COMEDY CENTRAL PULLS CLIPS FROM YOUTUBE
In what could amount to a telling blow to the video website YouTube.com -- purchased by Google last month for $1.6 billion -- Comedy Central has forced it to remove thousands of clips from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert's The Colbert Report, and South Park, the New York Post reported today (Monday). Ordinarily, when such clips are removed from the website at the request of the copyright owner, they are quickly replaced. But according to the Post, in this instance, those who originally posted the Comedy Central clips said that they have received emails from the site warning them that if they uploaded the clips again, it would "result in the deletion of your [YouTube] account."
STUDIO 60 TO FADE OUT, SAYS REPORT
NBC is about to cancel Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, one of the most hyped shows of the fall season, FoxNews.com columnist Roger Friedman reported Sunday, citing unnamed insiders. Although the network announced last week that it had ordered three additional scripts, and top executives continued to praise the quality of the show, cast members have reportedly told friends that cancellation is imminent, the cable news network said. Ratings for the show, from producer-writer Aaron Sorkin, continue to slide, with last week's audience tallied at 7.7 million versus 17.5 million for CBS's CSI: Miami in the same time period. Fox said that the show will likely be replaced with a reality series or game show.
BASEBALL, A HIT IN THE STANDS, A DISAPPOINTMENT ON TV
For the fourth time in seven years, last week's World Series coverage hit a new low in the ratings, attracting 15.8 million viewers, down from 17.2 million last year, according to preliminary figures from Nielsen Research. Moreover, Fox's telecast of Game 3 of the series wound up with fewer viewers than ABC's Dancing With the Stars. Asked about the defeat to Dancing, Fox spokesman Lou D'Ermilio observed in an interview with today's (Monday) Wall Street Journal: "Is that phenomenon not unlike the Olympics losing to American Idol? I think there's some comparison." Nevertheless, the newspapernoted that despite the World Series downturn, baseball is continuing to thrive, tallying a record 76 million tickets sold during the past season and additional revenue from regional advertising, licensing, international sales, and the Internet. "The clubs have been extraordinarily creative in creating new revenue streams," MLB President and COO Bob DuPuy told the Journal.
HDTV TO OVERTAKE STANDARD TV NEXT YEAR, SAYS STUDY
Sales of high-definition television sets are expected to exceed sales of standard-definition sets for the first next year, the Consumer Electronics Association has predicted. "Prices are the big thing that is going to be driving holiday sales-the free fall," Enderle Group analyst Rob Enderle, told TV Week. Prices for HDTV sets are now half what they were just a year ago, Enderle observed, amounting to "the biggest drop I have seen in a 12-month period of time. We are getting to the point where we are close to the limits of where we can get with panel [monitor] prices and it's an amazing reduction in price." Unfortunately, said Enderle, "There is a lack of true good hi-def programming. ... Now it's programming's turn to catch up."
BBC EMPLOYEES BATTLING PLANS TO SELL ADS ON WEBSITE
Employees of the British Broadcasting Corp. are circulating a 10-page petition condemning proposals to sell advertising on the BBC News website, the New York Times reported today (Monday). According to the newspaper, although the ads would be seen only outside of Britain, employees warn that it could place the publicly supported broadcaster on "a slippery slope" towards becoming a commercial broadcaster. One website employee employee warned that if advertisers wind up underwriting the Web content, "There has to be a chance that advertisers wouldn't care about us doing stories on poverty and African politics, they'd want us to do more stories on Madonna and Kylie," a reference to Australian-born British pop star Kylie Minogue. The petition campaign came as a strategy paper from Accenture, the world's largest management and technology consulting firm, was released noting that the BBC could earn as much as $200 million annually from international online advertising. Britain's Guardian newspaper, which reported on the Accenture study, said that foes of the ad-supported Internet plan are expected to launch a newsletter and a website of their own to raise awareness and drum up support for their opposition campaign.