ROCKIES LOW; SOX AND FOX HIGH
Despite the fact that the Boston Red Sox dominated their first World Series game against the Colorado Rockies from beginning to end (the Sox won it 13-1), the game produced big ratings for Fox. The game, which averaged a 10.5 rating and a 17 share, won every half hour in primetime Wednesday (peaking with an 11.3/17 during the 9:00 p.m. hour), easily outscoring the usual Wednesday-night winner, CBS, which placed second with a 7.8/12.
CABLEVISION'S DOLANS CAN'T BUY BACK COMPANY
Cablevision CEO James Dolan announced Wednesday that shareholders had rejected his family's offer of $36.26 a share to take the company private. In his statement, Dolan said that while the family was "disappointed" in the outcome of the shareholders' vote, "in many ways, it is a very positive event. We see today's outcome as a vote of confidence in the prospects of Cablevision." A shareholders' group had previously said that it considered the family's bid too low. Shares in Cablevision were down nearly 4 percent to $29.69 on the New York Stock Exchange in mid-morning trading today (Thursday).
L.A. SUPERVISOR "MOURNS" LOSS OF KTLA NEWS COVERAGE
A Los Angeles County Supervisor has "mourned" the reduction in live local news coverage of Tribune-owned KTLA. Once regarded as the station-to-turn-to when major local events occurred, it has presented relatively little coverage of the Southern California fires -- arguably the biggest local news story of the year. As reported by L.A. Observed blogger Kevin Roderick, Supervisor Mike Antonovich noted the reduced coverage of the fire as he adjourned Wednesday's session of the board, then issued a press release saying, "People are watching the other channels to find out what's happening -- because KTLA is showing sitcom repeats and third-rate soap operas." Meanwhile, Broadcasting & Cable reported on its website that the FCC now plans to hold the last of its hearings on relaxing media-ownership rules and its possible effect on local broadcasting on Oct. 31, then vote on deregulation proposals on Dec. 18. Democratic commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein noted that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin was allowing only five days for preparations. "This is unacceptable and unfair to the public," they said. "And it makes putting together an expert panel nearly impossible."
WGA VS. VARIETY
The Writers Guild of America West has condemned a front-page article in Daily Variety headlined "Reality in Check: WGA Gives Up on Nonscripted Effort" and beginning with the words, "Despite its rhetoric to the contrary, the WGA is quietly pulling the plug on the notion of getting reality shows under its jurisdiction." In a message to members, WGA West President Patric Verrone called the article "baseless ... patently false." Verrone indicated that when contacted, the writer of the article, Dave McNary, had said that the article was based on his own analysis. "We intend to make clear to Variety's editors that opinions should be labeled as such, and not printed on the front page under a banner headline," Verrone wrote.
ANALYSTS FORECAST FAILURE FOR HULU
Several industry analysts are predicting failure for Hulu, the video website being created by NBC and Fox that is due to begin private beta testing within the next week, Investors Business Daily reported today (Thursday). The newspaper quoted Peter Kafka, who rites the SiliconAlley.com blog, as observing that Hulu faces four serious hurdles: "It's going up against an entrenched competitor in YouTube; it's shunned by CBS, Disney and Viacom; it's a venture of two companies that hate each other; and it's about two years too late." Another analyst, Todd Dagres, general partner of Spark Capital, commented, "The odds of it succeeding are low." Another digital media industry executive, who declined to be identified, remarked, "Hulu has had bad vibes from the start. ... It's not clear ... what the true intent of Hulu is."
FOOL.COM COLUMNIST BLASTS NBC'S WEB STRATEGY
A longtime columnist for the investment website Fool.com has lambasted NBC's Internet strategy, calling its decision last week to close down its YouTube site "moronic" and "nuts." Rick Aristotle Munarriz argued that instead of shutting it down, NBC could have used it to direct visitors to its own video website, Hulu, which is to begin beta testing within the next week. "Wouldn't you think that it would be in NBC's best interest to keep the YouTube channel going, if only to have free access to tens of thousands of fans to let them know it's filling out a change-of-address card?" Munarriz asked. The columnist was equally critical of NBC's decision to pull its shows from Apple's iTunes Store, where the network was being paid for each download, and instead making the shows available on their NBC's own site for free. "The quest for exclusivity has brought out some peculiar eccentricities in NBC's DNA. It's not very flattering," Munarriz concluded.