Posted by Dale Buss on August 31, 2011 01:19 PM
ABC has covered, and re-covered, the multifarious demographic spectrum of America with the "stars" it has selected to appear on its Dancing With the Stars reality competition series over the years. It is part of what has made the show so successful as it enters its 13th season on September 19. But arguably, the network has never selected a specific person almost solely because that star is the most appropriate exemplar of a demographic niche.
Until now. With the naming of Chaz Bono, the transgendered offspring of Sony and Cher Bono, as a contestant in its new cast, ABC has crossed an interesting boundary in the roster of non-professional contestants in its continually appealing dance contest.
It has always sought to fill certain categories that variously appeal to parts of its audience, including hard-bodied professional athletes, determined Olympic champions, comedians, and octogenarians such as Cloris Leachman and Buzz Aldrin.
DWTS also has unblinkingly featured openly or presumedly homosexual contestants such as Lance Bass and paired them with the opposite gender. This isn't to say that "identity politics" or any kind of politics at all have been kept out of the show.Continue reading...
sports in the spotlight
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 11, 2011 02:00 PM
When the television network Versus becomes the NBC Sports Network in 2012, it now has a brand new batch of content to share with its viewers.
NBC and Major League Soccer have just made a deal that has the NBC and its new cable network broadcasting 45 games over the next three seasons as well as four men’s national-team games, according to the New York Times. The contract will end when 2014 games have been completed.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on August 3, 2011 05:00 PM
In a study that is making the rounds of outrage this week, it's revealed that American advertisers of "junk food" are using product placement to get around recent commitments by brands not to directly target children as regulators threaten to impose tougher guidelines on marketers. That the study comes out of Yale University is probably the reason it's being accepted with little to no scrutiny.
That's a shame, because while the study's bigger conclusion might still be true, with in-program product placement rising as commercial parameters get tougher, its methodology is questionable and proves only one thing about product placement: There isn't enough research.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 3, 2011 10:00 AM
Rosie O'Donnell’s recent appearance in LA at the Television Critics Association U.S. TV networks' fall presentations was a big win for the comedian, and for OWN founder Oprah Winfrey.
"It's a huge, huge stamp of approval. It's almost like being knighted, to have her say she wanted me to do this for her," said O’Donnell in reference to her new boss. "I still get nervous when I get her phone calls." It’s a mutual admiration society, said Winfrey, who commented, "She could have gone to any of the big broadcast networks. But she chose to take her talent to OWN."
The Rosie Show, O'Donnell's new talk show on OWN, will revamp her old talk show for the average woman entering her fifties, inviting one guest per show to address news-driven subjects. What it will not be: a vehicle for stars to promote a project.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on August 1, 2011 05:00 PM
1957 may be most closely identified with the '57 Chevy, but Chrysler marketers are going back to that year to promote the new Fiat 500 in America.
They're treading carefully, having been questioned for emphasizing a repositioning of the Chrysler brand, via the “Imported from Detroit” campaign that kicked off at this year's Super Bowl, over touting their first new model in a long while, the Chrysler 200. While they won’t say it, one reason is that the car is basically a re-skinned Chrysler Sebring and wasn’t all that boast-worthy, compared with much of the competition these days.
For the Fiat brand as it re-enters the United States in a big way, the story is different. By all accounts, the new Fiat 500 is a high-quality sparkplug, popular in Europe, and it should get a strong reception once it’s widely available in the United States at a time of stubbornly high gasoline prices. Nevertheless, Fiat is emphasizing brand over its 500 subcompact so far. The reasons, this time, are different.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 1, 2011 12:30 PM
Versus took its name in 2006 after spending its first 10 years as OLN (the Outdoor Life Network), broadcasting plenty of hunting and fishing before reaching a larger audience with Tour de France coverage.
Since its renaming by Comcast in 2006, the network has focused more and more on mainstream sports and is now going totally that way as it rebrands itself NBC Sports Network, starting in January, according to USA Today.
"This is more than just a name change for Versus," said Mark Lazarus, the former Turner Sports exec who became the chairman of NBC Sports Group in May. "It's a complete repositioning of the brand."Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 1, 2011 12:00 PM
Qatar-based Al Jazeera finally has a toehold in Manhattan after months of persistent pressure on U.S cable and satellite systems.
Al Jazeera English (AJE) is now being simulcast in New York City 23 hours a day on RISE, a cable channel adjunct to WRNN, which is carried by Time Warner Cable and rival Verizon FiOS. The deal makes AJE available starting today on Time Warner Cable's channel 92, with FiOS channel 466 adding the feed in the coming days, for a total reach of 2 million New York area homes.
As part of its carriage contract, RISE must carry one hour of daily local programming; now, the other 23 hours will be a live feed of AJE. While the contract gives Al Jazeera a presence in a key U.S. market, it's hitting the Big Apple via a sublease deal as opposed to outright carriage deal, which means its opportunities for marketing and branding are hindered.
“It’s all about leverage in this business, and they don’t have any,” observed Paul Maxwell, a cable industry consultant, to the New York Times.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 29, 2011 03:00 PM
On August 1st, 1981, at 12:01 a.m., MTV: Music Television launched and changed the face of television, music and branding. That means the brand that once typified youth rebellion is (gasp!) old enough to be the age of its target demographic — and you know what they say about trusting anyone over 30...Continue reading...