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HDTV Programming

Keenan's Avatar Keenan
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Behold The Horrifying Future Of NFL In-Game Advertising
dcowboy7's Avatar dcowboy7
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Wow keenan really hates football guess cause hes a baseball guy & hes jealous football is kicking baseballs ass.
Keenan's Avatar Keenan
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Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post
Wow keenan really hates football guess cause hes a baseball guy & hes jealous football is kicking baseballs ass.
That's what you got out of that post? How old are you, 12 or 13 maybe?
bobby94928's Avatar bobby94928
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Originally Posted by Keenan View Post
That's what you got out of that post? How old are you, 12 or 13 maybe?
I was thinking less than 10...
Aleron Ives's Avatar Aleron Ives
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08-08-2014 | Posts: 3,271
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Look at it this way: maybe they'll finally make the advertising during sporting events so distracting and annoying that some people will stop watching, thus ameliorating the exponential rise in fees the sports channels have thus far managed to command from pay-TV services.
rezzy's Avatar rezzy
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Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post
Finally has a pair....bomb these aholes back to nothing.
Politics wasn't the point, rather the technical aspect of the broadcast. Was just wonderin' if anyone else saw and could explain why the FOX feed looked like VHS.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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TV/Business Notes
I Want My MTV Back
Viacom Tries To Void Carriage Deal It Says Cablevision Tricked It Into Signing
By David Lieberman, - Aug. 8, 2013

This is the latest twist in the companies’ courtroom battle over pay TV channel bundling — a practice that infuriates consumers, but is essential to the finances of most Big Media companies. Cablevision says that Viacom violated anti-trust laws in a late 2012 carriage deal when it required the operator to take 14 channels it didn’t want (including Palladia and Tr3s) in order to offer eight that it did; Viacom says package deals are common in business. A U.S. District Court said in June that the case could proceed. But Viacom asked the court last week — in a filing made public today — to void the carriage agreement saying that Cablevision’s negotiations were “a complete sham.” That would yank channels including MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and BET from the operator’s systems that serve nearly 2.8M video subscribers, mostly concentrated in the tri-state area around New York.

“Cablevision engaged in a bad-faith negotiation from the start, and made commitments and guarantees in its negotiations that it knew were fraudulent,” Viacom says. “We are entitled to full relief for the consequences of this deceptive and unlawful behavior.”

Cablevision counters that the filing is “a transparent attempt by Viacom to delay and distract attention from Cablevision’s valid antitrust claim against Viacom for illegal channel tying. Viacom’s practice of tying of its popular networks to carriage of its lesser-watched networks is anti-consumer and wrong, and we look forward to further pressing our case at the next stage of the proceeding.”

While there’s no formal timetable yet, Cablevision will have a chance to reply before the court decides what it will do. That process could take months.

The complaint says that Cablevision had a “secret plan” to negotiate a good deal and then “obtain all the benefits it had negotiated to obtain and ask the Court to void the rest.” Cablevision filed its suit less than three months after it signed the agreement. But during the talks, “At no time did anyone from Cablevision inform Viacom that Cablevision believed that any of Viacorn’s conduct in the negotiation of the 2012 Agreement was illegal” and that it intended to sue. Cablevision “knew that if it had told Viacom the truth…the negotiations would have come to a screeching halt.” Its executives “would not have negotiated through the night on New Year’s weekend had they known of Cablevision’s secret plan. And Viacom would never have signed the 2012 Agreement.”
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
He Is Risen: 'Black Jesus' Ratings Beat Most Thursday Shows
By Michael O'Connell, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Live Feed' Blog - Aug. 8, 2013

There may be a few "Hallelujah" choruses ringing in the halls of the Adult Swim offices this good Friday. The network's latest live-action original, Black Jesus, topped all original cable offerings on Thursday and most of broadcast.

The inaugural outing for Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder's (co-created by Mike Clattenburg) latest late-night comedy averaged a solid 0.9 rating among adults 18 to 49 at 11 p.m. That live-plus-same-day showing tops all original competition on cable for the day — not to mention broadcast series The Quest (ABC), Rookie Blue (ABC) and Gang Related (Fox), as well as NBC comedies Welcome to Sweden and Working the Engels.

Among total viewers, Black Jesus' premiere brought in an equally strong haul: just north of 2 million viewers.

Thursday wasn't exactly a quiet night, either. Though CBS' Big Brother walked away from the night with a hands-down victory in the key demo of adults under 50, there were plenty of scripted offerings on cable. Relatively new USA series Rush and Satisfaction, for example, only match Black Jesus' adults 18 to 49 rating when their respective ratings are combined.

Especially good for Adult Swim, the 11 p.m. airing took every adult and adult male demo, and the show topped the entire day of men 18 to 49 across basic cable.

Black Jesus, as the title may lead one to believe, has generated quite a bit of criticism. The tale of black Jesus (Gerald "Slink" Johnson) living in contemporary Compton has Christian groups, including the American Family Association and the oft-offended subgroup One Million Moms (membership count not confirmed), pushing Adult Swim to pull the show.

Not all Christians are offended, though. Philadelphia pastor Leslie D. Callahan penned an op-ed in Time suggesting there are other things worth boycotting.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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TV Notes
TV shows trump movies on Netflix and other services
By Mike Snider, USA Today - Aug. 8, 2013

TV shows have become even more popular than movies among subscribers to Netflix and other online video services, a new survey finds.

When it comes to what viewers watch on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and other so-called over-the-top services, TV series accounted for about three-fourths of titles viewed, according to the survey from GfK, a market research firm with offices in New York, London and Nuremberg, Germany. Movies narrow the gap when it comes to time spent watching, since they are longer than TV episodes.

House of Cards came in as the most popular choice, followed by Breaking Bad during the mid-December 2013 to mid-March 2014 period traced by GfK. The survey involved 2,866 U.S. viewers who kept diaries of what they streamed.

If GfK does the survey again, it might find different favorites. Netflix has said that its women's prison drama Orange is the New Black was its most watched show ever, and its second season hit the service in June, after the time covered by this survey. But during the time period, House of Cards' second season landed in February.

Consumer acceptance of online video has been well-documented, but there has been little independent research on what subscribers watch.

The findings should be encouraging for Netflix and others, as well as networks, studios and other content producers, says Julia Lamaison, GfK's research director for media and entertainment. "These services are no longer niche," she said.

Spending on Internet-delivered video is projected to continue its rise and to eventually surpass box office revenues. Total Net video revenue is estimated at $10.7 billion in North America this year by Strategy Analytics, rising to $18 billion in 2019. Last year, Hollywood took in $10.9 billion in theaters, according to

Next year, Net video and box office spending in the U.S. are expected to surpass that of DVDs and Blu-ray Discs for the first time, estimates Futuresource Consulting, a U.K.-headquartered firm with an office in Boston. Physical disc spending will account for about $10 billion this year, Futuresource expects, but it will continue to decline.

Separate GfK research found about one-third of all U.S. homes subscribe to a streaming service, with Netflix the most popular (26% of homes), followed by Amazon Prime Instant Video (10%) and Hulu Plus (5%) and Vudu (1%).

Plenty of room remains for growth of streaming services' catalogs. Fewer than one-third (31%) of Netflix members have watched House of Cards, and less than half (44%) have watched Orange is the New Black, suggests another finding, this one from Philadelphia-based Centris Marketing Science.

Subscribers will likely continue to discover shows as they make their way through a service's offerings, GfK's Lamaison says. Among U.K. viewers, Prison Break ranked No. 3, while 24, Heroes and Desperate Housewives also made the U.K. top 10. "These services have the power to ignite discovery amongst both traditional followers and new audiences," she said.

Top 10 streamed programs (% of all streams)

House of Cards – 4.6%

Breaking Bad – 4.3%

Dexter – 3.8%

The Walking Dead – 3.5%

Orange is the New Black – 1.9%

Family Guy – 1.6%

American Horror Story – 1.3%

Parks and Recreation – 1.3%

Sons of Anarchy – 1.2%

How I Met Your Mother – 1.1%

Source: GfK, 2,866 U.S. viewers keep diaries of what they streamed on all services from mid-December 2013 to mid-March 2014.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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TV Review
Outlander Is Many Kinds of Show, All in One Kilt
Time travel, history and Scottie hotties come together in an intriguingly unusual supernatural-romance mashup.
By James Poniewozik, - Aug. 7, 2013

The first hour of Outlander (Starz, Saturdays, 9 p.m. ET) may have viewers who haven’t read the source material wondering exactly what kind of story it is–which can be a danger sign, or, as in this case, a good one.

Is it a supernatural story, because Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) finds herself spirited from 1945 to 1743 Scotland after coming across a druidic henge while on her second honeymoon? Is it historical fiction, because she finds herself taken captive by a Scottish clan at war with brutal English occupiers? Is it a romance, because Claire finds herself captivated by Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan), a soulful, roguish Scottie hottie who may do more to bring back the kilt than any TV love interest since Sex and the City‘s Trey MacDougal?

It turns out it’s all of these things, which makes Outlander—whose premiere is already online if you can’t wait for Saturday—an unusual combo even in an era of pop-culture genre mashups. But Claire herself suggests yet another description: it’s a story, in a way, about traveling to another planet. “It was like landing on an alien world you’d only glimpsed through a telescope,” she says, finding herself a 20th-century woman navigating a past she knows only from history books.

Certain things don’t change, however. Claire is whisked not just from one Scotland to an earlier one, but from the aftermath of one war to the midst of another. During WWII, we learn in flashback, Claire worked as a front-lines British army nurse while her husband Frank (Tobias Menzies, currently in The Honorable Woman), a soft-spoken academic, was in British Intelligence. The two “outlanders”–as the Scottish term the English–are vacationing up north to prepare to begin a family, and to try to find their way back to normal after years of horror.

The henge, however, has other ideas, and Outlander phase-shifts late in its first hour from a PBS-like production into a different kind of costume drama. After a dangerous run-in with a vicious Redcoat officer–who happens to look exactly like Frank (and is also played by Menzies)–she’s saved, but also made the prisoner (or “guest”) of the Scottish Clan MacKenzie. Her hosts/captors suspect she may be a spy, this curious Englishwoman with puzzling clothing (“What kind of corset is that?” a Scotswoman asks when seeing Claire’s 1940s bra) and an un-18th-century assertiveness–not to mention her knowledge of futuristic medical concepts like bacterial infection.

Claire is an outlander in more than one sense: an Englishwoman in a suspicious Scots clan, and a spirited woman in a patriarchal society. The show is based on a book series (which I haven’t read) by Diana Gabaldon and produced by Ronald D. Moore, who carries a sci-fi pedigree from Battlestar Galactica, but it doesn’t fuss much with the why-and-how of Claire’s time travel. Instead it settles into Claire’s involuntary exploration of the past–and Balfe makes a wry, infectiously engaging guide.

The result is the most promising show in years for Starz, which since Party Down’s glory days has focused on blood-heavy spectacles like Spartacus and Black Sails or morose antihero dramas like Boss and Magic City. But it’s also something different in the larger universe of pay-cable drama: an epic drama told from the standpoint of an optimistic, resourceful woman rather than brooding, demon-chasing men.

That changes a lot, starting with the sex. Like Game of Thrones, Outlander is conscious of rape as a weapon of war, but it’s neither graphic nor gratuitous in portraying it. (In general, there seems to be more of a safety net as to how far Outlander will go in depicting the worst in human behavior–sexual or otherwise–not that there aren’t some brutal scenes.)

But there’s also the consensual sex–beginning with the fact that it exists, and not just for the enjoyment of male characters (and viewers). A tryst between Claire and Frank in the first episode, in which he kneels eagerly to pleasure her first, feels like a declaration of sexual principles. And then we have Claire’s 18th-century hall pass Jamie, of the strapping arms and roughly scarred torso–sexposition, meet pecs-position!–who establishes his guy-who-gets-it bona fides when Claire finds him wrangling a feisty horse. “She’s just a girl with spirit is all,” he says. “That’s always a good thing.” (Philosophical question: can you cheat on a husband who hasn’t been born yet?)

All this has raised the issue of whether men–or for that matter, women who are not already fans of the romance genre–will watch. Last week, Vanity Fair’s Joanna Robinson raised the hackles of some book fans by writing that Outlander’s credits, previewed in advance online, might scare off that audience with Bear McCreary’s plaintive highland-air theme song and the gauzy visuals of Stevie-Nicks-twirling druidesses.

I doubt Starz cares very much; the economics of cable mean a premium channel can do much better by targeting specific, underserved fans than trying to make something for everyone. The real problem with those credits is that they suggest a series way more misty and demure than Outlander actually is. This is a very writerly TV show–unfortunately, there’s so much voiceover narration that it’s sometimes like its own audiobook–but Claire is no starry-eyed poetic sap. She’s direct, clear-eyed, and unafraid to tell off her gruff Scotsman captors with an exasperated “Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ!,” my new expletive phrase of choice.

Good thing Claire is such good company, because after the enchanting first episode, the series wanders. Claire’s early focus is returning to “the stones” in hopes of returning home, but there’s no particular urgency. The series spends a lot of time luxuriating in the scenery and atmosphere, as if it’s meant to be binge-watched over a pot of tea on a rainy weekend at a bed and breakfast.

But once you accept, with Claire, that we may be sticking around for a while, Outlander becomes an intriguing kind of social drama, a study of a people under siege whose bristliness comes with a deep sense of honor. And the sixth episode, in which Claire again encounters Frank’s Redcoat doppelgänger, snaps the show into gear as it drives home the brutality of the occupation and the motivations of the rebelling clansfolk: it’s easily the series’ best episode yet.

It was also the last episode Starz offered for review. I haven’t read the source books, so I can offer no spoilers, though there are hints that Outlander is not nearly finished with its time-jumping convolutions. To a non-reader, it’s not necessarily clear, half a dozen episodes in, what kind(s) of story Outlander will turn out to be. But there’s enough to enjoy that you may not mind Claire taking her time and figuring it out.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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TV Notes
On The Air Tonight
SATURDAY Network Primetime/Late Night Options
(All shows are in HD unless noted; start times are ET. Late night shows are preceded by late local news)

8PM - Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
(R - Apr. 1)
9PM - 20/20
10PM - 20/20

8PM - Unforgettable
(R - Jul. 6)
9PM - Person of Interest
(R - Oct. 8)
10PM - 48 Hours

8PM - Dateline NBC (120 min.)
(R - Aug. 26, 2011)
10PM - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
(R - Mar. 5)
* * * *
11:29PM - Saturday Night Live (Edward Norton hosts; Janelle Monáe performs, 93 min.)
(R - Oct. 26)

8PM - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
(R - Oct. 15)
8:30PM - Brooklyn Nine-Nine
(R - Oct. 22)
9PM - Gang Related
(R - Aug. 7)
* * * *
11PM - Animation Domination High-Def (60 min.)

(check your local listing for starting time/programming)
8PM - Austin City Limits (Emeli Sandé; Michael Kiwanuka) (R - Nov. 9)

8PM - Sábado Gigante (Three Hours)

7PM - Movie: El Cartel de Los Sapos (2011)
9PM - Fútbol Mexicano Primera División: CF Pachuca vs. CD Guadalajara (LIVE)

dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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Nielsen Notes (Cable)
People Still Aren’t Watching Halt and Catch Fire
By Josef Adalian,'s 'Inside TV' Blog - Aug. 8, 2013

AMC has yet to say whether it will order a second season of its Silicon Prairie origin story Halt and Catch Fire, but based on the ratings, the network would be fully justified it hitting “control-alt-delete” on the series. Sunday’s finale brought in under 1 million viewers, even including three days’ worth of DVR playback. Among viewers under 50, the finale averaged a paltry 0.3 rating in the DVR-adjusted figures. That’s way down versus the show’s early episodes, when Halt was pulling in as many as 1.6 million viewers (including DVR replays).

Overall, the freshman season of Halt averaged only 1.2 million viewers per episode, below the 1.8 million last summer’s one-and-done AMC drama Low Winter Sun averaged as well as the 2-million-strong audience for AMC’s Turn, which did earn a renewal.

While the numbers seem to suggest Halt will not be rebooted next summer — and that’s the most likely scenario — cancellation isn’t a certainty. AMC execs are encouraged by the show’s strong concentration of upscale viewers (maybe multibillionaire Bill Gates is a secret fan?), and the network has a history of giving shows second chances (The Killing). It seems likely AMC will make a call on a renewal one way or the other within a month or so.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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TV Sports/Business Notes
DirecTV and AT&T look to take over Houston sports channel
By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Aug. 8, 2013

AT&T's $49-billion deal to buy satellite broadcaster DirecTV has a long way to go before closing, but the two companies are already partnering on a Houston sports channel.

DirecTV and AT&T have submitted a plan to a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge in Houston to take control of Comcast SportsNet Houston, a troubled sports channel that has rights to both the Astros baseball team and the Rockets basketball team.

Launched in 2012 as a partnership among Comcast, the Rockets and the Astros, CSN Houston struggled to get distribution. Comcast carried it but none of the other major distributors in the area, including DirecTV and AT&T's U-Verse, struck deals for the network, citing its price.

With little distributioin, CSN Houston struggled financially and eventually filed for bankruptcy.

If the plan is approved, the channel will be renamed Root Sports Houston and be 60% owned by DirecTV and 40% owned by AT&T. Combined, the two companies have close to 800,000 subscribers in the Houston market, according to the Houston Chronicle. DirecTV also has regional sports networks in Denver, Pittsburgh and Seattle.

DirecTV will distribute the channel to all its subscribers in the market, a spokesman for the company said.

Time Warner Cable, which has been unable to cut a deal with DirecTV to carry SportsNet LA, the new TV home of the Dodgers, finds this somewhat ironic. DirecTV has indicated it is willing to offer SportsNet LA to subscribers who want it, but not to every home in the market, saying the price is too high.

"DirecTV has been very vocal about a new paradigm for sports programming, and we're looking forward to seeing how an a-la-carte model will work for them," said a sarcastic Andrew Fegyveresi, senior director of sports and news for Time Warner Cable.

A DirecTV spokesman said the company "would hope to offer any regional sports network throughout the entire community, but when when the price of that access grows too steep for the average family, then you have to look at new ways to continue making those teams available to their most loyal fans."

Time Warner Cable and DirecTV's standoff over SportsNet LA shows no sign of ending anytime soon. Time Warner Cable, which distributes the Dodgers-owned SportsNet LA, has indicated it does not expect to reach an agreement with DirecTV this season for carriage of the channel.

Lawmakers including Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) have advocated that the two companies enter some sort of arbitration or mediation to end the stalemate, but DirecTV has shown no interest in going down that road. Time Warner Cable has indicated it is willing to enter binding arbitration to determine a price for SportsNet LA.

"We've agreed to let an independent third party set the price for Dodgers TV and believe Congressman Sherman's proposed terms are constructive," Fegyveresi said. "We're disappointed that DirecTV has refused his proposal as arbitration is the fastest and surest route to providing Los Angeles fans with Dodger games immediately."

A ruling on DirecTV and AT&T's plan for CSN Houston is expected within two months.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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TV/Business Notes
Bloomberg Lays Off 25 and Cancels a TV Show
By Ravi Somaiya, The New York Times - Aug. 8, 2013

Bloomberg Media canceled its Washington-based talk show “Political Capital With Al Hunt” and laid off about 25 employees, mostly in its television operations, as part of a broader effort to restructure the company and its news offerings, according to two staff members with knowledge of the moves.

The layoffs on Thursday focused on the company’s staff in Washington as a new politics TV show and website, run by the journalists John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, take shape in New York. Some political and finance reporters were dismissed and the company will move some European television production jobs to London. It will also close its small television bureau in Los Angeles and focus its resources on San Francisco.

“Our TV operation — in the U.S. and around the world — is growing in size,” said Amanda Cowie, a spokeswoman for the company, who spoke in general terms about the restructuring moves without discussing specific layoffs. “We are changing how, and where, the TV operation is run.”

The changes, Ms. Cowie said, are “part of the overall new structure being put into place.”

Bloomberg has been hiring freely in recent months, as Justin B. Smith, the new chief executive of its media group, seeks to revamp the company by starting a series of topic-specific websites and TV shows. Along with Mr. Heilemann and Mr. Halperin, he has hired Joshua Topolsky, a founder of The Verge, to oversee online ventures, and the executive editor of New York magazine, John Homans, for the politics site.

Among those laid off were Ellen Uchimiya, the Washington bureau chief for Bloomberg Television, who joined the company in 2010. Some reporters were called in early to be given the news of the layoffs, a former staff member said.

Those who have been laid off will be allowed to reapply for new jobs within the new structure, said one of the people with knowledge of the matter. Mr. Hunt, a former executive Washington editor for The Wall Street Journal, will remain with the company, where he spends much of his time writing for Bloomberg View.
dcowboy7's Avatar dcowboy7
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Originally Posted by rezzy View Post
Was just wonderin' if anyone else saw and could explain why the FOX feed looked like VHS.
I hate 720p....even the espn studio shows just dont look as "sharp" as the 1080i shows.
aaronwt's Avatar aaronwt
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08-09-2014 | Posts: 22,348
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Originally Posted by rezzy View Post
Was just wonderin' if anyone else saw and could explain why the FOX feed looked like VHS.
Originally Posted by dcowboy7 View Post
I hate 720p....even the espn studio shows just dont look as "sharp" as the 1080i shows.
But it still looks nothing at all like VHS. VHS is a very low resolution. EVen the SD sub channels don't look as bad as VHS.
rezzy's Avatar rezzy
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A screen capture would've been in order, but the news-flash was sudden (as most are). It really did look that bad. Anyway, FOX's 720p has looked much better than ABC's in recent years.
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Agreed, ABC's sports broadcasts are horrible here. Worst by far, especially when watching college football which often looks little better than widescreen SD.

Kind of a head-scratcher when ESPN looks nowhere near as bad, and it's not because of subchannels (WSB in the ATL only has one, MeTV in SD).
Nayan's Avatar Nayan
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08-09-2014 | Posts: 2,562
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Our ABC affiliate showed the Bucs/Jags game last night and it looked downright awful. I switched from cable to OTA and it didn't matter, both were really grainy and not fun to watch. At least I had RedZone but even that was in SD as my provider chose to block the HD version. Sometimes I just can't win .
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The Panthers game on our local FOX affiliate WCCB, 720p, featured a studdery, juddery image, almost like it was missing a few frames every second. Never seen anything like it before. Weird.
dad1153's Avatar dad1153
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TV-on-DVD Notes
'Marx Brothers on Television' shows wide range
By Susan King, Los Angeles Times - Aug. 9, 2013

When the Marx Brothers made their final film comedy, "Love Happy" in 1949, they found a new outlet for their outrageously funny shenanigans on the new medium of television.

Groucho scored a huge success bringing his popular radio game show "You Bet Your Life" to NBC in 1950, where it continued until 1961. And Harpo's 1955 appearance on "I Love Lucy" re-creating his famous "Duck Soup" mirror routine with Lucille Ball has been seen in repeats for decades.

But "You Bet Your Life" and "I Love Lucy" was just the tip of the Marxist iceberg.

Shout! Factory's new three-disc DVD set, "The Marx Brothers on Television," shows the wide range of shows the siblings appeared on in the 1950s, '60s and, in the case of Groucho, into the 1970s.

"We have game shows, sports shows, variety shows, talk shows and sitcoms," said DVD producer Robert S. Bader, who also produced the DVD sets of "You Bet Your Life."

There's a great 1955 episode of "The Jack Benny Show" in which Benny tries to win money on "You Bet Your Life"; Harpo's sweetly comedic final performance in the long-forgotten 1962 ABC sitcom "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"; the only surviving episode of Chico's 1950-51 ABC comedy series "The College Bowl"; Marx Brothers home movies, which feature the earliest known footage of Groucho and Harpo briefly in the nude; a "You Bet Your Life" stag reel that's quite "blue"; and the only surviving episode of "Groucho," a short-lived 1965 British version of "You Bet Your Life."

Perhaps the most fascinating piece in the set is actually a drama — "A Silent Panic," a 1960 episode of "The DuPont Show with June Allyson." Harpo hung up his trademark curly red wig, hat and harp to play a deaf-mute working in a department store window who sees a murder committed.

"That performance is really special," said Harpo's oldest son, Bill Marx, who is executive producer of the DVD set and worked for his father, who in died in 1964, from age 12 in various capacities. "That was his first and only serious acting role."

Groucho also went dramatic once as a father who opposes his teenager daughter's marriage to her boyfriend (Dennis Hopper) in the 1962 "The General Electric Theater: The Hold Out."

But his performance sort of falls flat. "Groucho is trying very hard not to be Groucho," Bader said.

Bader has been working for the last decade gleaning rare material. "In many cases, the only existing copies of this material was in the collection of the Marx Brothers themselves."

Harpo's daughter Minnie had the only known copy of a 1952 episode of the musical variety show "The Colgate Comedy Hour," in which Harpo and Chico re-create a classic scene involving Harpo's jacket sleeve and some not-so-hidden knives, which they previously performed in vaudeville and the 1930 film "Animal Crackers."

"That is an absolute rare find," Baker said. "It was thought to be lost."
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Technology/Business Notes
Back To The Mother Board: Federal Judge Throws Out $324M Google, Apple Settlement
By Jeremy Gerard, - Aug. 9, 2013

A federal judge Friday rejected a $324 million class-action settlement in the anti-trust case that pitted engineers against many of the biggest names in Silicon Valley: Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe and others. Calling the settlement “insufficient,” Judge Lucy H. Koh of the U.S. District Court in San Jose did nothing to disguise her sense of outrage over both the “ample evidence” of “an overarching conspiracy” to prevent talent from jumping across company boundaries, and also for the plaintiff’s lawyers she all but accused of taking their 25% cut of the lowball settlement in exchange for a quick but unfair resolution of the anti-trust case. The settlement, which after the lawyers’ fees would have sent about $4,000 to each of the signatories to the anti-poaching suit, failed to come ”within the range of reasonableness,” Koh wrote.

images-2001-12-13-steve-jobsKoh’s ruling took direct aim at the late Apple chief Steve Jobs for spearheading the anti-poaching scheme through direct threats and intimidation that left other CEOS quivering in response. “If you hire a single one of these people, that means war,” Jobs emailed his Google counterparts after an attempt to hire Apple engineers. The New York Times reported that Koh “noted that ’a jury would have found these documents very significant and pretty compelling.’”

The case is now expected to go to trial.
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TV Notes
Geena Davis Joins ‘Grey's Anatomy’ for Guest Role
By Tim Kenneally, - Aug. 8, 2013

Geena Davis is checking in at Grey Sloan Memorial.

“Thelma & Louise” actress Davis has booked a guest-starring arc on the ABC medical drama “Grey's Anatomy” for the series’ upcoming 11th season.

Davis will play a surgeon at Grey Sloan Memorial on the Shonda Rhimes series, which wrapped its 10th season in May.

Davis joins a cast that lost a key member in the form of Sandra Oh, who left the series during its most recent season. In addition to adding Davis, the series is bringing back Kate Burton, who will reprise her role as Dr. Ellis Grey.

Davis’ television credits include ABC's “Commander in Chief,” in which Davis starred from 2005 to 2006.
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FRIDAY's fast affiliate overnight prime-time ratings -and what they mean- have been posted on Analyst Marc Berman's Media Insight's Blog.
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TV Notes
‘The Knick’ Premiere for Free Online
By Maane Khatchatourian, - Aug. 9, 2013

If you missed the premiere of “The Knick” on Friday, here’s your chance to take a free bloody trip back to the 1900s.

Cinemax has put the pilot up on YouTube. Directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen as a doctor at New York’s Knickerbocker Hospital during the early 20th century, the grisly medical drama is not for the faint of heart. There’s also a full frontal nude scene a mere 20 seconds into the first episode.

“Yes, the barbaric nature of medicine — evolving though it was — remains grisly stuff, but once that point’s made (and made again), it’s tough to see what breakthroughs ‘The Knick’ has left to offer,” Variety’s Brian Lowry wrote in his review.

This practice has become the norm with cable show premieres. Most recently, Starz’s “Outlander,” HBO’s “The Leftovers” and Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful” pilots were all posted online for free by the respective network.

“The Knick” airs Fridays on Cinemax.
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TV Review
Making the Best of Trash, While Finding Meaning
‘Human Resources’ on Pivot, Gives Hope to the Working Young
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Aug. 8, 2013

Participant Media’s Pivot aims its programming at millennials and uses the motto “It’s your turn.” But plenty of millennials have found that it is not their turn. They’re stuck in drab low-level jobs despite excellent educations and high aspirations.

On Friday, Pivot gives these people a small ray of hope with “Human Resources,” a spunky workplace reality series. It follows the goings-on at a recycling company called TerraCycle in Trenton, and for the disgruntled millennial bartender or office assistant, it is evidence that it’s still possible to find meaningful work in a relaxed but challenging environment.

At least that is the impression this cheekily edited show creates of life at TerraCycle, a company founded in 2001 by a 20-year-old named Tom Szaky that emphasizes environmental awareness and reuse of hard-to-recycle materials. The employees all seem committed to the cause.

“Garbage is my passion,” Tiffany Threadgould, a designer, says in the premiere. “My ring is an old spoon. My earrings are bike parts.”

The first episode involves pitching a coffee-table book on recycling to a publisher. The second is about the no-separation “zero-waste boxes” the company tries to sell to small businesses. Yes, it’s all a bit promotional for TerraCycle, but Pivot’s audience of choice has long been accustomed to having commerce mixed with entertainment, with its movies full of product placements and its pop songs used to hawk merchandise.

The workplace reality genre has been stagnant for a while, with a lot of shows in which the employees try too hard to be witty or quirky and therefore aren’t. “Human Resources” shows what happens when you put people on screen who have grown up with video cameras. Everyone’s comfortable, no one seems to be performing for the camera. Whether TerraCycle’s activities will save the planet is open to debate, but maybe this show will help turn around a moribund segment of the TV spectrum.

Human Resources
Pivot, Friday nights at 10, Eastern and Pacific times; 9, Central time.
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TV Sports/Business Notes
NCAA Athletes Win Antitrust Lawsuit That Could Pave Way for Pay
By Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter's 'Hollywood Esq.' Blog - Aug. 8, 2013

In a ruling that figures to change the face of the multi-billion dollar business that is college athletics, a federal judge has ruled in favor of NCAA athletes including former UCLA basketball star Ed O'Bannon in allegations that the NCAA unlawfully restrains them from licensing their names and images in TV game telecasts and videogames. As a result of injunctions now issued, college athletes could be on the path towards being compensated for use of their likenesses.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken presided over trial in June.

"After considering all of the testimony, documentary evidence, and arguments of counsel presented during and after trial, the Court finds that the challenged NCAA rules unreasonably restrain trade in the market for certain educational and athletic opportunities offered by NCAA Division I schools," she writes in an opinion. "The procompetitive justifications that the NCAA offers do not justify this restraint and could be achieved through less restrictive means."

The ruling upsets "amateurism" policies put in place more than a century ago and could indirectly impact TV broadcasters such as CBS, Fox and NBC Universal paying for college football and basketball rights. It also comes just a day after the NCAA voted to give its largest conferences more power and autonomy to make its own rules.

In the case, the plaintiffs pointed to waivers they were forced to sign as a condition for athletic participation. They said the NCAA then sold group licenses to use their names, images and likenesses to video game publishers and broadcasters. Judge Wilken points to the deals with television companies and notes that those contracts evidence the healthy demand.

"Accordingly, the Court finds that, absent the challenged NCAA rules, teams of FBS football and Division I basketball players would be able to create and sell group licenses for the use of their names, images, and likenesses in live game telecasts," she writes.

The same is true for video games and archival footage.

The NCAA had justification for its amateurism rules including the promotion of competitive balance. The judge looks at a variety of evidence offered by the defendant including a survey concerning whether people would be more or less likely to watch college football and basketball games if student-athletes were paid. (Thirty-eight percent in one survey said they'd be less likely if athletes made more than $20,000 per year.)

But Judge Wilken shrugs off much of the NCAA's testimony supporting restrictions as irrelevant, not credible, contrary to other evidence or unpersuasive. She finds that it doesn't promote competitive balance nor foster academics.

As for alternatives to restraint, the judge examines three scenarios: (1) licensing-derived stipends for the cost of attendance, (2) setting up a trust fund so that athletes can get a share of licensing income after they graduate, or (3) allowing athletes to make paid endorsements. She likes the first two as limiting the anticompetitive effects of the NCAA's restraints, but not the last.

"The popularity of college sports would not suffer if current and future student-athletes were given the opportunity to receive compensation from their schools after they leave college," she writes.

On the other hand, she later adds, "Allowing student-athletes to endorse commercial products would undermine the efforts of both the NCAA and its member schools to protect against the 'commercial exploitation' of student-athletes."

The ruling isn't a complete win for the athletes. The plaintiffs failed in some of their arguments. For example, the judge notes that while the athletes were successful in showing they've been deprived of compensation, they came up short on showing how the rules hinder competition among the buyers, i.e. the television networks, of group licenses.

"The fact that the networks do not compete to purchase these rights directly from the student-athletes is due to the assurances by the schools, conferences, and NCAA that they have the authority to grant these rights," says the judge. "Such assurances might constitute conversion by the schools of the student-athletes’ rights, or otherwise be unlawful, but they are not anticompetitive because they do not inhibit any form of competition that would otherwise exist. Allowing student-athletes to seek compensation for group licenses would not increase the number of television networks in the market or otherwise enhance competition among them."
Nevertheless, she concludes that the NCAA's rules violate section 1 of the Sherman Act and says she "will enter an injunction to remove any unreasonable elements of the restraint found in this case."

Most importantly, she enjoins the NCAA from enforcing any rule that would prohibit any school or conference from offering recruits a limited share of the revenues generated from the use of their names, images, and likenesses. She also opens the door to money being placed in a trust. In essence, the ruling ushers in compensation, although the NCAA will still be able to impose some restrictions on the pay. She also won't stay the injunction pending an appeal.

Here's the full ruling.
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TV Notes
Bianculli's Best Bets
By David Bianculli, - Aug. 9, 2014

MGM HD, 8:00 p.m. ET

This 1970 movie is a comedy romp very much of its time – a prototypical “blaxploitation” movie that isn’t really exploitive at all – just taking conventions of both buddy cop movies and comedy romps, handing them to an almost entirely African-American cast, and setting the whole thing in Harlem at the very end of the Sixties. The on-location photography alone, capturing a world and a time not often documented by mainstream cinema, makes this film, directed and co-written by Ossie Davis, worth seeing. But mostly, watch it for the performances. Godfrey Cambridge and Raymond St. Jacques, as the sarcastic cops on the case, are sharply funny, as is Calvin Lockhart as the scheming con-man “Reverend” who’s pushing a “back-to-Africa” travel scam to the trusting, poor Harlem residents. And Judy Pace, in a small but indelible role, subdues a white cop assigned to guard her in a way that I still remember, quite fondly, almost 45 years later. And there’s more: Redd Foxx plays a junk dealer, in a role that predates and prefigures his Sanford & Son role by two years, and Galt MacDermot provides the jaunty music, only three years after doing the same for the seminal Sixties rock musical, Hair.

IFC, 8:00 p.m. ET

Tonight, on Starz, is the premiere of Outlander, a period costume drama purporting to provide romance and battle scenes in a Scottish setting. But if you want the real deal, and a better viewing experience, watch this 1995 movie, starring Mel Gibson as 13th-century Scottish warrior William Wallace, who painted himself like an inebriated football fan to oppose the British forces who were oppressing Scotland the way they would later oppress the American colonies.

Starz!, 9:00 p.m. ET
This isn’t a recommendation, just an observation: This new Starz series, based on the series of books by Diana Gabaldon, has gotten more advance press than any TV show since the Breaking Bad finale. Don’t expect it to measure up to that (what can?), but here it is, starring Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, the WWII nurse who is propelled back in time to 18th-century Scotland. Even at TVWW, we’ve given Outlander its share of virtual ink: Read Donna Plesh’s interview with Gabaldon in Talking Television, and catch Ed Bark’s review of the new TV series in Uncle Barky’s Bytes.

Sundance, 9:00 p.m. ET

This 1991 movie caught the national zeitgeist back in 1991, with women moviegoers, especially, reveling at the take-no-prisoners, take-no-nonsense attitude of feisty female fugitives played by Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis. Oh, and one other thing about this movie that caught the zeitgeist: Brad Pitt, in a brief but star-making turn as a sort of road-trip boy toy.

HBO, 10:00 p.m. ET
This new Cinemax series already premiered, last night, on Cinemax – but it’s noteworthy that, shortly before the show’s official premiere, big-brother cable network HBO decided The Knick was good enough to showcase to its viewers as well. So if you didn’t watch episode one of The Knick last night on Cinemax, you can catch it again tonight at 10 ET on HBO. Or, if you’re impatient, you can also watch it tonight at 9 ET, on Cinemax. Clive Owen stars. For a full review, hear or read my report on NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross website.
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Critic's Notes
There’s Always Someone You’re Smarter Than
‘Fat Guys in the Woods’ and ‘Idiotest’ Exploit Stupidity
By Neil Genzlinger, The New York Times - Aug. 9, 2013

It’s basic economics: If you have a natural resource, try to exploit it. One resource we have in abundance is stupidity, and television’s long history of exploiting it continues with two new shows in the next few days, one whose title is its most attention-getting feature, the other equally drab but in different ways.

The moniker-of-the-month award — and, yes, it’s a stereotype that the overweight are innately incapable of negotiating nature — goes to “Fat Guys in the Woods,” which begins on Sunday on the Weather Channel. The gimmick: In each episode a survival expert named Creek Stewart takes three volunteers, who aren’t very outdoorsy, into a moderately unaccommodating forest with minimal supplies, spends a few days teaching them rudimentary skills, then leaves them on their own.

Unfortunately, in the premiere, which takes place in the Great Smoky Mountains, no one is attacked by a bear or forced into cannibalism to survive. It’s basically Mr. Stewart showing the three victims how to start a fire, build a shelter and set a snare. The snares are necessary because the provisions include no food, though the resulting scenes are somewhat undercut by the opening disclaimer: “The primitive hunting scenes depicted in this program are for demonstration purposes only and were created in consultation with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Some aspects of the scenes have been simulated, and do not necessarily reflect legal hunting methods in Tennessee.”

Hmm. In any case, the three guys are not left on their own for long and never seem in any real jeopardy. The most alarming aspect of the show is that it might inspire unprepared dolts to go into the woods and start fires. You hope that the Tennessee Division of Forestry is staffing up.

On Tuesday night, GSN tries the make-people-look-stupid thing with a new game show, “Idiotest.” Two pairs of contestants go up against each other in a competition that involves questions whose answers might not be immediately obvious but are intended to elicit a “Doh!” from those who get them wrong. For instance, under the question “What would this briefcase fit inside?” there are pictures of the briefcase, a toaster, a top hat, a book, a pineapple and — placed in the background in a way that does not naturally draw the eye — an airplane.

Eh. The contestants play the game on a giant touch screen. As if enough of life did not already consist of looking at other human beings as they poke at a screen. The format defines the low ambitions of this show, and the host, an off-putting comic named Ben Gleib, makes the proceedings even more uninteresting.

If you can wait awhile for your dose of TV that celebrates underused brain cells, better fare comes along next Saturday when the H2 series “10 Things You Don’t Know About” begins a new season. Henry Rollins again hosts a tour of little-known facts about various historical subjects. First up: the American flag. Betsy Ross and the Pledge of Allegiance are among the familiar topics whose full story you may not have known.
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TV Sports
Pac-12 Network still on sidelines with DirecTV
By Joe Flint, Los Angeles Times' 'Company Town' Blog - Aug. 7, 2013

DirecTV's new deal to carry ESPN's SEC Network, a college sports channel devoted to the Southeastern Conference, isn't sitting well with Larry Scott, the commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference, whose own channels are still not carried by the satellite broadcaster.

Launched in 2012, Pac-12 Networks is the conference's sports service composed of a national channel and several regional networks. In Los Angeles, for example, there is a Pac-12 channel devoted to USC and UCLA sports.

Pac-12 is carried here by Time Warner Cable, Dish Network and AT&T's U-Verse. DirecTV is the big holdout, and that is unlikely to change this season. Charter Communications also does not carry Pac-12. Overall, the Pac-12 network is available in over 60 million homes.

"We've been disappointed that DirecTV has been willing to negotiate with ESPN for the SEC Network but not Pac-12," Scott said. "It is certainly not consistent with them saying they care about what the consumer wants."

Scott is miffed that the SEC Network will be available to DirecTV's Southern California subscribers while the Pac-12 channels won't be. He thinks the fact that Walt Disney Co. is behind the new network played a part in the satellite service's willingness to get a deal done.

"It appears this is an example of DirecTV being willing only to deal with big conglomerates who have muscle and leverage beyond the interest of consumers," Scott said.

Unlike the SEC Network and the Big Ten Network, which counts Fox Sports as a partner, the Pac-12 Networks operation is independent.

A DirecTV spokesman said the fact that the SEC Network is owned by ESPN and Disney, which has lots of other channels the satellite broadcaster carries, had nothing to do with the new agreement.

"Our goal is to get the right value for our customers," the spokesman said.

Scott is hopeful that if AT&T closes on its deal to acquire DirecTV, it will ultimately be good for the Pac-12 Networks. Besides already being carried on U-Verse, AT&T is also a Pac-12 sponsor.

"We have a great relationship with AT&T," said Scott. "I think we can have positive and constructive conversations if that merger comes to pass."

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