The NBA's 2017-18 regular season brought in an average of 1.28 million viewers -- an increase of 8% since last year and the highest viewership since 2013-14, according to Nielsen ratings. Viewership across all four networks -- TNT, ABC, ESPN, NBA TV -- rose this season while ad revenues climbed 11% to $698.6 million, per iSpot.tv.
AMC Networks President of Ad Sales Scott Collins plans to focus on the safety of advertising on linear TV during the brand's upfront presentations this week. Highlighting AMC's ad-supported networks' track record of high-end, high-performing series -- such as "The Walking Dead" -- also will be top of mind, with Collins explaining, "We've hung our hat on producing shows that [viewers] really care about."
NBC is upgrading its video player with Comcast Technology Solutions' Player Development Kit 6. "The architectural approach really optimizes for performance and video start time," NBC's Ashish Desai said of the HTML5 web-based video player, which features a 50% performance improvement compared with current video players, plus additional functions, such as segment ad breaks.
ESPN on Thursday launched its over-the-top streaming service, ESPN+. The $4.99-a-month product includes on-demand content such as live events and documentaries as well as news, highlights and clips that can be personalized to subscriber preferences.
Leah Remini's award-winning show, "Scientology and the Aftermath," has been renewed for a third season with A+E Networks, and Remini has been tapped to produce more unscripted content for the network. Remini recently signed a first-look deal to develop and produce additional nonfiction series with the A+E Originals unit.
Bravo has announced that it is renewing 20 of its original TV series, including "Vanderpump Rules" and the "Real Housewives" franchise. The network also said that it will expand its lineup of original programming to seven days per week beginning this fall.
Stella Artois and agency Mother New York have launched its largest global marketing push to date; the push encourages consumers to put down their smartphones and enjoy a beer. The campaign features a TV ad called "Les Pockets" that will air in 19 countries.
Monster Energy is touting its sponsorship of the NASCAR All-Star Race with a TV and digital spot that stars drivers Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kurt Busch and Monster ambassadors Quentin "Rampage" Jackson and Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg. The ad's creative is being expanded with a Twitter campaign that features the stars continuing the conversation.
True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in the worth and choice.
Ben Jonson, playwright and poet
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