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Archives: December 2009

Shelly Palmer’s MediaBytes

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ShopTalk will be off on December 31st and New Year’s Day. We will resume on Monday, January 4th.

Fox-TWC Fight Could Weaken Hold on Spectrum

GigaOM

TW, FOX ads The fight between Time Warner Cable and News Corp. over retransmission fees for Fox’s broadcast channels may make it hard for the broadcast industry to defend its precious spectrum from the cellular industry’s attempt to take it. Time Warner Cable and News Corp. are in a standoff over the fees the cable company will pay for access to Fox and Fox regional sports channels.

The fight over retransmission fees is a battle over the value of content and trying to ensure that News Corp. gets paid for broadcast and cable channels. That means broadcasters are seeking payment from the cable providers for over-the-air channels and sharing those fees among local affiliates. But a story from the Associated Press quotes an analyst who speculates that one of the big four broadcasters (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) could seek to become a cable channel and dump its local affiliates within the next two years.

If one of the big broadcasters suddenly sees more value in becoming a cable provider, where it can make money from selling advertising as well as selling access to its channel to cable providers, then its spectrum, and likely that of its affiliates, suddenly becomes vulnerable. More…

Famed Sportscaster George Michael Remembered

Washington Post

George Michael, Sports Machine It’s after 9 p.m. on Christmas Eve, and Joe Gibbs, a man of strong conviction, wants to talk about another man of strong conviction.

“George had such great courage,” the former Redskins head coach said of his friend George Michael, who died of cancer Thursday morning at age 70. “The last two years when I would talk to him to see how he was doing, he would have such concern for others.” He would often ask about Taylor, Gibbs’s grandson, who was fighting leukemia. “By the time we were done, he ended up cheering me up.”

Of all the odd couplings on a coach’s show, which the two executed for years during both of Gibbs’s tours, an iconic sportscaster paired with the most significant and humble sports figure in the city’s history had to rank up there.

“I was the milquetoast coach and he would try to shock me by saying things like, ‘You don’t believe that!’ After a while, I’d either laugh or just sit there looking at him.” More…

TVs In Cars Forecast To Double By 2015

Multichannel

Car TV Get ready for more TVs to hit the road: About 17.6 million television systems for automobiles will ship in 2015, up from 8.2 million this year, according to market research firm iSuppli.

The iSuppli forecast encompasses worldwide shipments of mobile television systems for cars, including embedded solutions and TVs included in portable navigation devices (PNDs).

However, the market for in-car TVs and related services faces numerous financial and technical challenges, according to iSuppli principal analyst of automotive electronics Richard Robinson. “For broadcasters and receiver manufacturers alike, considerable technical issues need to be addressed,” he said. “For example, the uninterrupted delivery of picture and audio is imperative in moving vehicles, regardless of the receiving environment.”

Mobile TV in the automotive space is likely to piggyback on any successes in handheld mobile TV delivery, according to Robinson. More…

Bay Area Icon Reflects on Career

Contra Costa Times

Belva Davis No one was more surprised than Belva Davis when KQED Channel 9 asked her to stay on as anchor of its revamped weekly news analysis staple, “This Week in Northern California.”

“I did not think they were going to try something fresh and new with an old, dyed-hair lady,” said Davis in her distinctive husky voice and flashing her trademark smile. “But they have. They have put a lot of confidence in me overcoming the natural deficits of time.”

Davis has been on television in the Bay Area for 43 years–16 of those on KQED public television–and has earned a wall full of journalism awards, including a place in the National Association of Black Journalists’ Hall of Fame and a lifetime achievement award from the International Women’s Media Foundation.

It helps that most people don’t believe the veteran broadcast journalist is 77 years old. More…

Longtime Detroit Sports Broadcaster Dave Diles Dies

Detroit Free Press

Dave Diles Longtime local and national sports broadcaster, commentator and author Dave Diles died over the weekend at his Athens, Ohio, home from complications of a recent stroke. He was 78.

Diles was a mainstay of Detroit sports for much of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s when he worked for WXYZ-AM radio and WXYZ-TV (Channel 7). He hosted the first radio sports talk show in Detroit, called “Dial Dave Diles.”

Diles gained national fame when he worked for ABC Sports for part of the ’70s and ’80s, hosting “Wide World of Sports” and the “Prudential College Football Scoreboard.”

“Dave was one of the smartest men I’ve ever met and most certainly the smartest man in the industry,” said Mort Meisner, who worked with Diles at Channel 7 from 1979-81. “Dave brought an extraordinary touch of class and thoughtfulness to news. He was not a showman. He was a true voice for sports.” More…

Martin Fletcher Leaving NBC News

TVNewser

Martin Fletcher NBC News Tel Aviv bureau chief and correspondent Martin Fletcher is leaving the network, TVNewser has learned. Fletcher has been with NBC for 32 years.

“Frankly, I’m rather shocked at the idea, even though I initiated it!” Fletcher tells TVNewser. “At the same time, I’m looking forward thoroughly to getting on to something I want to do, which is writing my third book, a novel.”

NBC News president Steve Capus tells TVNewser, “While Martin has decided to take some time to focus on his successful career as an author, NBC News will always be his home and we are excited about some future projects that we will work together on. Martin’s role in NBC News’ coverage of the Middle East has been tremendous and while we hate to see him move off the hot seat, we are thankful to be in a position that allows our friend to focus more on his writing, while we continue our exceptionally strong coverage of this region.

“On behalf of all of us at NBC News, thank you Martin for your dedication and friendship through the years.” More…

Sinclair to Test Rentrak Measurement System

Broadcasting & Cable

Rentrak Logo Measurement firm Rentrak appears to be gaining momentum in its push into the broadcast business, announcing Wednesday that one of the largest station groups, Sinclair Broadcast Group, will test Rentrak’s new “StationView Essentials” system to measure viewing of seven stations in four markets. Sinclair is one of several large station groups who have expressed dissatisfaction with local TV ratings provided by measurement giant Nielsen.

Sinclair stations participating in the trial, which will use the Rentrak system to measure local station performance via set-top-box data, are: WSYX (ABC) and WTTE (FOX) in Columbus, Ohio; WCGV (MNT) and WVTV (CW) in Milwaukee, Wisc.; KABB (FOX) and KMYS (MNT) in San Antonio, Tex.; and KDNL (ABC) in St. Louis, Mo.. Rentrak says the agreement will include working with advertisers and agencies to combine direct marketing tactics with set-top viewing data.

The agreement will begin on January 1, 2010 and includes a long-term expansion option for all of Sinclair’s markets. Outputs will include analytics of total television consumption, and advertising buys based on engagement metrics derived through the StationView Essentials service. More…

In Sioux City, Cable One Nears Broadcast Deal

Sioux City Journal

CableONE logo KPTH Fox Network affiliate station manager Dan Marsh said Tuesday that an agreement between Cable One and Titan Broadcast Management, which owns KPTH and CBS Sioux City affiliate KMEG, is almost certain to be settled by Thursday.

The two sides have been negotiating a multi-year agreement, and Marsh said a breakthrough is about to occur. That will no doubt please Iowa Hawkeye football fans, who have been uneasy at the prospect of not being able to watch the Jan. 5 Orange Bowl via Cable One. The two affiliates also broadcast all NFL football games and popular television series like “American Idol,” “24,” “CSI” and “Two and a Half Men.”

The current multi-year agreement expires at the end of the year.

“I am really confident they are really close,” Marsh said.

There are approximately 24,000 Cable One metro subscribers, though these negotiations would not affect South Sioux City Cable One customers. More…

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