media brands

Hearst's Esquire Expanding Beyond the Magazine to Become a TV Network

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 11, 2013 05:47 PM

The Esquire Network says it's ready for prime time.

The new network, announced today, aims to “capture the essence of the magazine,” David Carey, president of Esquire publisher Hearst Magazines, told The New York Times. "This is not the magazine on TV; that would not work."

The male audience is an ever-sweet spot for brands, as evidenced by offerings that vary from Spike TV to Discovery's Velocity Channel. The Esquire Network will replace the Comcast-created G4 video gaming channel (which gave Esquire fave Olivia Munn her start as co-host on Attack of the Show) on April 22, and be available in 62 million homes with cable or satellite service.

The rebranded network is a strategic partnership between NBC Universal and Hearst Magazines. NBCUniversal cable executive Bonnie Hammer positioned it as "an upscale Bravo for men." She added, "If this was going to come under my portfolio, I’m a little brand crazy, so I said, let’s create a real brand, define a space, understand who we are programming for."Continue reading...

media brands

Liberty Global to Acquire Virgin Media, Creating World's Leading Broadband Firm

Posted by Barry Silverstein on February 6, 2013 06:49 PM

In a deal that looks to dramatically change the complexion of the media business, U.S.-based Liberty Global will buy the U.K.'s Virgin Media to create a broadband company that will supplant Comcast as the world's biggest cable operator.

The $23 billion deal, if approved, will give Liberty Global a strong foothold in the UK. In an intriguing twist, it will also pit Liberty Global's John Malone against his former partner, the media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who operates British Sky Broadcasting (widely known as "BSkyB"). BSkyB has been a bright spot in an otherwise difficult time or Murdoch.

"This deal is good news for the company, its customers and our people," commented another media titan: Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire entrepreneur who founded the Virgin empire. "Together, Liberty Global and Virgin Media are in a great position to shake up the industry and bring the full power of digital technology to UK consumers."

The largest media acquisition of its kind since 2007 "will make the U.K. the ring for a straight slug fest between two global pay-TV heavyweights, John Malone and Rupert Murdoch, as they battle for UK fixed broadband, fixed voice and pay-TV subscribers," according to Adrian Drury, principal analyst at the global consulting firm Ovum.Continue reading...

tech in the spotlight

CES 2013 Watch: It's a Web, Web, Web, Web TV World

Posted by Barry Silverstein on January 8, 2013 11:16 AM

The annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that's now underway in Las Vegas is not only the world's biggest trade show, but a snapshot of how the fast-moving world of technology innovation is impacting sectors. Witness automotive, such as Ford's just-announced mobile partnerships to enhance the brand's in-car connectivity platform as part of a bigger CES push by car manufacturers this year.

CES is also a soapbox for competitors to one-up one another as they spit out product announcements and flaunt new alliances. This year, the rivalry is particularly fierce in the web TV/digital streaming arena.

"As new Internet TV players look to invade the living room, some cable and satellite operators are stepping up their embrace of Web technology to jazz up aging interfaces and head off subscriber defections, the Wall Street Journal reports from the show.

CES attendees include DirecTV and Dish Network on the satellite side, Verizon (FiOS) and AT&T (U-verse) touting Telco TV, and U.S. multi-system operators including Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications are at CES to recast themselves as web TV purveyors and shake off the dreaded "cable operator" moniker. No wonder the U.S. National Cable & Telecommunications Association is reportedly considering dropping "cable" and rebranding to the U.S. Internet and Television Association (but, oddly, keeping the NCTA acronym).

AT&T's U-verse platform is introducing "Screen Pack," a $5 per month addition to existing subscriptions which enables customers to stream some 1,500 on-demand movies. AT&T plans to add more content in the future in an effort to thwart the flood of video streaming competitors in the space.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Adobe, Hostess, Quaker and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 21, 2012 08:55 AM

In the News

Adobe buys Behance for its design community.

Hostess Brands holds out for meaningful offers.

Quaker Oats readies Quaker Up campaign in US.

ABC leads America's late-night TV ratings with Nightline but loses Jake Tapper to CNN.

Absolut Vodka looks to Cirque du Soleil for inspiration.

American Airlines and US Airways sketch out how merger would affect pilots.

BAE strikes $4-billion deal with Oman.Continue reading...


Comcast Ruffles Feathers With NBC Peacock Logo Addition

Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 11, 2012 03:19 PM

Nearly two years after getting a green light to acquire 51% OF NBC Universal from GE, Comcast is updating its logo to reflect its new identity.

No longer 'just' America's largest cable operator and provider of video, voice and data services, it has long been in the cable and broadband programming game with brands such as E! and G4 (soon to be Esquire Channel) and its regional sports networks.

But it truly became a player in the entertainment space as the majority owner of NBC's national broadcast services, the Universal studio and related brands and assets, and now it's strutting the tail feathers it inherited as part of the NBCU deal.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Virgin Atlantic, HSBC, Diageo and more

Posted by Dale Buss on December 11, 2012 08:57 AM

In the News

Delta buys 49% of Virgin Atlantic, as Virgin's Aer Lingus hookup mocked by Ryanair and Branson bets on future of the brand. American Airlines, meanwhile, says decision on pursuing US Airways merger is coming soon.

HSBC to pay record U.S. penalty on money laundering.

Diageo terminates talks on "future" of Jose Cuervo.

AIG shares yield $7.6 billion to U.S. government, boosting taxpayers' overall profit to nearly $23 billion.

AOL postpones premiere of hip-hop-inspired TV ad.

Boeing faces revived concerns about 787.

Burberry launches Christmas events and global review.

Burger King expands digital marketing.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Golf Channel Campaign Touts Quirkiness of the Sport

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 29, 2012 04:13 PM

The Golf Channel is doing a booming business. It just had its best third quarter in history and was recently named America’s fastest-growing television network, now available in more than 80 million homes in the US, and more than 120 million worldwide. This comes on the heels of the Comcast-owned (via its NBC Sports group) cable network’s best second quarter in its 17-year history. 

But just because the network, which was co-founded by Arnold Palmer, has so many folks paying attention to it doesn’t mean the channel is acting like it’s in the popular crowd now. In fact, the channel is going the extra mile to showcase that it’s not quite like everybody else. The network’s new ad campaign is entitled “We Know We’re Different.”

The campaign launched this week with five on-air spots and print advertising (see below), timed to Golf Channel’s exclusive, live coverage of the Tiger Woods-hosted World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual. Each spot tells “an observation of the sport, from eccentric fashion to ball marking rituals, from the Golf Channel’s point of view,” according to a press release.Continue reading...

branded entertainment

What American Express Hopes to Learn From AMEX On Demand TV Channel

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 27, 2012 05:01 PM

"Don’t leave home without it" is becoming "Don’t leave home at all." Or, at least, "just yet." American Express is kicking the tires on interactive television and branded content with its own video-on-demand channel, participating in a year-long test with interactive TV provider BrightLine and the Mindshare agency to launch what's being called the largest advanced TV campaign to date.

The AMEX Channel, which quietly launched in September, is available in more than 50 million households through five pay TV service providers — AT&T's U-verse service, Cablevision, DirecTV, Dish and Verizon FiOs —and through smart TV platforms, namely Internet-connected TV sets sold by LG and Samsung.

The advanced television ad test is being trialed on TV as the primary screen, with apps for tablets and smartphones as second screens. Viewers can access the channel via interactive banners, channel guide listings and overlays that appear next to American Express commercials, using BrightLine-based technology. The video-on-demand channel offers video clips, games and information and promotions like AmEx's annual Small Business Saturday shopping day after Black Friday.Continue reading...

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