Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Maybe at least one TV network isn't run by idiots

NBC announced yesterday that instead of rolling out all their new shows in a fall preview season they will release them as the are ready.

Good Move.

It gives people fresh stuff to view all year round, which should attract new viewers. I think it should help with ad revenue also, there will be more time to develop loyalty for a set of shows instead of having 3 or so episodes before November sweeps.

The other move I would make if I was NBC is moving one of their soap operas to prime time. A daily soap not a weekly. They could addict a whole new generation just like the tobacco companies in the 80's. (joking, tobacco is probably less dangerous)

NBC plans to announce a 52-week schedule in April, a month before ABC and CBS will unveil their fall lineups at splashy presentations known as upfronts. The decision means that NBC will be committing to a new lineup of shows earlier than any of its competitors, while also inviting advertisers to build marketing plans around specific shows and perhaps to integrate brands and products into the plots of the shows themselves.

“We absolutely think this is going to change the industry,” said Michael Pilot, the head of sales for NBC. That was one of the goals cited by Jeff Zucker, the president and chief executive of NBC Universal, in comments he has made recently about how the strike by Hollywood writers could create opportunities to change some of the ways networks do business.


But the move by NBC Universal, a property of General Electric and Vivendi, represents a particularly bold stroke by a network with the size and clout to move markets. After it announces a list of programs in April, NBC plans to meet with big advertising clients in several cities, followed by a different sort of presentation in May that will encompass all the NBC Universal properties, including cable channels like Bravo, USA and CNBC.


One potential benefit of the change, according to Gene DeWitt, chairman of DeWitt Media in New York, is a solution to advertisers’ annual quandary. The last three months of the year are the most important for many marketers — particularly retailers and automakers — but under the current system many of the broadcast shows they are offered then are new and untested.

If more shows are brought out earlier in the calendar year, he said, “you’d have a track record of their performance.”

“We’d have more reliable rating information,” he added, “so we won’t be going into the fourth quarter blind.”

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