BET BEATS BROADCAST NETS WITH AWARDS SPECIAL
Sunday night's BET awards, which became a de facto Michael Jackson tribute special, attracted 10.2 million viewers. It was the most who have ever tuned in to the Viacom-owned network, which targets the African-American audience. The numbers overshadowed those of the broadcast networks, whose highest-rated program on Sunday, CBS's 60 Minutes, attracted 7.94 million viewers. Nevertheless, the Los Angeles Times observed today (Tuesday) that the awards ceremony "provoked scathing reaction from bloggers and viewers who found some elements of the show, along with host Jamie Foxx's constant self-promotion of his album and upcoming tour, distasteful and offensive."
BROADCASTERS DOMINATE VIDEO AD SALES ONLINE
When it comes to selling advertising on web video, the traditional broadcasters have YouTube beat by a mile. According to media researchers Screen Digest, more than half the ad revenue from online video was produced by CBS, NBC, Fox and Hulu (the joint venture between News Corp's Fox, ABC Disney and NBC Universal). Together they pulled in $448 million in 2008, the report said. It predicted that the figure will rise to $1.45 billion by 2013. Nevertheless, it noted, that amount would only represent 2.2 percent of all U.S. TV advertising revenue in that year -- slightly less than what the TV ad marketplace is expected to lose by then.
HULU TO PLAYSTATION OWNERS: NO VIDEO FOR YOU
In the latest effort to keep Hulu content off TV sets and on computer monitors only, users of PlayStation 3 consoles, who have been using the device to bring online video to their TV sets, discovered on Monday that they were blocked from doing so with Hulu. Instead, according to Gizmodo.com, they received the message, "Unfortunately, this video is not available on your platform. We apologize for any inconvenience." In February Hulu blocked users of the Boxee platform -- which streams video to TV sets via other settop boxes like the AppleTV -- from accessing the site, saying it was doing so at the request of "our content providers." The principal content provider on Hulu is NBC Universal, whose CEO, Jeff Zucker commented that he had blocked Boxee because "we're committed to Hulu being an online experience."
CABLE COMPANY EXPECTS TO ROLL OUT "REMOTE RECORDING" SLOWLY
Cablevision on Tuesday hailed a decision by the Supreme Court not to review a federal appeals court ruling that permitted "remote-storage" -- that is, allowing its cable customers, who reside mostly in the New York City area, to record programs onto the cable company's servers rather than on settop digital video recorders. The ruling is expected to save Cablevision millions of dollars in DVR hardware costs. However, the cable company did not indicate when it planned to roll out the service, saying only that later this summer it would begin "deploying the first application of this new technology -- the ability to pause live television when the phone rings." Cablevision COO Tom Rutledge called the Supreme Court ruling "a tremendous victory," but he also said that his company is "mindful of the potential implications for ad skipping." He said that the company was looking into ways to give the customers what they want while also delivering "real benefits to advertisers." He also indicated that remote storage will give his company a decided advantage over satellite companies which would be hard pressed to offer such a service. Also likely to be harmed by such a service -- especially if, as seems likely, it is adopted by other cable companies -- are the traditional manufacturers of digital video recorders, most notably TiVo.
JACKSON HAD FILMED A 3D MOVIE BEFORE HIS DEATH
Details were still sketchy, but the Associated Press reported Monday that two weeks before his death, Michael Jackson wrapped up production on a 3D film titled The Dome Project, which he had expected to be included in his London performances. The project hearkened back to his Thriller 3D movie that became an attraction at Disneyland. Sources told the A.P. that the movie was shot "in marathon sessions" on four different sets at Culver Studios from June 1-9 but that five weeks of work went into the project. It reportedly was in post-production at the time of Jackson's death. It was unclear whether Jackson had planned to screen the movie in theaters or on television following his concert tour.