quite well-made. The pilot for Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" is at the top of NBC's class, which is not especially shocking when you remember that it's made by two men who know and respect the medium. The Peacock also is taking a chance on Tim Kring's "Heroes," which could appeal to the comic-book-loving kid inside many adults. And if that kid doesn't exist? Well, nobody is making you watch.

ABC has a strong contender in "The Nine," a drama about a group of people who survive a hostage situation at a bank. The show boasts an ensemble cast that includes Tim Daly and Scott Wolf. "The Nine" promises lots of flashbacks as the series returns to that day even as the survivors move on, to show the ways in which it changed them.

Other drama pilots are glossier but -- well, there's that crisis again: The big question coming out of the Television Critics Association Press Tour, besides Can Serials Work, is whether these shows should be movies instead of great TV.

The problems go hand in hand. There are more serials on TV this fall than ever, it seems. A number of them premiered last year, too, but those are all gone, and in most cases, without giving their viewers answers to the questions that drew them in the first place.

We never really found out what the deal was with "Surface's" sea creatures or the source of "Invasion's" bizarre phenomena. Do you even remember specific story lines in "Threshold" or "Reunion"? Think hard -- and, no.

A number of the coming season's dramas speak to viewers in the language of serials dressed up as cinema, attempting to elevate TV's dialect of close-ended stories.

Fall casts have gotten more exciting too: Jeremy Sisto, Dana Delany, Delroy Lindo and Timothy Hutton are the faces of NBC's "Kidnapped." "Smith" brings Ray Liotta and Virginia Madsen together on CBS.

Even the way these series are executed is going to make you crave popcorn. "Smith," created by John Wells, takes cues from "Reservoir Dogs," "Ocean's 11" and "Heat." The pilot clocks in at an hour. It really could be a movie.

Don't forget the significant difference between movies and TV -- movies end after a couple hours. We tend to be done with them once they're over, so what's to bring us back next week?

Puff, puff -- kaff kaff kaff. Serial and cinematic touches are TV's nicotine.

You can thank or blame "Lost" for this trend of attempting to create 22 hourlong movies for the small screen -- and for inspiring CBS's "Jericho," which substitutes a small Midwestern town for the island, a nuclear blast for the plane crash and dry confusion for excitement.

At least "Jericho" deserves credit for stabbing at complexity because only one of Fox's series, "Vanished," even makes an attempt at it, muddled though it is.

TV is experiencing an existential crisis, no question. Inevitably many of these shows are going to sink like boulders. Even in our supposed golden age of drama the simple fact is, who has the time to keep up?

But a solid medium is better than an out-and-out miserable one, which bring us to fall's new comedies. They're in a worse position -- not floating, but looking pretty dead in the water.

Beware CBS's "The Class." Just avert your eyes, OK?

One joke that has been passed around so much that it's already old is that NBC's "Twenty Good Years" has about 20 decent seconds in the pilot. An eyeful of John Lithgow in a Speedo is not one of them. It comes on at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays; eat early and take an antacid afterward.

This is a season in which Brad Garrett can play the bitter married-to-it card on Fox's very typical comedy " 'Til Death," and has a good shot at remaining employed, even if it gets murdered in its 8 p.m. Thursday time slot.

This is a season in which some ABC programming executive thought that applying "24's" concept to "Big Day," a half-hour comedy that desperately searches for laughs on a wedding day, would lead to a season of pants-wetting laughter. It was a struggle to get through 22 minutes of the pilot, let alone the 45-minute panel.

Comedy still has some cramps, but the genre has hope. Tina Fey's "30 Rock" is getting an overhaul, so she may be able to work through the dead spots in what was otherwise an enjoyable pilot. ABC could have something with "Knights of Prosperity," if it can find a name that isn't so dreadful and the producers can maintain the pilot's focus.

Dramas may have to race, but all these comedies need to do is tread water.

The swimming promises to be at a leisurely pace.

Ah, but don't forget that cigarette, Mr. TV. You might want to quit. Those things will kill ya.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/printe...9151_tv28.html
fredfa is offline  
post #13968 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 07:41 AM
AVS Special Member
 
DoubleDAZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Peoria, AZ (75 Ave & T-Bird)
Posts: 9,886
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Liked: 61
In others words, the TV isn't on when no one is really watching, thus no longer skewing the Nielson ratings.

Cheers, Dave
DoubleDAZ is offline  
post #13969 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 08:11 AM
AVS Special Member
 
RemyM's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Stamford, CT
Posts: 4,372
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Liked: 40
I would say I watch more TV, but in less time. I watch things that I would never sit and watch from start to finish (SportsCenter) but I will watch recorded on the DVR because I can FF through all of the fluff, and commercials.
RemyM is online now  
post #13970 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 08:50 AM
Moderator
 
CPanther95's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 23,797
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 61 Post(s)
Liked: 73
I probably watch twice as much TV and about 95% fewer commercials.
CPanther95 is offline  
post #13971 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 08:56 AM
AVS Club Gold
 
Keenan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Santa Rosa, CA
Posts: 28,517
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 458 Post(s)
Liked: 449
Same here, I without a doubt, watch way more TV by utilizing a DVR and skipping commercials. While it's a great show, I seriously doubt I would watch a show like "Grey's Anatomy" or "Desperate Housewives" if I had to watch every commercial. In fact, a lot of ABC shows with their extra commercial breaks per hour, even "Lost", I would most likely wait for the DVD release. With "Grey's" or "Housewives", I probably wouldn't even bother, "Grey's" maybe, "Housewives", definitely not.
Keenan is online now  
post #13972 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
The TV Column
Bananas About 'Curious George;
(Television, Not So Much)
By Lisa de Moraes Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, July 28, 2006; C05

PASADENA, Calif., July 27 Every TV press tour, television critics suffer through at least one Hollywood celeb lecturing them as to why they do not let their children watch television.

TV critics never make a fuss when this happens. Maybe it's because they know that children who are denied TV in their early years tend to find interesting ways to make their parents suffer later, by way of paying them back. Some even become TV critics.

This week it was William H. Macy, who ironically came to Summer TV Press Tour 2006 to discuss his role as narrator on PBS's new animated "Curious George" series, which is designed for very young children.

"My wife [Felicity Huffman] and I are big fat movie stars, so we have wonderful nannies. My kids don't watch TV," Macy told critics with all of the complacency of a man who does not know what his children are watching when they're playing at, say, David Mamet's house.

"We decided that they wouldn't watch TV until they can read, which is imminent. . . . We did it just because we can. Television is very powerful," he said.

"I love Pixar films, but one must admit that they are filled with double-entendres," he continued, really warming up to his subject.

"They're designed to please parents and keep them in the theaters. . . . 'Curious George' is for kids, which is not to say that it's not funny. I saw you all laughing. But it's for kids."

He promised he would let his two young daughters watch PBS's "Curious George" adaptation when both could read.

"As a matter of fact, I can't wait. . . . It's gotten to the point where I want to say . . . 'That's me -- I did that!' "



Critics also wondered what TV shows Neil Simon watches these days. Simon, who got a break early in his career writing for Sid Caesar's popular sketch comedy series, pretty much dismissed the medium, except for televised Yankees and Mets games.

He did say he likes NBC's "The Office," or, more accurately, lead actor Steve Carell. Simon said he had watched Carell on the show, but loved him in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin." Simon said the flick stuck out in a sea of film comedies these days that don't make him laugh.

The playwright did not really want to talk about other people's work; he wanted to talk about himself. That's understandable, since he'd taken the time to show up on the final day of Summer TV Press Tour 2006 to discuss receiving the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center this fall.

Of his childhood, Simon said his family members "were not very intelligent people, and I don't know why I turned into a writer, from the lack of finding any of that in the home. We had eight books in the house and my mother and father bought them because four were red and four were blue."

One critic wondered whether being funny was an innately Jewish trait. Yes, he really did.

"Did you say 'innately Jewish'?" Simon asked. The critic amended the question to wonder whether it was innately Jewish or about being a New Yorker or what.

"I don't know if it's any of those things. With me, I see things that are sort of stupid or not smart as humorous," he said, which we like to think was a reference to the question.

"I can't explain that any better," he said. "I can write it for you if you want to wait -- I actually do that better."

Another critic wanted to know if Simon wrote with his mouth open, speaking the lines he was writing to make sure they were conversational.

"I never knew that until my family told me," Simon said. "They said they walk by the door and hear '[mumbling noises].' And eventually I started to hear it, and when I didn't hear it I knew I wasn't working."

It took him three years and 20 drafts to write his first play; these days it takes about seven or eight months.

On working with Sid Caesar, he said the writers knew the show was hot when Moss Hart, one of the leading playwright/directors of the day, asked if he could come watch them work on it.

Simon even got testy during the Q&A when people kept trying to compare him to Mark Twain -- including the award show's exec producer, Bob Kaminsky, who suggested that in the tradition of Twain, Simon was one of the foremost humorists.

"Okay, I wouldn't compare myself to him. . . . He's not getting the award. I'm getting the award."

Another critic asked how it felt having people say that all the can't-miss comedy plays were written by Shakespeare and Simon.

"Ridiculous," Simon said. "I mean, you can't compare them. I'm much better."

Asked who he'd like to see win next year's Mark Twain award, Simon replied, "Me again, because I'm not sure I'm doing good now. . . . I'll have to think about that. I'll call you tonight, around 7."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...701780_pf.html
fredfa is offline  
post #13973 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 09:20 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
The TV Column
For Hispanics, TV is not just novelas
In reality, they prefer news and politics
By Samantha Melamed MediaLifeMagazine.com staff writer Jul 28, 2006

The going perception is that U.S. Hispanics principally watch telenovelas on Spanish-language TV, and it's not hard to understand where that comes from. One need look no further than the glut of primetime soap operas on Univision and Telemundo.

But the reality is quite something else. While telenovelas are certainly popular, Hispanics, like television viewers in general, are more inclined to watch news and political shows than any other format, and by a substantial margin.

Moreover, Hispanics are hardly wed solely to Spanish-language TV. They spend a surprising amount of time watching the English-language networks.

Those are two conclusions of a new study by Encuesta, a Hispanic market research firm in Miami, based on a telephone survey of 335 respondents. It found that 68 percent of respondents reported watching news or political talk shows at least once a week, while 43 percent said they watch novelas once or more a week. Eleven percent watch game shows at that frequency.

Hispanics watch other formats as well, but with a frequency related to their acculturation levels: 28 percent of U.S.-born Hispanics watch reality shows, while only 18 percent of foreign-born Hispanics do. And American-born Hispanics are more likely than their counterparts to watch sitcoms (25 percent versus 16 percent) and home improvement, cooking or travel shows (31 percent versus 20 percent).

In terms of Spanish-language versus English-language television, the study found that more than half of Hispanics, some 55 percent, split their viewing, watching some of each. Fewer than a third, 31 percent, watch in Spanish only, while 12 percent only watch English-language shows.

Even among the foreign-born, English viewing is surprisingly high, with 57 percent saying they watch either some English-language TV or English-language TV exclusively (versus 66 percent for the group as a whole).

When it comes to soaps, Encuesta found viewers spent about 7.2 hours per week watching telenovelas but nearly as many hours watching soaps in English, 5.9 hours.

Why the high level of English-language viewing among Hispanics? Lourdes Prado, Encuesta project director, postulates they are doing so in part because of their desire for programming not offered on the Spanish networks.

In any case, Prado says Hispanic viewing patterns are more diverse than many advertisers realize.

"Hispanics tend to be pigeonholed into the Spanish-language sector. This study shows that there are a whole lot of opportunities in English. It's a much more complex situation than advertisers are willing or ready to face," Prado says.

She advises that marketers look deeper into the demographics they want to reach rather than automatically toss their dollars at Spanish-language TV.

"If you really want to maximize returns on advertising investments, you should find out, based on age and gender as much on acculturation and language levels, how to reach the person you want to target. But marketers and advertisers simplify this, because it's just easier to say, we'll reach these people in Spanish, and we'll get to the rest of the market in our general campaign."

Nielsen Media Research data gives a pretty expansive view of just what Hispanics are in fact watching. As one might expect, Univision programming dominates the top-watched shows. But when the daily soaps are collapsed and their ratings averaged, programming like Fox's "American Idol" and ABC's "Dancing with the Stars" and "Desperate Housewives" also make the cut.

"There's a huge section that overlaps, and it's a matter of figuring out how to reach those people who have one foot on each side of the divide," Prado says.

Ad spending on Spanish-language networks continues to outpace both English-language broadcast and cable, growing by 14.3 percent in the first quarter, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. And they do reach an impressive segment of the Hispanic population.

Adriana Waterston, vice president of marketing and business development at Horowitz Associates, which annually reports on U.S. Latino television viewing, says that Hispanics watching news and other formats of programming is nothing new. What's really changing right now is the growing awareness of the complexity of the Hispanic market.

"It goes back to taking an essentially stereotypical approach to the Hispanic market," she says. "There's a stereotype that Hispanic viewers only watch soap operas. Soap operas are very important in the Hispanic market, but that doesn't mean we only watch soap operas."

Most people watch news every day, she says, and Hispanic viewers are no different. However, they might turn to Spanish-language channels for a Latino perspective and English-language channels for U.S. or international news.

"There are 40 million-plus Hispanics in the U.S., and many have been here for generations. The Hispanic market is very diverse," she says. "The majority of the market watches both English and Spanish-language television because there's different content available."

http://www.medialifemagazine.com/art...ticle_6276.asp
fredfa is offline  
post #13974 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
TV Notebook
Will Lithgow series run `Twenty Good Years'?

By R.D. Heldenfels Akron Beacon Journal television writer

Former Akron resident John Lithgow has a new prime-time comedy series this fall called Twenty Good Years. And it took about five good years for him to do it.

After his last series, 3rd Rock From the Sun, ended its run in 2001, Lithgow decided that he wasn't interested in another one. A drama, he said recently, ``is too much work, believe me. That's like a movie that never ends.'' And any comedy ``would have to be as good or better (than 3rd Rock) or I wasn't interested.''

Lithgow had plenty of other things he could do. Over the last 10 years, he said, ``I have learned to sail and ski and play golf and ride a horse.... I've broken a collarbone, I have pulled an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament). I'm such a familiar figure in the ER... they are almost keeping score.''

Professionally, and somewhat less painfully, he also had other activities.

On Aug. 29, he'll be in the CD racks with On the Sunny Side of the Street, the latest in a series of albums for children, this one consisting of novelty songs and standards from the Tin Pan Alley era.

``The ones you would know are Inka-Dinka-Doo, Getting to Know You, The Sunny Side of the Street and Pick Yourself Up, Dust Yourself Off, Lithgow said after a press conference for Twenty Good Years. ``The ones you don't know are I Like Bananas Because They Have No Bones and The Laughing Policeman.... And You Gotta Have Pep -- a Betty Boop song.''

He also decided to follow 3rd Rock with life more ``under the radar.'' So he went back to work in the theater in New York City. ``When you act in theater, you act for thousands and thousands of people, even in the most successful Broadway run,'' he said. ``You do one night on a successful sitcom and you're acting for millions and millions of people.''

He loves theater, having done four plays in recent years, most notably Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. As Scoundrels was winding down, he bought an apartment in New York because he had been spending so much time there.

Then Twenty Good Years fell into place.

Premiering on NBC this fall, the show is about two men in their 60s (Lithgow and Arrested Development's Jeffrey Tambor) who realize they have 20 good years left and they should take advantage of them.

Lithgow was first approached about the show a year ago. He waited to be sure the writing was right, that there was a mix of zaniness and heart. ``I always think that the best comedy has a string of anxiety and panic and fear in it,'' he said.

It took the addition of writer Marsh McCall to find the right mix. ``That's when the script became pitch-perfect,'' Lithgow said. ``Until then, we still didn't quite know what we had.''

What they still didn't have was a co-star. ``I was not going to do this show until we had a fantastic actor to play this (other) part,'' Lithgow said. Tambor's name came up early on, but they had to wait until he was free from Arrested Development.

``The day Arrested Development was canceled was the day we asked,'' Lithgow said.

The two actors had never worked together and knew each other only slightly. Still, Lithgow said, ``We have hundreds of great friends in common. We have the same work ethic and the same sense of humor.... The minute he walked into the room, everybody knew this was going to work.''

``I have huge respect for John,'' Tambor added. ``He's somewhat iconic in the theater world, and certainly in movies and television. What else do you do?''

In this case, they play mismatched friends -- Lithgow the flamboyant doctor, Tambor the uptight judge. You could easily see each playing the other's role (and, Lithgow said, ``in a sense, we will trade roles from time to time.''). But they think they have the right parts.

``I told my wife that I thought I was more apt to play John's role,'' Tambor said, ``and she said, `No, you are this role.' ''

``I can't restrain myself,'' Lithgow said. ``That's my problem. They write nice, subtle stuff for me, and before you know it, I'm all over the map.''

But Lithgow also comes back to relatable emotion under the farce. ``The first crisis of this (pilot) episode is my 60th birthday party,'' he said. ``I did have my 60th birthday party this year. I know how it feels to think, wait a minute, I do only have a few good years left.... It spoke very directly to me.''

How it speaks to audiences remains to be seen. The show is a bit of an anomaly -- a stage-bound show in an era when more and more comedies are looking like little movies, a series with two stars in their late middle age (Tambor is 62) when network TV more often worships at the altar of the under-50s.

Lithgow looked back at comedians like Jackie Gleason and Lucille Ball, who appealed to audiences of all ages while in middle age. And he likes doing staged comedy because he gets to perform in front of an audience.

``Even though a studio audience is fairly amped up by the warm-up man, and they are under obligation to laugh hysterically, you won't believe their laughter unless (the show) is funny,'' Lithgow said.

http://www.ohio.com/mld/ohio/enterta...printstory.jsp
fredfa is offline  
post #13975 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
TV Critics Summer Press Tour
Sills Still Sings

By Christopher Lisotta TVWeek.com in the Critical Eye TV Press Tour blog

Opera legend Beverly Sills is not at all happy with the current state of television talk shows. Sills, who is the subject of an upcoming PBS Great Performances profile, bemoaned the state of young women on TV talk.

Speaking to TV critics via satellite Wednesday, she complained that none of the talkers are clean shaven.
But the female guests are a real sore point.

Talk shows book women with absolutely nothing to say, and when they do say something, you regret it, she said to laughter from critics.

Sills knows a few things about talk shows. A long time friend of Johnny Carson, she was a frequent guest and guest host on NBC's Tonight Show.

It was very unusual for an opera singer to have that opportunity, she said, noting that her appearances helped bring her profession down to earth for the American public.

The documentary, which profiles Sills' extensive career, features footage from her performances on stage and on television.

Although it is not a pivotal moment in her life, Sills said she was tickled pink about the retrospective of her career. A self-described nice Jewish girl from Brooklyn who is called Bubbles by friends and family, Sills had done everything from run Lincoln Center to perform with the Muppets.

I'm really at the point where I'm quite content how my life turned out, she said. There were tremendous valleys, but there were tremendous starry moments.

http://blogs.tvweek.com/?cat=5
fredfa is offline  
post #13976 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
TV Notebook
Yes, But They Were Two Really, Really Good Lines
By Ray Richmond The Hollywood Reporter in his blog Past Deadline

A controversy of sorts is building over the fact that Ellen Burstyn received an Emmy nomination for outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries/movie for her role in the HBO telepic "Mrs. Harris." It's not that anyone has anything against Burstyn, a fine actress in anyone's book -- an Oscar winner no less. The problem is that she was only on-screen in "Mrs. Harris" for, well, barely a clip's worth of time. Her screen presence is literally less than 15 seconds. She has some two lines -- obscured by music playing underneath -- and is identified in the credits as "Ex-Lover #3." In the official Emmy nomination list distributed by the TV Academy, Burstyn's role is listed as "Former Tarnower Steady" (Tarnower meaning Dr. Herman Tarnower, played in the film by Ben Kingsley).

The question is how a performance so absurdly short can qualify for Emmy consideration, crowding out other, more worthy (and surely more substantial) roles. In this case, Burstyn would barely qualify for "outstanding acting moment." It would have had to stretch substantially longer even to be deemed a cameo. What it means, of course, is that Burstyn was nominated by a lot of voters who didn't even see the film. This isn't surprising, of course, given the large number of tapes and DVDs required in judging based on a popular vote. And indeed, the new voting system can't be blamed in this case because Burstyn's category didn't fall under that heading. Another question: why was she submitted for consideration in the first place?

Tom O'Neil, a longtime Emmy expert and columnist on the L.A. Times awards Website TheEnvelope.com, believes the Burstyn situation supplies more evidence for why more targeted Blue Ribbon voting panels are the way to go. "It shows why the idea of a more mass popular vote doesn't work," he believes. "You get too many voters who see the name of an actress they like and respect like Burstyn and they just blindly support her without even seeing her project."

It's also not fair to Burstyn, who has been put in the uncomfortable position of having to root against herself lest a victory embarrass the academy further.

http://www.pastdeadline.com/
fredfa is offline  
post #13977 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 09:48 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
TV Critics Summer Press Tour
The Final Curtain
By Christopher Lisotta TVWeek.com in the Critical Eye TV Press Tour blog

After 12 days and just under 70 entries, I'm done with press tour. In reality, I was probably done with press tour about a week ago, but there were still show sessions, lunch buffets and open bars to be had.

First, some business to take care ofthe votes are in from the dumbest question at press tour survey, and the overwhelming winner was C, the question to Ugly Betty's Vanessa Williams that brought up not only a defunct network (UPN) and a cancelled show (South Beach) but also the death of Williams' father. A perfect cringe Trifecta.

By the end of tour, you know everyone in the room so well you have a handle on some major critic idiosyncrasies.

I won't even get into some of the outrageous demands critics gave the networks, like one grouch who demanded to have air conditioning from the hotel hallways and guest rooms redirected to the TCA ballroom since it was stuffy.

It was the Mutual of Omaha observations that help you get through the more tedious sessions. One critic kept asking actors to give a Reader's Digest summary of their character, something the critic apparently couldn't do herself after viewing the pilots or from the reams of summaries provided by the networks.

Another critic had the habit of bouncing up and down in his chair when he got an answer to a question that pleased him. A third used the phrase and/or in every friggin' question she asked. And some guy had the annoying habit of using I'm just curious to end his questions! Oh, that was me

Anyway, the portly nerds are on their way home, wondering how they are going to sweat off their TCA 10 from all those buffets, and content in the knowledge they understand what's going on in television for the fall.

Some TCA veterans may not be back in January. More than once I heard critics talk to one another about the pressures on print media, and how wire copy is becoming more attractive to editors over the work of local columnists on a cost basis alone.

I hope to be back for Winter press tour, but I just found out that the broadcast TCA dates and the annual NATPE convention are running at the same time. Even I can't be in Pasadena and Las Vegas simultaneously.

It's been fun doing this blogging thing. Feel free to give me any feedback on stuff that was useful/entertaining versus the self-indulgent/pointless. And thanks for overlooking my typos

http://blogs.tvweek.com/?cat=5
fredfa is offline  
post #13978 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 10:05 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Sports On TV
NFL pushes NFL Network on cable operators
By Michael McCarthy USA Today July 28, 2006

The NFL is preparing to launch a $100 million attack ad campaign over the next six months in an attempt to force cable TV operators to carry its NFL Network channel, which will begin airing regular-season games in November.

If the cable providers don't sign up, the NFL will urge consumers to switch to satellite TV operators that carry the channel, NFL Network spokesman Seth Palansky says.

The 2½-year-old channel also has basic cable and/or digital distribution deals with at least 75 cable operators, including Comcast, the nation's top cable provider, and reaches 41 million homes. With the NFL Network airing regular-season games beginning Thanksgiving night, the league thinks it has the leverage to force its way into 25 million more homes this season. The TV, radio, print and magazine ads, which will target cable operators by name, could begin as early as next week, Palansky says.

"We think it's asinine that Time Warner (the nation's No. 2 cable provider) carries 12 shopping channels and 50 other channels you don't want but can't find room for one dedicated to the most popular sport in this country," Palansky says. "We're replacing the kid gloves with bare knuckles."

One ad aimed at Time Warner says, "Don't let Time Warner ruin your football season. You'll miss NFL games if you don't call and demand NFL Network now." Another targeting Cablevision, a provider in metro New York, warns, "Don't let Cablevision shut you out." The ad lists the channel's games and a toll-free number for NFL Network.

Time Warner Cable spokesman Mark Harrad says it "is still having discussions with the NFL Network." Cablevision's Marie Stenberg declined to comment.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/footb...-network_x.htm
fredfa is offline  
post #13979 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Sports On TV
NFL, cable operators square off
By Michael McCarthy USA Today

Leave it to the NFL to take on the most stubborn, monopolistic sector of the media world: cable TV operators.

The NFL's plan to try to force cable providers such as Time Warner and Cablevision to carry its NFL Network channel by going over their heads to their customers with a $100 million ad campaign sets up a clash of superpowers.

The TV, print and radio ads will name cable operators who've refused to carry the NFL Network. They'll urge football fans in those markets to either force their cable company to air the 24/7 football channel or get themselves a satellite dish.

Cable companies control the pipes and are used to getting their way. When there are disputes with programmers, they flip the off button until the beef is settled. The NFL also enters this fight without the leverage of media giants Viacom and News Corp., which can offer package deals.

But the league, which has expanded NFL Network into 41 million homes in only 32 months, is used to getting its own way, too, and usually does. This season NFL Network will air a package of eight Thursday/Saturday night games. It hopes football fans in markets such as New York, Tampa, Green Bay, Houston and St. Louis will go ballistic when they realize their cable company isn't playing ball.

"People will go nuts on Thanksgiving when there's a game on and they can't watch it," says Seth Palansky of the NFL Network. Forcing its way into another 25 million homes this season will bring NFL Network two-thirds of the way toward its goal of matching ESPN's distribution of 91 million homes.

Can the NFL pull it off? Don't bet against the country's most powerful and popular league, says cable TV expert Jimmy Schaeffler, a senior analyst with the Carmel Group consultancy. "They don't have leverage with individual operators, but they have leverage where it counts the most. With consumers. Who else gets in so many homes in less than three years? They're a one-of-kind entity."

Sure, NFL Network will tick off people it may have to do business with in the future. But as the old saying goes, if they can't earn respect out of love, they'll earn it out of fear. Nothing scares cable companies more than customers heading for the door. This should be one of the best matchups of the new season.

Fox won't air Saturday's Tigers-Twins showdown

The Detroit Tigers lead the American League's Central division, and the Minnesota Twins are the hottest team in Major League Baseball.

But Fox Sports won't air Saturday's game between the two clubs as part of its weekly Saturday afternoon coverage. Instead, it will air four other games: the Los Angeles Angels at Boston Red Sox, New York Mets at Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs and Washington Nationals at the Los Angeles Dodgers.

What gives?

The Tigers at Twins is an evening game vs. Fox's usual afternoon games. Fox has to notify MLB and individual teams 14 days in advance to request a game change. By the time it inquired about the Tigers vs. Twins, that deadline had passed.

"We did look into it, but it was too late," says Fox spokesman Dan Bell. "With both teams playing well, we will certainly look to add Tigers and Twins games, especially in September during the pennant and wild-card chases."

Fox is limited to showing one team a maximum of nine times per season. Skipping this weekend's game, will enable the network to keep its powder dry. "With two-and-a-half months to go in the season, we want the flexibility to add games key to the pennant race," says Bell.

Baker-Finch knows all the angles

Nearly lost amid the heart-tugging moments by Tiger Woods and Chris DiMarco during ABC's telecast of the 135th British Open was another emotional scene by one of its own analysts: Ian Baker-Finch. The 1991 British Open champion choked up when colleague Tom Rinaldi asked about winning at Royal Birkdale 15 years ago.

Some players-turned-TV-analysts excel because they're able to tell viewers what it takes to be the best in the world. Baker-Finch connects with hackers and duffers because he knows failure.

The affable Australian analyst retired from pro golf after suffering one of those inexplicable mental yips: a shattering loss of confidence that left him almost unable to swing a club under tournament conditions. He hit rock bottom at the 1997 British Open at Royal Troon where he shot 92, then curled up in a fetal position on the floor of the clubhouse. He was tagged with one of the nastiest headlines in golf: "Ian Baker-Flinch."

He believes his journey to sports hell and back makes him a better TV analyst. "I can give both perspectives. A lot of analysts can only give one," says Baker-Finch by phone from the Westin Turnberry Resort in Scotland, where he'll be calling the Senior British Open Championship on ABC this weekend. "When you're playing well, you think you'll never hit another bad shot. When you're not, you wonder if you'll ever hit another good one."

Does he have any advice for Phil Mickelson, Sergio Garcia, Alex Rodriguez or any other pro athlete suffering a slide in confidence? "If I knew, I could have stopped mine. You have to trust yourself and keep doing what you did to get to the top."

CBS goes distance, visits golfers' homes

You can bet the travel lovers at CBS Sports were clamoring to be part of this special. And that the folks processing travel expenses will have a heart attack when the bills come in.

On Saturday, CBS presents a one-hour special, Journey of a Lifetime, taking viewers to the exotic hometowns of international golf stars such as Vijay Singh of Fiji, Michael Campbell of New Zealand and Padraig Harrington of Ireland.

Singh, for example, was born and raised on the small island of Lautoka about 2,000 miles from Sydney.

New Zealand is the home nation of the 2005 U.S. Open winner. Campbell has become a national hero since his victory.

There should be more than a few Irish-American viewers interested in the story of Harrington whose nickname is what else? Paddy.

There'll also be postcards from the home of other PGA Tour stars such as Phil Mickelson from San Diego, Carlos Franco of Paraguay and Jesper Parnevik of Sweden.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/colum...-weekend_x.htm
fredfa is offline  
post #13980 of 25503 Old 07-28-2006, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Club Gold
 
fredfa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: San Antonio TX 78251
Posts: 49,069
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 50
Thursday's network prime-time ratings are now at the top of RATINGS NEWS (the first post in this thread).
fredfa is offline  
Closed Thread HDTV Programming

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off