BAD NEWS FOR NEWSPAPERS, TV
Like a doctor receiving a dire diagnosis of his own illness, the newspaper business got more unwelcome news Monday with a research paper from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press revealing that more Americans now get more of their news about national and international matters from the Internet than they do from newspapers. The report said that 40 percent of Americans depend on the Internet for news (up from 24 percent in September 2007), while 35 percent rely on newspapers. Television remains the main source -- at 70 percent. Among the younger demographic group -- those under 30 -- 59 percent said that they get most of their news from the Internet.
DAILY CHINA HD DOCUMENTARY TO SIMULCAST IN U.S., CHINA
In what is being billed as the first syndicated series to be simulcast in the U.S. and China and the first high-definition series ever to air in China, 5 Continents Television (5CTV) plans to premiere Discover China, a 260-episode series, on Thursday on the two U.S. satellite services, DirecTV and DISH, while also being broadcast in China's top-30 markets. In a statement, 5CTV said that its production partner, Beijing Yuanchun Media Co., had gained "unprecedented access" to film "some of china's most guarded landmarks," including "shocking archaeological discoveries that may hold the key to the missing link in human evolution." Viewing the daily (M-F) program will likely require use of a digital video recorder, since it will air on DISH from midnight to 12:30 a.m. and on DirecTV from 3:00-3:30 p.m. EDT.
TIME RUNNING OUT TO MAKE SWITCH TO DIGITAL TV
Owners of TV sets who currently receive over-the-air analog broadcasts and who have not yet requested $40 coupons from the government to be used for purchasing converter boxes may discover that those coupons will no longer be available in less than two weeks, reports indicated on Monday. Those unable to obtain the coupons will have to wait until after the February 17 analog-to-digital transition day when the government determines how many coupons have not been redeemed. So far, there have been 44 million requests for the coupons, but only 18 million have been used. Today's (Tuesday) Washington Post observed that delivery of the coupons has been taking up to four weeks -- meaning that anyone wishing to receive them in time for the switch must do so without further delay.
KOREA'S HYUNDAI TO PITCH NEW CAR AT SUPER BOWL
Although none of the Big Three automakers has bought any commercials for the February 1 Super Bowl, Hyundai said Monday that it plans to air two commercials for its new 2010 Genesis Coupe. The commercials will show the car at the Road Atlanta race track in Northeast Georgia, where, according to a company statement, "the upper limits of the car's awesome abilities" can be explored. Last year the Korean auto manufacturer introduced its Genesis sedan during the Super Bowl telecast. Germany's Audi also has purchased a 60-second spot that is scheduled to air during the first quarter of the game.
GLUT OF FLAT-SCREEN TV SETS CLOGS STORES
Despite deep discounting of flat-screen TV sets over the holiday, there remains a glut of them in stores, according to a research paper by Avian Securities. "Overall inventory is still above demand," the report said, noting that the two leading LCD makers in Taiwan, AU Optronics and Chi Mei Optoelectronics "continue to crank out product even with their factories running at a drastically reduced rate of capacity." Last week, Japan's Sharp Corp. said that it will close down to LCD manufacturing plants in central Japan, citing oversupply in the flat-panel market.