National Geographic gets record audience for "Killing Lincoln" | RBI makes first deal to build network of cable systems | Comcast, in $16.7 billion deal, will control all of NBCU
February 20, 2013
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National Geographic gets record audience for "Killing Lincoln"
National Geographic Channel on Sunday scored a record number for the premiere of its first original fact-based drama, "Killing Lincoln." The two-hour showing tallied an average of 3.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen estimates, compared with a previous network high of 3 million for "Inside 9/11" in August 2005. "Killing Lincoln" also performed well among the 25-to-54 demographic, generating 1 million viewers on average, almost three times the network's average for Sunday night. Variety (subscription required) (2/18)
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Local Television
RBI makes first deal to build network of cable systems
New Wave Communications, a rural cable provider with 90,000 customers in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Arkansas, has been acquired by Rural Broadband Investments. Terms were not made public. RBI, a new cabler financed by the private-equity group GTCR, views the deal as "a great first step" toward assembling a network of 300,000 to 400,000 subscribers in small and medium markets, according to RBI chief Phil Spencer. Multichannel News (2/13)
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Comcast, in $16.7 billion deal, will control all of NBCU
Comcast is acquiring General Electric's remaining 49% stake in NBCUniversal for $16.7 billion. In a separate transaction, Comcast will pay about $1.4 billion to purchase the NBC studios and offices at 30 Rockefeller Center and the CNBC facility in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. The move by the cable giant, which bought a controlling interest in NBCU two years ago, "is driven by our sense of optimism for the future prospects" of the unit, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said. The timing of the deal was motivated by the need to have control of content and delivery mechanisms to compete against a changing array of TV rivals, Roberts added. Bloomberg Businessweek (2/12), The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/Media Decoder blog (2/12), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (2/13), USA Today (2/13), Reuters (2/13)
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Exec: Scripps' networks are prime venues for live viewing
Scripps Networks Interactive anticipates a strong upfront, with research showing that 94% of its viewing occurs live during the C3 period and that its audiences watch the ads on its lifestyle-programming networks, said Jon Steinlauf, executive vice president of ad sales and ad sales marketing. "People tend to watch our brands first, the shows second," said Steinlauf, who calls Scripps "ESPN for women. ... If Macy's needs to be there for its next-day sales, they want tonight's audience, not six days from now." Multichannel News (2/18)
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Campaigns and Agencies
First Response launches ad campaign on Spanish-language nets
First Response, reflecting a drop in the birth rates among native-born and immigrant Hispanic women, is running the first Spanish-language ads for its home pregnancy and ovulation tests on Univision, Galavision, Telemundo, MTV Tres and other networks. Actress Cynthia Olavarrķa, a former Miss Puerto Rico, is serving as the product spokeswoman in the spots. "We want to be where they are, in the language that they are watching," said Stacey Feldman, a vice president for marketing at Church and Dwight, owner of First Response. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/Media Decoder blog (2/18)
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Reebok promotes real people with a "Fire" for fitness in campaign
Reebok is using more realistic looking exercisers in its "Live With Fire" campaign, which includes yoga and dance to appeal to women as well as walking to promote CrossFit shoes for everyday athletes. "We're not featuring the aspirational actions of today's superstar millionaires in this campaign; we're celebrating individuals who find purpose by pursuing their passions," says Yan Martin, vice president of brand marketing. The campaign began last week with a spot on ESPN and will continue with print, digital, out-of-home and experiential efforts. MediaPost Communications/Marketing Daily (2/15)
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Ogilvy is tasked with throwing NASCAR stereotypes in reverse
NASCAR is racing after younger, urban and more multicultural fans. John Seifert, chairman and CEO at Ogilvy & Mather, NASCAR's agency since July, described it is "a client who wants to transform itself and not be irrelevant in the future." Changes in the brand's direction include more emphasis on online, including Fantasy NASCAR, and more Spanish-language commercials, featuring drivers such as Juan Pablo Montoya. Commercials emphasize the personality of the drivers as well as the strategies they utilize, in an effort to ditch the sport's "redneck" stereotype. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (2/18)
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Research and Report
Ratings were up 13% for NBA All-Star Game on TNT
Ratings for Sunday's NBA All-Star Game were up 13% to an average of 8 million viewers, compared with last year's contest, according to Turner Sports, which cited Nielsen data. The Western Conference squad defeated East 143-138 at Houston's Toyota Center. Bloomberg Businessweek (2/19)
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Next Gen Advertising
Weather Channel updates Android app, includes Toyota branding
The Weather Channel launched Version 4.0 of its mobile application for Android devices. The Toyota-branded app shows various Toyota vehicles operating under the user's particular weather condition and time of day, and includes a voice rendition of forecasts. "In many respects, the Android version has been updated to parity with the more frequently updated iOS app: past and future weather mapping, climate-triggered backgrounds, better location management, social sharing tools," Steve Smith writes. Multichannel News (2/18), MediaPost Communications/Mobile Marketing Daily (2/18)
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Programming News
Focus on cruise-ship rescue pays off for CNN
CNN's strategy of focusing its coverage Thursday around the rescue of a stranded cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico lifted its ratings over MSNBC and closed the gap with Fox News. CNN in prime time was up 62% to 1.03 million viewers on average from 8 to 11 p.m., compared with MSNBC, with 867,000 viewers on average, and Fox, with 2.14 million on average. CNN for the whole day scored 632,000 viewers on average, a 50% jump over a typical Thursday, compared with 535,000 for MSNBC and 1.38 million for Fox. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/Media Decoder blog (2/15), Adweek (2/15)
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Digital Media
Oscar-themed campaign promotes movies on demand
In Demand is making a major push around Sunday's Academy Awards to promote the availability of this year's nominees, including "Argo," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Flight" and "Skyfall," as well as past Oscar winners. The effort features ads on sites such as TV Guide, Entertainment Weekly, E! and Facebook, as well as special, free on-demand programming about Oscar nominees and a sweepstakes offering prizes such as a mini-tablet and a 50-inch HDTV set. Multichannel News (2/15)
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Study: Information overload hurts social recommendations
Highway planners know that selectively closing roads can improve the flow of traffic, and researchers at the University of Amsterdam say a similar effect plays out on social networks. Consumers are more likely to attend to and act upon social product recommendations when there are fewer products to choose between, the researchers say. MIT Technology Review online/The Physics arXiv Blog (2/19)
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We must travel in the direction of our fear."
-- John Berryman,
American poet and scholar
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About NCC Media
NCC Media is the ad sales, marketing and technology organization that represents cable, satellite and telecom operators in every U.S. market. NCC Media meets marketers' needs to target consumer prospects efficiently and effectively in the communities where they live. Jointly owned by three of the nation’s largest MSOs – Comcast Cable, Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable – NCC Media is constantly evolving to maintain its status as the industry’s most effective multi-platform sales organization. Consistent innovation and growth makes NCC Media your best partner in building the media plan of tomorrow, and today.

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