sports in the spotlight

Fox Sports 1 Among Brands and Fans Getting Energized by Football's Approach

Posted by Dale Buss on August 19, 2013 06:23 PM

Fox Sports 1 debuted over the weekend to ratings that impressed some observers, especially considering unspectacular initial programming. But for Fox overall, as well as for the other major TV networks and ESPN, the important kickoff remains the start of the National Football League season after Labor Day.

And to that end, it's not just TV networks and the NFL itself but also car brands, snack makers, restaurant chains and an entire array of other major American brands that drool at the fantastic advertising vehicle and spending machine that winds up once the first kickoff of the season is underway. That's especially true this year without the major impediments of the last two years, which included the NFL's collective-bargaining hiccup and a strike by its referees.

"It is unlikely that Fox Sports 1 is going to rival ESPN anytime soon," noted Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter after surveying the first weekend of content, which was heavy on UFC fighting and NASCAR. But the goal for Fox's newest venture "is just to be in the game and make a bunch of money while doing it."Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Penguin Random House, Harley-Davidson, Toyota and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 19, 2013 09:21 AM

In the News

Penguin Random House diversifies to TV.

Harley-Davidson launches biggest new product initiative.

Toyota lets dealers drop sagging Scion brand.

AB InBev and MillerCoors bet on boozier brews.

Al Jazeera America vows sober look at news when it debuts Tuesday.

American Airlines and US Airways are left in lurch by US over merger.

Coca-Cola begins marketing herbal drink in Thailand.

Cosi admits its service stinks.

Eight O'Clock Coffee ups marketing to refresh brand.

Eli Lilly enters unusual patent dispute.

Five Star Feature Films finds a flop in Jobs.Continue reading...

digital moves

Sony Jumps Ahead in Online Pay-TV Race with Pending Viacom Deal

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 16, 2013 01:40 PM

With the announcement of a pending deal with Viacom to stream content from such channels as MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, Sony has essentially put itself far outfront in the race to create a workable online pay-TV model. 

The deal is the first of its kind, further pitting the company against a long list of rivals, including Google, Intel, Apple, Netflix and Microsoft, that are all racing to nail down a subscription-based TV streaming system. 

Sony's “over the top” model could disrupt the current ecosystem, pitting cable companies against each other, however it “might also be the tonic that slows the arrival of the 'capocalypse'—where enough people 'cut the cord' and drop cable altogether that the whole industry collapses," Forbes explains. Sony’s not-yet-named service works on Sony-branded TVs and PlayStation but will not offer a la carte channel selection, still delivering content through cable's tried and true bundled model.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Disney, Fox, L'Oreal and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 16, 2013 09:23 AM

In the News

Disney readies for risky Disney Infinity debut this weekend. 

Fox plans weekend debut of new sports channel.

L'Oreal makes $843 million takeover bid for China's Magic Holdings

Acura teams with Thrillist for MDX experience.

Al Jazeera promises fewer than usual commercials.

Apple tightens App Store rules on kids' data. 

Boeing traces trail of faulty fire extinguishers in 787s.

Cadillac lures Clint Eastwood to concept-car reveal.

Cosi changes operational approach as chain struggles.

Google ticks off marketers with Gmail overhaul as it blocks Microsoft's YouTube Windows app. 

H&M may source clothing from Ethiopia.

IBM buys security firm to further plans of Israeli cybersecurity lab. 

JetBlue partners with British Airways.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Apple, Kraft, Tesco and more

Posted by Dale Buss on August 12, 2013 09:35 AM

In the News

Apple will debut next iPhone on September 10, report says.

Kraft launches comeback plan for Jell-O.

Tesco set to withdraw brand from China.

AOL pushes to make Patch profitable.

Amazon may expand grocery service to New York, report says.

BlackBerry weighs selling itself.

Crocs tussles with Wall Street.

Daimler plans to expand Smart brand in China. 

Ford steps up training of assembly workers in wake of shaky launches.

Fox talks with NBC about doing Hillary Clinton miniseries.

GM plans to scale back Korea operations in wake of higher costs, stronger unionism, report says.

Honda tries to save American drive-ins.Continue reading...

green shoots

Walmart Launches 'Epic' Green Promotion in Stores

Posted by Dale Buss on August 6, 2013 01:54 PM

While Walmart's right hand is parrying "living-wage" proponents over its plan to pull out of its efforts to open stores in Washington, D.C., the company's left hand is feeding a favorite progressive cause: green-ness.

Walmart has joined Twentieth Century Fox in an integrated campaign to promote "green" CPG products such as Burt's Bees, Brita water-filtering systems and Green Works wipes along with the studio's home-video launch of Epic, an environmentally themed kids' movie that was released in theaters in May and has grossed $245 million worldwide.

In what is believed to be Walmart's biggest push for a home-video title ever, beginning today the chain is promoting availability of the digital version of the toon. Walmart already introduced its "Epic Green Warriors" marketing campaign at 2,800 stores to help boost pre-orders for the animated film and DVD and Blu-ray versions of Epic when it becomes available on August 20. The whole effort will run through October 1.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

Fox Sports 1 Ready to Take On ESPN with Broad Programming, Funny Talking-Heads

Posted by Dale Buss on July 26, 2013 05:14 PM

ESPN may have a 30-year head start on Fox Sports 1, but the new 21st Century Fox-owned, startup TV-sports network will have—well, "jockularity."

Rupert Murdoch has long taken on quests that others see as unrealistic, and none may be more so than the global media titan's bid to finally give some serious competition in the US sports-programming genre to Walt Disney's ESPN. Other giants—including Comcast Corp.'s NBC and CBS—have tried and are continuing to try to chip away at ESPN's estimated $10 billion stranglehold on American TV-sports fans, but Fox's bid appears to be the most serious yet.

Fox Sports 1 will debut on August 17 with a passel of crucial live-sports programming rights—for Nascar, Major League Baseball games starting next year, and some college football and basketball, as well as Fox's huge place in NFL broadcasts—the requisite stable of ex-jocks, some experienced sports broadcasters, and a different attitude than ESPN.Continue reading...

brand news

In the News: Samsung, GSK, Apple and more

Posted by Dale Buss on July 26, 2013 09:33 AM

In the News

Samsung reports soaring profits on smartphone sales.

GlaxoSmithKline names new chief in China amid bribery probe.

Apple still tops consumer brands.

A&P goes on auction block.

Activision Blizzard buys back most of Vivendi controlling stake in company.

Acura and Porsche lead in evaluation of websites.

Amazon swings to loss as expenses grow.

American Airlines and US Airways offer antitrust concessions.

AT&T nabs naming rights for Cowboys Stadium. 

Daimler takes 5 percent stake in Aston Martin in technical partnership as CEO Dieter Zetsche faces pressure to catch Audi and BMW.

Facebook sees share price come within striking distance of disappointing IPO price.Continue reading...

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