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Archives » Youth

Disney/ABC And Comcast Partner For Authenticated TV Streaming

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

Xfinity and Disney/ABC Television Group have announced that Xfinity TV customers can now access three new authenticated TV+ products – WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior — at home or on-the-go — via a suite of new apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and online at WATCHDisneyChannel.com, WATCHDisneyXD.com and WATCHDisneyJunior.com.

The three new WATCH products are the first-ever to provide authenticated users with both access to live, linear network streams as well as an extensive offering of advantaged window “on demand” episodes.

Xfinity TV customers, who subscribe to Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior networks as part of their monthly video service, can now stream these channels live online and via the convenience of their iOS devices. In addition, Xfinity TV customers can view a variety of top series including “Good Luck Charlie,” “Shake It Up,” “Phineas and Ferb,” “TRON: Uprising,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” from Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior on these new WATCH products, on Xfinity On Demand, Xfinity.com/tv and through the Xfinity TV app on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch and Xfinity TV Player app on Android-powered devices, anytime.

The free Watch apps include a simple, kid-friendly user interface that brings the current online viewing experience to the high-resolution, Multi-Touch displays of iOS devices. Once a user downloads one of the WATCH apps or visits one of the WATCH websites, they will receive sign-in instructions to verify their Comcast Xfinity TV credentials, allowing them access to their favorite Disney Channel, Disney XD or Disney Junior programs on their device(s).
Non-authenticated users of the WATCH Disney Channel, WATCH Disney XD and WATCH Disney Junior services will have access to a limited number of “on demand” episodes each month.

Later this year, Xfinity TV will also integrate all of the content available through WATCH apps on Xfinity.com/tv as well as on other viewing platforms. Today, Xfinity TV offers more than 75,000 TV shows and movies, including a variety of kids and family programming, across Xfinity On Demand, Xfinity.com/tv and the Xfinity TV and Xfinity TV Player apps for iOS and Android, respectively.

The launch of Watch Disney Channel, Watch DisneyXD and Watch Disney Junior, as well as the recent launch of WatchESPN with Comcast is part of a long-term, comprehensive distribution agreement between Comcast Corporation and The Walt Disney Company that was announced in January, 2012. The agreement will deliver Disney’s sports, news and entertainment content to Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers into the next decade on televisions, computers, tablets and handheld devices. The new agreement enhances the multichannel business model and supports the companies’ mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms using the latest technology and cloud innovation.

For the first time ever, Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers will be able to watch ESPN, ABC or Disney shows live or On Demand and across multiple screens. The companies also agreed to collaborate over the term of the deal to create new, innovative viewing experiences for Xfinity TV customers.

Toyota, Unilever Among First Buyers For Interactive Xbox NUads

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

Microsoft Corp has announced the general release of its NUads on Xbox LIVE. Among the first buyers are Toyota, Unilever and Samsung Mobile USA, which are developing NUads campaigns to stream on Xbox LIVE this fall. NUads advertisements transform standard 30-second TV spots into actionable experiences using the power of voice and gesture controls of Kinect for Xbox 360.

Engagement is what makes the ads different, said Ross Honey, general manager of Xbox LIVE Entertainment and Advertising. "We developed NUads to breathe new life into the standard 30-second spot. With NUads, brands can get real-time feedback from audiences, making TV advertising actionable for the first time."

Microsoft released a sneak peek of some of the first NUads that will air on Xbox LIVE this fall, including Toyota’s "Reinvented" ad campaign that premiered during Super Bowl XLVI, and which promoted the reinvention of the 2012 Camry. The ad marked Toyota's return to Super Bowl advertising. Today, Toyota is reinventing that campaign for Xbox LIVE, adding a layer of interactivity enabled by NUads. In this version of the "Reinvented" ad, Toyota asks viewers what they would like to see reinvented. Viewers can then respond using Kinect-powered voice or gesture controls. This gives Toyota valuable feedback it can use for its next campaign.

At first glance—a little underwhelming, according to Adweek. NUads on’t seem to innovate beyond TiVo and Cablevision ads that allow viewers to request more information from or respond to questions from advertisers, or even buy things. Still, with NUads, viewers can respond with hands or voices, rather than just remotes. “I would hope the launch of NUads leverages the platform,” Brandon Berger, chief digital officer of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide told Adweek. But Microsoft counters that it cannot ask TV advertisers to create Xbox-specific spots: NUads can be created from an existing TV spot.

Good enough for Toyota. "The creative possibilities of NUads are endless. We can take a 30-second TV spot and customize it for NUads to get an immediate response from Toyota's customer," said John Lisko, executive communications director at Saatchi & Saatchi LA for Toyota. "It allows customers to participate with our advertising, which is really exciting. The interactivity of NUads is leading the industry and changing the way we're connecting with our customers."

Also good enough for Unilever, which owns the Axe brand. Following on the successful campaign for the launch of Axe Attract for Him and for Her, Axe — called Lynx in the U.K. — will be one of the first brands to turn the digital ad into a NUad with Xbox. The creative centers around a cops-and-robbers setup with the tagline, "Nothing will ever be the same again." Using the new format, Lynx will ask the audience if the Lynx Effect should be given to girls. Viewers will have the option of voting "Yes, of course" or "No way" using hand gestures or a simple voice command.

"NUads and the gesture- and voice-based Kinect technology have great potential for creativity. What we're seeing now is at the very early stages of what we could do. And as always, we're keen to continue to explore more ways of inviting our consumers to get involved with our brands," said Babs Rangaiah, vice president of Global Media Innovation at Unilever.

Microsoft Advertising is claiming a younger, male-skewing and decently-wage-earning demographic for its Xbox LIVE advertising. Some figures:
•61 percent male
•39 percent female
•70 percent 18-34
•20 percent 35-44
•88 percent have a household income of greater than $30,000
•37 percent have a household income of greater than $100,000

Viewers Claim To Tune Out During Election Season

Published 1 year, 10 months ago

A new survey commissioned by MGH, an integrated marketing communications agency, found that 32% of survey respondents change the channel as soon as a political advertisement airs and during political news coverage, and nearly half (47%) of viewers will change the channel or mute the TV during a negative political ad.

The Baltimore agency commissioned the survey to find if consumers change their viewing habits during election season.

As usual, the vast majority (88%) of respondents said they are turned off by negative political advertising. But as usual, the negative ads work.

Younger millennials aged 18-24, skewed higher in some measures:

  • Forty-five percent change the channel during political news coverage.
  • Thirty-nine percent change the channel as soon as they see a political advertisement.
  • Twenty percent are more likely to watch programs online, and 19% are more likely to record programs they want to watch to avoid commercials.

"This year's election is gearing up to be a tight race, and with tens of millions of advertising dollars being put toward mudslinging political television ads, marketers need to pay attention to some of these statistics to make sure that their consumers aren't changing the channel on their clients," said MGH President, Andy Malis. "During election years, television advertising space is limited and more expensive, so advertisers need to get creative and integrated with their media campaigns to ensure their message is getting through the clutter."

The key takeaways, according to MGH, are that marketers have the potential to lose more than one-third of their potential audience if a political ad airs – and nearly half if a negative political ad airs – in the same commercial block as theirs. Additionally, marketers that target the younger millennials may have an even tougher time reaching this audience through TV ads.

Still the spending is high, and a report released in March from Borrell Associates forecasts that out of the $9.8 billion that will be spent on political advertising for this year’s election, $5.6 billion will go toward broadcast TV and $939 million toward cable TV advertising. The New York Times estimates that at least $50 million worth of ads will appear in swing states in the next several weeks, about five months out from the election.

Time will tell if these viewers actually do tune out as they claim. Viewership was very strong during the GOP debates. ABC claimed big ratings for its “Your Voice, Your Vote – Republican Presidential Debate in New Hampshire” broadcast. Nielsen tallied 6.25 million viewers, including 1.73 million Adults 25-54 and 1.40 million Adults 18-49. The ABC debate topped the Fox News Channel’s December 15 debate with 1.31 million viewers.

According to January figures from The Pew Research Center for The People & The press, it is true that fewer Americans are closely following the campaign than four years ago. Cable TV leads among sources at 36%, but the Internet is next to last at 25% and has not grown in significance since 2007. So, those younger-skewing voters who claim to get ad-free news online might be exaggerating, or simply disinterested. Just 20% of those younger than 30 claimed to follow the campaign closely, down from 31% in 2008. But because younger voters skew Democrat, they may prick up their ears as the conventions and election near.

Equation Research conducted the survey in April 2012 on behalf of MGH. Equation surveyed 1,000 adults aged 18+ who had seen at least one political advertisement recently, located in states where presidential primaries had taken place.

truTV Upfront: Top 10 Network for Advertisers Promises More “Dumbest,” Steve-O and Shaquille O’Neal

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

truTV delivers some edgy stuff, like “1,000 Ways to Die” (who knew one could be decapitated by an exploding tire? Or eviscerated by one’s own killer robot?). The network promises to be even “Bigger, bolder, broader” in the 2012-2013 season, placing a strong emphasis on comedic and action-packed “actuality” programming designed to appeal to its young adult and young-male-skewing audience.

Projects in the works include a unique new game show set on an airplane, which is being developed by Howie Mandel and his production company, Alevy Productions. truTV has also ordered a pilot starring NBA star Shaquille O’Neal and developed by Fishbowl Worldwide Media, with “America’s Funniest Home Videos” creator/executive producer Vin Di Bona and Tosh.0 co-creator Mike Gibbons among the executive producers.

“truTV has firmly established itself as a leader in TV’s fastest-growing genre, delivering on the promise of outrageous, fun television with truTV’s unique spin,” said Marc Juris, executive vice president and chief operating officer of truTV. “We’re also programming with an eye towards creating content that works across multiple screens and establishing ourselves as a truly multi-platform brand.”

Since its re-brand in 2008, truTV has been on a tear when it comes to ratings growth and competitive position. After scoring its best year ever with key demos in 2011, truTV just charted its best quarter ever in Q1 2012. truTV has also planted itself among basic cable’s Top 10 networks with men 18-49:

With a median age of 41, truTV claims the youngest primetime audience of such direct non-fiction competitors as Discovery, History and A&E.
truTV’s dedication to “actuality programming” has paid off with shows that deliver ratings success every night of the week. Six of truTV’s primetime series rank in the top 10 for their time period with key adult and male demos. In addition, nine truTV series average more than 1 million viewers, while several truTV shows – including “Hardcore Pawn,” “Lizard Lick Towing” and “Impractical Jokers” ranked among basic cable’s Top 50 unscripted series for the first quarter.

For this year’s Upfront, rather than putting on a splashy press event in New York, truTV hit the road to conduct in-person meetings with small groups of key clients. “Given the rapidly changing media environment, we decided the big budget upfront presentation does not provide the opportunity to sit down and develop unique solutions for our clients,” Juris said. “This year we don’t want to pitch. We want to partner.”

“truTV has experienced record-breaking growth and a desirable young adult audience, catching the eye of over 30 new advertisers this year,” said Joe Hogan, executive vice president, Young Adults Ad Sales, Turner Broadcasting. “We have enjoyed sharing this success story with clients the last several weeks, and look forward to attracting more marketers to the network this Upfront through customized multi-screen opportunities.”

Looking ahead, truTV is working in the development arena to craft additional on-target series for the network’s audience. truTV is specifically focusing on the comedic reality genre, with an eye toward shows that tap into the network’s recent success with the acquired hit Wipeout.
Here’s a rundown of what truTV has coming down the pike:

NEW SERIES:
Killer Karaoke
– New series premiering later this year
Unlike anything else on TV, popular comedian and "Jackass" star Steve-O hosts this outrageous singing contest that challenges contestants to break out in song in the midst of extreme, hilarious and sometimes skin-crawling physical challenges. The hits just keep on coming as contestants try to carry a tune under fire. Killer Karaoke comes to truTV from Zodiak USA, producer of the network’s popular Hardcore Pawn and Lizard Lick Towing.

Guinness World Records Gone Wild – New series premiering later this year
A new series that challenges everyday people to push themselves to do astonishing things for their place in history. Among the records the show will set out to break are the most panes of glass run through in one minute, fastest time to jump over three oncoming cars and the highest dive into 12 inches of water. Guinness World Records Gone Wild is produced for truTV by High Noon Entertainment (“Cake Boss,” “Tough Love”).

Container Wars – Cast-contingent series
This auction show is unlike any other auction show on television, because this one takes place in a commercial shipping port. The cast will compete against each other to buy the contents of huge shipping containers that have come from all around the world. They have no idea what’s inside the containers until the doors are opened. They then have only have a few minutes to assess what’s visible and decide whether to bid. The winner of each container then checks the contents in greater detail and decides on the amount of profit or loss they are likely to make. “Container Wars” comes to truTV from T Group Productions.

Hardcore Pawn: Fort Bragg – New series premiering in July
Guns Plus is a truly unique pawn store that is a favorite of the thousands of soldiers stationed at Fort Bragg, as well as their proud families, friends and supporters. Located next to the legendary military base, Guns Plus is staffed by military veterans, including ex-Marines and Special Ops soldiers, who have an amazing first-hand knowledge of the rare and collectible weapons that come through their doors on a daily basis. For this series, viewers will be taken behind the scenes for very different look at the pawn business, focusing almost entirely on weapons and military equipment. Hardcore Pawn: Fort Bragg comes to truTV from Zodiak USA, producer of the network’s popular “Hardcore Pawn” and “Lizard Lick Towing.”

DEVELOPMENT:
Upload with Shaquille O’Neal
(working title)
truTV has ordered a pilot of this new series from the producers of “Tosh.0” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Basketball superstar and TNT NBA analyst Shaquille O’Neal and friends will round up the week’s online video clips, as well as create their own viral videos and comment on and parody current pop culture stories. This pilot comes to truTV from Fishbowl Worldwide Media founded by entertainment industry veterans Vin Di Bona and Bruce Gersh, with the creative team led by Susan Levison. Di Bona, Gersh, Levison and Beth Greenwald serve as executive producers, along with “Tosh.0’s” Mike Gibbons.

Jeff & Curtis Lose Weight (working title)
This new series takes the weight-loss concept and puts a truTV unique spin on it. Comedy duo Jeff Sloniker and Curtis Rainsberry are struggling to maintain their diets and workout regime as they battle the bulge…and each other. Guided by their trainer, they will try extreme diets, attend absurd exercise classes and generally humiliate themselves physically in public for the sake of losing a pound or two. At the end of each episode, the guys will weigh in, and the loser will have to perform a humiliating task drawn from the “Bowl of Pain.” “Jeff & Curtis Lose Weight” is being developed for truTV by Rive Gauche Television.

Turbulence (working title)
truTV takes off for one truly outrageous game show in the sky. As contestants fly from one location to another, they must answer questions. Every correct answer banks money for a big weekend blowout in Las Vegas. And every wrong answer makes the flight a little bit bumpier. “Turbulence” comes to truTV from Howie Mandel’s Alevy Productions. Mandel says, “I couldn’t be more excited to be working with truTV on a project that I am really passionate about.”

RETURNING TV:
World’s Dumbest…
– Season 14 begins Thursday, June 7, at 9 P.M. ET/PT
Operation Repo – Season 10 begins Wednesday, June 6, at 9 P.M. ET/PT
Lizard Lick Towing – Season 2 returns Monday, June 11, at 10 P.M. ET/PT
Storage Hunters – Season 2 premieres Tuesday, June 12, at 10 P.M. ET/PT
Hardcore Pawn – Season 6 coming in July
Vegas Strip – Season 3 coming in July

Radio: Six In Ten Start Their Day With Another Medium (Like Facebook or TV)

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

Nearly six in 10 core radio listeners (57%) start their day with another medium or gadget, rather than turning on the radio, reports Inside Radio. That according to media analyst and consultancy Jacobs Media, in their Techsurvey8 report.

The 18-34 year old demo is more likely to engage with email or Facebook as their first media interaction of the day, along with their first cup of joe.

The Techsurvey8 results were gathered online from January 31-February 15 from listeners of 170 broadcast stations across the U.S. and Canada, contributing 57,358 total respondents. Jacobs Media surveyed 170 stations, 12 radio formats and 57,358 radio listeners, claiming it is the “largest technology survey ever conducted for radio.”

As a format, radio is hardly dead, but, is a more high-touch medium which, like TV, is finding itself having to meet digital natives wherever they listen.

Why AM/FM Radio still matters: While "favorite songs" and personalities rank highest, there are four emotional triggers that listeners value:
1. Having a radio on while they work
2. Putting them in a better mood
3. Providing a feeling of companionship
4. Offering an escape from the pressures of everyday life

Pandora is a (pure) player: By far, Pandora is the most popular pure-play Internet option, as nearly half (45%) of "streamies" listen to some extent, easily besting competitors like iHeartRadio (19%), Spotify (7%), TuneIn Radio (7%), and Slacker Radio (5%).

However, Pandora users are split as to whether the Internet pure play should be considered "radio" – 43% "yes" – 49% "no."

Protecting The In-Car Listening Franchise: More than half of all respondents say that most of their radio listening takes place in cars. One in ten (9%) now drives a car equipped with a system like Ford's Sync, especially fans of News/Talk and Sports/Talk.

Smartphones, Apps and Tablets coming on strong: More than half (52%) own a smartphone.

Tablets are becoming a significant part of the digital story. One-fourth say they own one (24%), and iPad has a big lead over its competitors.

The Social Media tidal wave: Eight of ten are on Facebook. More than one-fifth use Twitter, and Sports/Talk emerges as the format where Twitter rules.

Nielsen Releases Primetime Trends By Ethic, Gender Demos, Second Screen Habits

Published 1 year, 11 months ago

Nielsen Company released some intriguing demographic data, from part 2 of its “State of the Media Spring 2012” report—this part presenting an in-depth look at usage by demographic (ethnicity, gender and age).

White TV viewers use their DVRs at twice as much as any other group on a daily basis for time-shifted viewing; yet Asians watch the most timeshifted content as a share of overall TV time.

Among the online destinations for streaming TV content, Hispanics are most likely to watch on Netflix (still no advertising opportunities), where Asians are most likely to watch on Hulu and black viewers on YouTube (both ad friendly).

Other findings:

  • Teens used a gaming console for an average of eight minutes during primetime, more than twice as much as the general TV population.
  • When watching TV and using their tablet computers simultaneously, male tablet users were more likely to look up information related to a TV program, and females were more likely to up look info related to a TV ad.
  • Females spend 61.2% of timeshifted viewing during primetime to watch dramas.
  • Females spend 46.9% of real-time viewing watching drama, versus 34.5% for men.
  • Females spend 13.5% of their time viewing sports, versus 32.7% for me. 
  • Online adults aged 25-54 are 23% more likely than the average U.S. Internet user to follow a brand via social networking and 29% more likely to purchase a product online that was featured on TV.

That eight-minute figure for teens and gaming seems low, frankly. Few games can be played in eight minutes. Presumably, that average is dragged down because teens who spend zero minutes on gaming outnumber those who spend hours at a time.

Upfront Digital: Denny’s KidVid Campaign | “Great Website” Nominations | “Time Out” Sells Tickets

Published 2 years ago
  • Denny’s Restaurants is targeting younger diners with a YouTube channel and video series, reports the New York Times. The series, “Always Open” features serves films in a youth-sized three-minute chunks, featuring comedian Dave Koechner of “Saturday Night Live” who interviews celebrities as they share a booth at Denny’s. NYT observes a deliberately provocative tone from the family-friendly restaurant, as Koechner makes innuendoes about snuggling for warmth with actress Jessica Biel, and comedian Sarah Silverman makes one of her usual body-function jokes. The ads have taken six million views to date, and were conceived by Gotham and produced by DumbDumb, a production company headed by the actors Jason Bateman and Will Arnett.

  • B2B Media Business is accepting nominations for “10 Great Media Websites,” which it will present in its June issue. “We’re seeking nominations in the following categories: tech, trade (nontech), general business, paid subscription, launch, relaunch, portal, video/multimedia, mobile/smartphone and mobile/tablet,” says B2B. Nominees must prove themselves: B2B is looking for proof of “greatness,” including successful new features, redesigns that improve usability, and ideas that have led to greater social interaction among an audience, or between audiences and editors. Deadline for entry is May 1.
  • Time Out New York is making a “big leap into the digital world,” reports TechCrunch. Also a rather belated one, for an entertainment outlet that specializes in reviews and arts/entertainment/dining listings. Time Out New York is launching its first iPad app, an updated iPhone app, and a new e-commerce model for its properties. The updated iPad app personalizes the user experience, for example, targeting restaurant recommendations based on previous choices, a la Netflix and Pandora. The personalization is based on technology from LikeCube, a semantic analysis company that Time Out acquired last year. Perhaps more exciting, Time Out New York will be selling tickets to events, as Mashable reports, from its own inventory rather than as an affiliate. 
  • VideoHub, the end-to-end analytics and monetization platform for online video, has unveiled video ad verification signals to give advertisers insight into the viewability of their ads (e.g., for where they appear on the page, the size of player, the impact on viewer experience).. The new “Player Position” and “Player Size” signals offer advertisers and publishers “full transparency into video ad position and size for video campaigns running across ad networks, direct publishers and video exchanges,” says the company. Player Position and Size go beyond basic verification metrics by showing advertisers how many video ad impressions are 100-percent viewable, partially viewable, or non viewable. VideoHub promises clients they can also measure viewability alongside brand lift, engagement, and other KPIs, showing the relationship between the viewing environment and campaign results. These new features, following the platform-wide integration of Nielsen GRP reporting, help VideoHub marry verification, reach and ad performance, providing advertisers “a level of measurement and understanding that is unavailable anywhere else,” says the company.

Cartoon Network Upfront: Batman, Dragons, Annoying Oranges, Online Games Among 2012-2013 Offerings

Published 2 years ago

Celebrating 20 years and claiming #1 status with boys 6-11 on all of television, Cartoon Network has announced several new and returning series to its fall lineup.
The network is wrapping up its best first quarter to date with kids in prime in five years (up 28% vs. 2011), and the network held its upfront in New York’s Roseland Ballroom yesterday.

Cartoon Network (CartoonNetwork.com) is currently seen in 99 million U.S. homes and 168 countries around the world. It is an ad-supported Turner Broadcasting System property, now available in HD.

The network announced no air or premiere dates, but did announce an aggressive slate. Among the announcements: a new sketch comedy show from entertainer Nick Cannon; the world premiere of “DreamWorks Dragons: The Series,” based on the critically-acclaimed feature film “How to Train Your Dragon”; an original series based on Web sensation, “Annoying Orange”; a brand new animated series from the global franchise powerhouse, “Ben 10: Omniverse”; and a new CG-animated series from Warner Bros. Animation, “Beware The Batman.”

Also, on the heels of the hugely successful Ninjago launch in 2011—currently the #1 show across Q1 2012 with all boys—a new partnership with LEGO for a second series was announced by the network as it continues to build on its slate of diverse content.

“We are executing a brand vision and content strategy that is fueling tremendous results for Cartoon Network,” said Stuart Snyder, president and chief operating officer, Turner Broadcasting’s Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media (AYAKM). “Today, with a re-invented and thriving prime time, along with overall double-digit growth in total day, we are building the kind of momentum that is making this a great 20th anniversary.”

Ranking #1 in early evening prime time (7-9 P.M.) among boys 6-11 throughout Q1 this year, Cartoon Network also announced new upcoming seasons of its original hit animated comedy series “Adventure Time,” “Regular Show,” “The Amazing World of Gumball,” “MAD” and “The Looney Tunes Show.” A second-season pick-up for the live-action comedy series “Level Up,” which debuted as the most watched live-action series in the network’s history, and a fifth season of “Star Wars: The Clone Wars,” also was announced.

Additionally, the network revealed that a third Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards special has been slated for early 2013. The second annual telecast (Feb. 20, 2012), hosted by Shaquille O’Neal, ranked as the #1 program of the day among all boy demos, and out-performed the inaugural Hall of Game special by double and triple-digits—between 64% and 103%—across all kid and boy demos. Online voting for the celebrity sports awards also nearly tripled in participation, from 37 million votes in 2011 to more than 100 million votes in 2012.
Online Ad Opportunities

“Cartoon Network enters into the upfront season with strong momentum and a programming foundation that is resonating with our audience, as well as advertisers,” said John O’Hara, executive vice president and general sales manager, Cartoon Network. “The ad sales team is committed to developing ideas that extend the reach of an advertiser’s message and connects their brands across multiple screens with an engaged audience. As brands look to deliver measurable return on their investment, we believe it’s a good time to reassess plans and for advertisers to strategically increase their media budgets with Cartoon Network.”

Building off of the success of CartoonNetwork.com ranking as the #1 domain in the kids category among kids 6-11 (comScore Media Metrix data), the network announced that its next big foray into on-line gaming would be the global roll-out of Formula Cartoon, a huge on-line racing game which will let players race against their friends or favorite Cartoon Network characters.
Further details of Cartoon Network’s programming announcements include the following:

CARTOON NETWORK NEW SERIES

  • Nick Cannon Sketch Comedy Series: The series is a live-action, half-hour, sketch comedy show rooted in raw mischief, high energy and slapstick humor. You’ll never know what will happen next! Some of the silliest kids you know will make up this wild comedy troupe led by teen stars Jeremy Shada (Adventure Time), Brandon Soo Hoo (Enders Game, Tropic Thunder), Shameik Moore (Joyful Noise), Shauna Case (American Horror Story) and Chanelle Peloso (Level Up). Nick Cannon will bring the funny as creator and executive producer along with executive producers Michael Goldman and Scott Tomlinson. The series is being produced by Cartoon Network Studios in association with NCredible Entertainment.
  • Annoying Orange: Boasting more than 1 billion YouTube online views to date, Annoying Orange is the Web sensation transformed into a new television series that follows Orange and his buddies as they go on a wide range of adventures that take them from the fruit stand to parts unknown and everything in between. The television series was developed and will be produced by The Collective. Dane Boedigheimer co-created the television series with Tom Sheppard (Emmy Award-winning writer for Pinky and the Brain). Conrad Vernon (director of Madagascar 3 and Monsters vs. Aliens) will serve as executive producer for the series along with Gary Binkow and Dan Weinstein of The Collective. The series will premiere on Cartoon Network this summer.
  • DreamWorks Dragons: The Series: Picking up where the critically-acclaimed feature film, How to Train Your Dragon, left off, this weekly animated series follows the continuing adventures of Hiccup and his dragon Toothless on the island of Berk, along with the band of dragon trainers, all of whom now have dragons of their own!  Produced by DreamWorks Animation and premieres this fall.
  • New LEGO Project: Following the instant ratings success of the CG-animated “Ninjago,” LEGO and Cartoon Network plan to expand their partnership with an all-new series from LEGO for 2013.
  • Ben 10: Omniverse: In the brand-new animated series, “Ben 10: Omniverse,” Ben will have a new character design that pays homage to his past, and he’ll have a whole new batch of aliens to battle. Beating the bad guys is just part of the superhero gig. With a little help from his new, by-the-book rookie partner, Ben explores the quirkier side of things in the alien underground and discovers enemies from his past looking for a re-match, all while a mysterious hunter is hot on his trail! With 10 new aliens at his disposal and a brand new lease on life, Ben 10 is back and more fun than ever! Matt Youngberg is supervising producer for the series, which will premiere on Cartoon Network this fall. “Ben 10” is Cartoon Network’s most successful original global franchise. Since the premiere of the original “Ben 10” series, created by Man of Action Studios, in 2006, the franchise has spawned four animated series, one animated movie, two live-action movies, a CG movie, a feature film currently in development, a widely-popular consumer products line and has captured the imaginations of viewers on a worldwide scale.
  • Beware the Batman: A cool, new take on the classic Dark Knight franchise, “Beware the Batman” incorporates Batman’s core characters with a rogues gallery of new villains not previously seen in animated form. Along with backup from ex-secret agent Alfred and lethal swordstress Katana, the Dark Knight faces the twisted machinations of Gotham City’s criminal underworld led by the likes of Anarky, Professor Pyg, Mister Toad and Magpie. Produced by Warner Bros. Animation, this action-packed detective thriller deftly redefines what we have come to know as a “Batman show.” Featuring cutting-edge CGI visuals to match the intricate twists and turns of the narrative, Batman steps out of the shadows and into the spotlight for an entirely new generation of fans. With WBA’s Sam Register executive producing, and “Batman Beyond’s” Glen Murakami and “Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated’s” Mitch Watson producing, “Beware the Batman,” based on characters from DC Comics, is coming soon to Cartoon Network.
  • Total Drama: Revenge of the Island: It’s back to the island where Total Drama began with an all-new cast! Since the series’ host Chris took the show worldwide, Camp Wawanakwa has been abandoned and turned into a toxic nuclear waste dump—the perfect place for new and painful, cringe-inducing challenges! Fighting for the million dollar prize are thirteen wild new players. “Total Drama: Revenge of the Island” is produced by Fresh TV and will premiere on Cartoon Network this summer.

SPECIALS AND MOVIES

  • Cartoon Network Hall of Game Awards: “Hall of Game” is Cartoon Network’s signature venture into the broadcast awards arena, created and produced in association with IMG Media, the production arm of global sports, entertainment and media company, IMG. This high-energy, multi-platform experience lets viewers decide who’s got game, by honoring their favorite sports stars and sports moments of the year. From the red carpet, to the never-before-seen stunts and surprises on stage, this unconventional celebration in 2013 will be led by a celebrity host and feature icons from television, film, music and sports, as kids experience an evening of humor and fun at the most raucous and biggest sports awards show ever presented on television.

RETURNING SERIES

  • Adventure Time
  • Regular Show
  • MAD
  • The Amazing World of Gumball
  • The Looney Tunes Show
  • Ninjago
  • Level Up
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • Young Justice
  • Johnny Test
  • Pokémon
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series
  • Almost Naked Animals
  • Casper's Scare School
  • Hero 108
  • Scaredy Squirrel
  • Sidekick

Upfront TV: A&E, History Unscripted Gold | “The Pitch” Launches | Disney Tops Nickelodeon

Published 2 years ago
  • After its strongest ratings year of 2011, A&E began 2012 with its best quarter ever in Q1. Year to-date, cable net Arts & Entertainment (A&E) currently ranks fifth among all entertainment cable networks in adults 25-54, adults 18-49 and in total viewers. The network was up in adults 25-54 (819,000 vs. 807,000) and up in total viewers (1,608,000 vs. 1,574,000) edging out the previously record-setting first quarter 2011 as the best in network history. Led by such original hit series as “Storage Wars,” “Storage Wars: Texas,” “Shipping Wars,” and “Duck Dynasty,” the network introduced eight original series that averaged more than one-million viewers in adults 18-49 and seven original series that averaged more than one-million viewers in adults 25-54. (The original programming is far heaver on the entertainment than the arts.)

  • Elsewhere on cable, History also secured its best quarter ever in key demos in Q1 2012, with key adults and total viewers. History claims to have been the #1 network on cable (excluding sports) for the quarter among men 25-54, with offerings like “Pawn Stars,” “American Pickers” and “Swamp People,” as well as “Larry the Cable Guy” and “Ax Men.”.In addition, HISTORY had nine series average over 1.0 million A25-54 impressions and 11 over 850,000.  As well, the network had three of the top seven series (vs. all cable scripted/unscripted) among Adults 25-54 (“Pawn Stars” at 3.1 million; “American Pickers” at 2.6 million; and “Swamp People” at 2.5 million). “Pawn Stars” was the #1 non-fiction cable series among total viewers (5.8 million) and adults 25-54 (3.1 million) in 1st quarter. Missing among all those top-rated series on History, which follow contemporary pawnbrokers, migrant workers and swamp residents? Anything historic.

  • AMC launches its newest unscripted series, “The Pitch,” with a sneak preview of the premiere episode, featuring Subway restaurants, on Sunday, April 8 at 11 P.M. ET/PT following the network’s award-winning series “Mad Men” and “The Killing.” The Pitch” chronicles the incredible lengths, intense stakes and tight deadlines top advertising agencies encounter when they take aim at a major new piece of business. The series follows the best creative shops as they prepare campaigns knowing that in the end, it all comes down to the pitch. The eight-part unscripted series will then return on Monday, April 30 with a new episode, featuring Waste Management, at 9 P.M. ET/PT followed by an encore showing of the premiere in its regular timeslot at 10 P.M. ET/PT. “The Pitch” Subway restaurants episode will also be available on AMCTV.com, iTunes and YouTube following its sneak peek.
  • After four weeks of what Deadline Hollywood calls “miniscule ratings” on Saturday night, Fox is yanking the Jennifer Lopez/Marc Anthony reality series “Q’Viva: The Chosen” from primetime and moving it to Saturday late night. Q’Viva original U.S. broadcasts air on Univision, the Spanish-language network, then debuted on Fox with a 0.8 rating among adults 18-49 in the 8-10 P.M. Saturday slot, and has since dropped to a 0.5. Fox will replace the last two episodes of “Q’Viva” with perennial favorite “Cops,” which had averaged a 1.2 rating in the period. “Q’Viva” will be trimmed to 90 minutes to run on Fox’s Saturday late-night block from 11 P.M.-12:30 A.M.
  • Proving the power of syndication, Adweek opined that “Mad Men may be the ultimate critical darling…but the most transformative show on basic cable is actually a broadcast hand-me-down,” being “The Big Bang Theory.” It is now the most-watched comedy on cable, drawing more than 3 million viewers per episode on TBS, and has “sent TBS’s fortunes soaring.” In the first quarter of this year, TBS accomplished something officially upended USA Network as the top-rated cable entertainment channel among adults 18-to-49; through March 25, TBS averaged 1.22 million members in the 18-49 demographic, a 33% improvement from the same period in 2011.

  • There is “a new kids' kingpin,” declared Multichannel News. In March, and for the first time in its history, Disney Channel topped Nickelodeon in ratings and total viewers among kids aged 2 to 11. Disney tied Nickelodeon with a 2.7 total-day cable rating (a 2.3 national mark) in February, then took a 2.6 total-day rating for the ratings month Feb. 27 to March 25, versus 2.4 for Nickelodeon. “As such,” said Multichannel News, “Disney ended Nick's 17-year run as the most-watched basic-cable network in the total-day measure.” True—but Nickelodeon with its aging inventory has been ailing and easy to beat. It has yet to launch its aggressive new slate of 650 new episodes for the 2012-2013 season.

Upfront Digital: Xfinity’s March Madness | CW App | Limbaugh Dares Tweeting | Digitas Wins eBay

Published 2 years, 1 month ago
  • “Comcast's XfinityTV is giving college hoops fans a chance to check out all the Madness in one place,” writes Multichannel News. Comcast has aggregated coverage of the NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Championship at http://xfinity.comcast.net/sports/cbk/, where Comcast subscribers can stream games live; this regardless of the network on which a game airs, be it TBS, TNT, TruTV or broadcaster CBS. The microsite also brings in video from ESPN, Fox Sports, Big Ten Network, AP and Reuters.

  • No word yet on if/how it will work in advertising, but PixyKids, a social network aimed at kids 6-12, has raised $3m in funding, reports SocialTimes. The funding comes from ATA Ventures and angel investors. PixyKids is a new social network focused upon parent-approved entertainment, social interaction and creativity. The site will have a heavy bent toward creativity, offering kids a platform to share their art, photos and videos. CEO Rajul Kadakia has billed it as “Facebook Meets Disney.”
  • The CW is “Pushing the boundaries to where its young TV viewers are,” writes Media Post, “as well as helping its TV advertising sponsors,” by releaseing a new mobile app where full episodes of CW shows can be viewed the next day—ads intact. Before, those episodes were available three days after airing. In fact, the most recently aired five episodes are available on the app, which in turn is available for iPad, iPhone and Android. CW is home to “Vampire Diaries,” “Gossip Girl,” “America’s Next Top Model” and “Gossip Girls,” among other properties.

  • Rush Limbaugh posted his first tweets yesterday, reports CNBC, with links to two stories that were supportive of him after the recent advertiser boycott. (This after Limbaugh referred to a female birth-control advocate and law student as a “slut” and a “prostitute.”) A bold move, considering the considerable backlash against him on Twitter. Limbaugh created the Twitter account in 2009 but never used it. “There’s an army out there that wants to be mobilized, and so, I figured, use Twitter for it,” he said on his radio show. One story by Cornell Law School professor William Jacobson accused Limbaugh’s opponents of “astroturfing” advertisers. As of Thursday, Limbaugh had more than 100,000 followers.
  • eBay has selected Publicis Groupe's Digitas to handle its digital media and digital creative, reports Ad Age. Digitas beat out a trio of finalists, which included Organic and Swirl. The deal does not as yet include social media, and it is unclear if that will be assigned to a different agency. eBay's North American CMO Richelle Parham worked at Digitas for 12 years, finishing as senior VP and general manager at Digitas in 2007.