SEC is latest college sports conference to launch TV network | Scripps, Crown Media finished Q1 on positive revenue note | Mediacom's cable units showed small growth in Q1
May 8, 2013
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SEC is latest college sports conference to launch TV network
ESPN, under a 20-year agreement with the Southeastern Conference, will create a collegiate sports network similar to ones developed for the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences. The SEC Network, beginning in August 2014, will offer 45 football games and hundreds of other sporting events each year. The deal's financial terms were not made public. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/2), The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (5/2), USA Today (5/2)
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Local Television
Scripps, Crown Media finished Q1 on positive revenue note
Revenue for lifestyle TV companies Scripps Networks Interactive and Crown Media Holdings was up in Q1, with the former posting 11% growth to $594 million and the latter a 2% increase to $83.8 million, compared with the same period in 2012. However, Scripps, because of higher programming costs, saw its profit fall slightly to $108 million. Meanwhile, Crown, parent of the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movie Channel, saw its profit rise $2.2 million to $14.5 million. The Hollywood Reporter (free content) (5/2), Broadcasting & Cable (5/2)
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Mediacom's cable units showed small growth in Q1
Mediacom Communications' two cable units grew modestly in the first quarter, with Mediacom Broadband revenue rising 1.8% to $225 million and Mediacom LLC revenue going up 1.4% to $171 million. Both divisions of the privately held company reported increases among data and voice customers and narrow losses in subscribers for their video businesses. MediaPost Communications/MediaDailyNews (5/6), (5/6)
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Campaigns and Agencies
RadioShack sets TV campaign to youthful Beats
RadioShack is targeting younger consumers with a TV and social media campaign for the Beats by Dr. Dre Pill portable speakers that features Robin Thicke performing his new single "Blurred Lines." The ad is set for MTV, VH1, Spike, Comedy Central and the NBA Finals, with behind-the-scenes footage posted to the retailer's Facebook page. MediaPost Communications/Marketing Daily (5/1)
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Destination XL launches a $12 million campaign for big men
Plus-size retailer Destination XL is running a commercial showing men with big guts wandering through a "no man's land" of sparse clothing items. One of the spots, by Gotham in New York, met some resistance from broadcasters and cable networks for using a pixelated area over a man's apparently naked crotch, indicating that he can't put together an ensemble in a typical clothing store. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/5)
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Next Gen Advertising
Comcast, Mediaocean team up for automated TV ads
Comcast's cloud-based AdDelivery platform for spot TV ads is now featuring automated TV planning and buying software from independent ad tech firm Mediaocean. The combined product, Mediaocean Optica, promises to "help bridge the divide" between those who slot ads on stations and units responsible for creative and making sure ads conform to agency and network technical standards, according to the partners. Multichannel News (5/5)
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Programming News
USA's push for laughs offers risks, potential rewards
USA Network next season aims "to challenge the audience" with a new slate of original comedies and unscripted series, according to Jeff Wachtel, the network's co-president. "We have a reservoir of good will," he said. "Now that's great, but it's also a trap. Because if anybody imputes a formula to you, you really are in danger of being formulaic." The shift beyond its trademark light dramas will help USA to accommodate hit ABC sitcom "Modern Family," reruns of which begin airing on the network this fall, according to this article. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/5)
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HBO orders pilot for dramedy featuring The Rock
HBO is developing a pilot for a 30-minute dramedy about former athletes who live in Miami that will be co-executive produced by Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, with the latter also starring in the show. Stephen Levinson ("Entourage") is writing the script and will serve as co-executive producer with Dany Garcia and Peter Berg, who will be directing the pilot. The Hollywood Reporter (free content)/The Live Feed blog (5/2)
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Digital Media
Banners trail native ads on most metrics, study finds
Web users are 25% more likely to look at native ads than at banner ads, and showed increased purchase intent after viewing native units, according to a Sharethrough study. Brand recall was only metric on which banners performed better, with 38% of banner ad viewers recalling the brand, compared with 25% of users for native ads. Forbes (5/3), MediaPost Communications/Online Media Daily (5/3)
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Huffington Post, Digitas partner for real-time native ads
Digitas is partnering with The Huffington Post to bring rapid-response native ads to the publisher's front page. The deal will allow Digitas clients to quickly post ads to the HuffPo front page, effectively fusing the site's "Brand as Newsroom" strategy with Digitas' BrandLive newsroom. Brand ads will be posted within two hours of being submitted, officials said, allowing them to tap into trending issues and current events in real time. Advertising Age (free access for SmartBrief readers) (5/2)
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All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience."
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,
German writer, artist and politician
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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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