WHAT’S THE POST-COVID FUTURE OF TV?

If you spent a good chunk of the pandemic watching TV, you weren’t alone. TV viewership saw huge jumps, with daytime viewing hitting levels previously only seen on the weekend. And alongside those viewership changes were changes in production.

After everything the industry has gone through in the last year, what will TV look like after the pandemic? 

Increasing Costs Lead To Simpler Production 

Movies often take months or years to produce, but TV typically works on schedules of weeks or months. The shorter production time allows for more agility in responding to COVID cases and changes, but also creates problems when sudden delays occur.

Almost all TV production was shut down for months at the height of the pandemic. Once things started filming again, there were major changes. Sets are typically divided into zones, with actors working on the most protected set, and other zones consisting of extras or production staff who can more easily social distance. Sets have also implemented additional safety measures, including regular COVID tests and temperature checks, a full medical staff on set and personal protective gear for the entire crew. 

All of those increased safety measures lead to a major increase in production costs, typically 10-20% of the show’s budget. That accounts for an additional $200,000-$300,000 per sitcom episode, up to $500,000 extra per drama episode. To make up for the additional costs, most networks are cutting the number of shows per season with the idea that creating fewer episodes will equal the time and cost of a traditional season. CBS, for example, cut most of its shows down from the typical 22 episodes a season to 16. But with fewer episodes comes less advertising revenue. 

How TV shows look is also affected by COVID. Some series, including 911, Grey’s Anatomy and This Is Us incorporated COVID into their storylines. But all shows include fewer scenes shot on location, fewer costume changes, fewer extras and less physical touch between actors. 

Changing Schedules And Lineups

Networks have slowly been able to keep content coming during the pandemic, but longer production has impacted adding new shows. The number of original scripted TV series across broadcast, cable and streaming services dropped in 2020 for the first time in more than a decade.  

The changes in production schedules, delays and show cancellations have greatly affected the pipeline of incoming content. With limited crews, virtual writers’ rooms and increased production costs, fewer pilots and new shows are being made. Most networks aren’t willing to take the risk of ordering a new show based just on the cast and script. 

The TV calendar is also changing. Instead of the traditional fall and spring TV seasons, networks are moving towards a year-round approach to fit content in whenever it is ready and to match the year-round release schedule of streaming content. 

Future Of The Television Industry  

Changes to sets and production standards could be lasting as networks look to cut costs and keep crews safe. In doing so, American TV loses the advantage of its traditional high production value, which some experts predict could open the door for increased international content. Some shows, including Lupin from France, have already gained strong audiences via streaming, and that trend could continue. 

The future will also bring an increase in animated content aimed at adults. Networks like Comedy Central and Fox Entertainment were moving towards adult animation pre-COVID, but the ability to safely and consistently produce animated content is an advantage moving forward.

The pandemic has also pushed many networks further away from scripted programming. E! and Bravo are now focused almost exclusively on unscripted shows, and other networks are dramatically cutting their scripted programming in favor of reality-style shows that are less expensive and easier to produce. 

Production is also slowly starting to regain speed. In New York, around 40 TV shows were shot in April 2021, which is back to pre-pandemic levels. Things are also getting back to normal in Los Angeles and Georgia, the country’s other two large production hubs.

But even as production resumes around the world, the backlog will be felt for years to come. 

TV became an escape for many people during the pandemic. But now that escape is evolving into a more fluid industry. We’ll always have TV, but what we watch and when may be forever changed. 

The pandemic showed how much TV and movie content matters to consumers. But as the industries change, how people consume content and what they watch will also forever be changed. 

Source: forbes.com

PRIMA BOOSTED ITS AUTUMN PROGRAMME AND TAKES INTEREST IN ANOTHER CHANNEL

Its innovated autumn programme schedule should help Prima to increase its ad capacity and market share, says Marek Singer, Prima’s CEO, in an interview.

The unexpected growth in the TV ad market in the first half of this year resulted in the increased attention that Prima paid to its autumn programme schedule. In the following months, Prima expects growing interest from its advertisers and will seek to satisfy their demand through the boosted programme. It is also interested in the introduction of a new thematic station although an archive channel Prima Star was launched this spring. In addition, it will prepare the introduction of a paid video content service. Its form should be decided this autumn. “In the autumn, we want to prepare a concept of paid video offering and its general solution. According to the autumn market development, we will consider the options for new thematic stations,” says Marek Singer, Prima’s CEO, in an interview for MediaGuru.cz. 

Prima’s autumn schedule that will start with a pre-premiere of its series 1. mise on Sunday includes several new shows. The offering has changed more visibly compared to previous seasons. Covid impacted nearly the entire first half and your direct competitor, TV Nova, increased its investments in the programme after the entry of the new owner. What effect did those facts have on your autumn programming?

The overall social situation affected by the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted our considerations of the autumn schedule. We did not expect that after the winter lockdown, the market would recover so markedly and the demand for TV advertising would grow. We had to reconsider our autumn plans and included more new shows in the programming to respond to the increased demand. It is costly but we believe that investments in programmes will pay back through ad income. We always take our competitors into consideration, it is nothing exceptional. Any TV group wants to come up with the best position for its programmes as part of the positioning game. For example, we reflected that ČT1 and TV Nova run detective stories on Monday evenings and that is why we come up with a new romantic comedy series from the country Hvězdy nad hlavou.

Three new series of various genres bring new elements to the structure of the programme schedule. And the question is how they will catch on. Isn’t it too risky?

Any piece of news or any change has a certain level of risk. But the changes are inevitable from time to time. I think that the period of soap operas will not recur. Viewers’ preferences and interests are much more fragmented than before. In general, people watch more video content but the available offer has been growing as well. Viewers have a lot to choose from and they use the opportunity. In terms of stability, it would be better to have two or three long-term series but this model was popular in 1990s and is no longer in. If we talk about a long-term series these days, we plan it for two to three years. It is also due to the fact that there are not so many teams of scriptwriters to work on a series.

With the increased volume of original content in your programming, the financial requirements for its production are likely to grow as well. From the outside you seem to spend more and more money on programming…

It seems to be a correct observation but I cannot disclose the precise figure. It relates to Covid making people return to their TV sets. Some have learnt to use the offer of video services. It increases the level of expected quality. People compare our production with foreign content and we need some budget to be able to compete. It is not a matter of broadcast hours. I do not think that we have increased their number but the requirements for content quality are growing, resulting in higher prices for production. This applies to all broadcasters and it will result in our seeking new sources of income. We will make some form of online video to support other sources of income but we will release the programming costs to a wider portfolio of sources.

What do you expect from the autumn programme in terms of viewership?

It is very tricky to estimate the numbers as we and our competitors make more changes in our programming. We would like to build a better position than our competitors this autumn compared to last autumn. With the help of the autumn schedule, we aim at increasing the advertising capacity and the market share. We will see how the TV rating will develop. There was lockdown last autumn and TV ratings were growing. If the TV market maintains the same levels of viewership as last autumn, it will be success.

The average daily viewing time was four hours and fifteen minutes for the first seven months of this year. It means that this year the time spent in front of a screen is higher than a year ago.

Figures show that in the Czech Republic and in Europe people have not left their TV screens. On the contrary, they spend more time watching TV. The viewing of linear TV and relating catch-up services is higher now than before Covid.

You have mentioned that in the first half of the year you did not expect advertisers’ great interest due to Covid. What is your explanation of the increased demand? Are there any new advertisers?

Consumer demand for some products and services seems to go up after the decline in the Covid period. And it does not seem to be a short-term development. In the summer, the unusual pressure continues as advertisers want to promote their services and products more than in previous years. Summer campaigns are intensive this year and the demand does not seem to go down. New advertisers appear but I do not think it is a post-Covid phenomenon. Our advertiser base changes continuously as new firms emerge on the market and want to expand. The entry of new clients results more from structural changes and it does not relate to TV as such.

But according to all forecasts and predictions, it should be vice versa, demand was expected to fall.

This was exactly what we were expecting all year. But it is not happening just in the Czech Republic. We can see it in the US and in some European states. At the beginning of the year the situation was entirely different and there were speculations as to a rapid slump in global economy or stagnation at the best. This is why it is difficult to make any predictions looking ahead.

Given the development you have described and due to the growth in consumer prices, can we expect the prices for the TV ad space to go up in 2022?

We can see now that in general, inflation will range between 3 and 5% and it is one of the factors we need to take into consideration. It is a big difference compared to previous years. TV inflation may see two-digit figures. We discuss with clients what to do if a plant’s production is not sufficient. There are two options. Either a new plant is built or prices go up. We are doing both.

Can you comment on how the first half was reflected in Prima’s total revenues?

Given the significant recovery of the advertising market, the revenues were higher than expected. And they are higher than in the first half of 2019, i.e. before Covid.

You have indicated that you want to develop income sources arising from the sale of content to subscribers. Are you considering your own paid streaming service?

It shows that Covid has accelerated people’s habits and their readiness to pay for professional Czech video content. If there is demand why not make supply. We are talking about a joint video offering of Czech operators, i.e. about an option to introduce a ‘Czechflix’. We will see what the discussions will lead to. We are successful in exploiting the TV series Slunečná in our video rental store on iPrima.cz. Many people pay to watch the series before it is broadcast on TV. But this is something different from a comprehensive offer that would make people pay monthly subscription. That is more demanding but we are considering it. It will be one of the monetisation instruments we will work with in future.

Are you considering expansion of the video rental shop on iPrima.cz to include something we can all, for example, Prima+?

Yes, it is a possible direction. We will have to make a decision soon to either join a common project or launch our own. However, we have to work on both scenarios at the same time. But we will definitely have to redesign our existing video service on iPrima.cz to reflect viewers’ expectations. At the moment we follow the direction of exploiting individual titles.

Can you estimate the share of income from subscription in the total sales in future? For example within five years?

If we calculate net subscription directly from end customers under a Czechflix scenario, the share could be about ten percent. But it may be an ambitious estimate if we consider the existing level of penetration of video on demand in the Czech Republic and a possible development trend. We can see now that Covid has significantly increased demand for VOD. But the question is whether the trend will be long-term. If it continues I think that ten percent would be realistic.

But the question is how income from TV ads will develop as the interest in paid VOD services is likely to grow with time. This could lead to the reduction of advertising space and fall of GRP.

On the US market where the development is faster we can see that operators gradually leave the plan to offer pure subscription services such as Netflix or Disney+ and introduce new types of subscription: more expensive subscription for ad-free video and cheaper for ad-supported video. I think that this model will prevail. Disney also indicated considering this approach. For example, Hulu profitability data showed that a subscription package with a lower amount of ads, i.e. the cheaper subscription, generates a higher profit than the “pure” subscription. I think that hybrid models have good prospects because advertisers will require video ads. Viewers are still ready and willing to consume video advertising, more so with the classic video content rather than short-form video. We respond to this by adjusting sales of TV ads. This year, we have introduced the so called e-GRP combining the value of TV and digital ratings. 

Is there any other financing option to develop apart from advertising and subscription?

In principle, it is a synthesis of the options we have talked about. There is some omitted potential of operator payments. Historically, we allowed operators to create a premium service sold for a standard price. It was partially due to the growth in the TV ad market. The service is based on the fact that in time-shifted viewing ads can be skipped but this is not reflected in the viewer prices. We are trying to explain this to operators and optimise the value of the premium product.

Do you think that you will succeed in negotiating better prices with operators?

I believe so. Operators are aware of this and they are playing this game with one another. But we have no other alternative. People watch TV and use the time-shifted viewing option, they skip ads and we lose the advertising space that supports us. If there is no advertising there will be no original production. This will result in a lower quality of products for operators.

If you succeed in negotiating price optimisation, would you consider a new paid thematic station? In the past, you planned to launch paid thematic channels only.

At that time, we could not imagine that there would be more TV ads. Introduction of a paid channel is an alternative but it depends on market development. New paid channels would have to make sense to operators. They would compare them with international channels and consider the arguments to include our channel. For example, Prima Zoom is an equivalent to global documentary channels and it is successful in its segment. We could impose a fee on this channel. But if there is high demand for ads in the market and we need Prima Zoom to satisfy it that is not realistic.

The market situation is favourable to free-to-air channels that might help satisfy the advertising demand. You have already launched the archive station Prima Star this year and the news channel CNN Prima News last year. Will there be any other new thematic channel?

We have launched Prima Star this year and now I am not able to tell whether it is the end. We may make some surprise this year. We have some ideas.

Has the introduction of Prima Star met your expectations?

Yes, it has. We have used our archive works that are no longer suitable for our other channels. The old content could have been either stored in the archive or sold to somebody. We have decided that it is better to make our own channel using the content. Any increase in the ad capacity is good.

As Prima Star offers mainly Prima’s older shows, the channel addresses older audiences. Can you reduce the age of viewers of your main channel this way?

It is our plan to some extent, we want to continue working on affinity with younger viewers. But as a result, older audiences that do not like the content offered might leave the main channel. We prefer retaining them on one of our other channels than letting them move to any other provider.

One more question on thematic stations. Nova is going to launch its female-focused channel Nova Lady. Will you respond to this?

We already have our channels in the segment that Nova seems to target through the new station. And I do not think that we need any new channel in that segment. 

Source: mediaguru.cz

IN THE POST-PANDEMIC ERA OF TV, ALL BRANDS ARE DTC

Australia’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are capitalising on Australia and New Zealand’s ecommerce growth – the highest across the globe at +107% in Q3 2020 – to expand their market presence. And they’re using TV to do it.

Accustomed to impression-based measurement and data-driven insights, DTCs came to TV with high expectations. Their approach changed the status quo, establishing a test-and-learn mentality, always-on analytics and continuous optimisation as key parts of TV advertising. Inspired by their success, traditional brands have adopted these same tactics. Now, TV is more than just an amplifier for brand reputation, it is a valuable tool for boosting conversions, targeting new audiences and furthering reach extension.

As media consumption habits continue to evolve across screens and devices, here’s how the future of TV advertising will be built on DTC strategies.

Greater connectivity, greater digitization According to IAB Australia, the average household consumes video content on more than six different screens. On a daily basis, 17 million viewers watch via mobile devices, more than 11 million use desktops and 7.1 million access video on connected TVs (CTV).

Increasing CTV viewership has played a major role in enabling brands to tie TV advertising to impressions, which DTC brands – being digital natives – fully understand the value of. Whether audiences watch streamed or linear content, impression-based advertising gives brands a comprehensive view of their campaign performance, helping them on the path to engaging with audiences whenever, wherever and however they tune in to TV.

Driving outcomes with TV advertising DTC brands highlighted the impact of finding and activating audiences across platforms and devices. The growing adoption of smart TVs offers brands household-level insight and audience intelligence that goes deeper than typical demographic information, such as age and gender. As a result, TV advertisers can utilize audience-based targeting. DTCs combine these insights with TV’s scale to connect with viewers and drive tangible outcomes.

Additionally, the focus of DTCs on achieving specific KPIs means they demand real-time insights that facilitate ongoing optimization – the type of granular measurement not widely offered by demand-side partners. Brands can now use impression-based measurement solutions to monitor unique reach, effective frequency and the performance of their ad campaigns, which informs their strategies – strengthening creatives, enabling smarter ad buying and engaging the best audiences.

Finding a competitive edge With Australia the tenth largest ecommerce market – generating 27 billion USD in 2020 – the sector is home to fierce competition. In light of this, brands must leverage both TV’s traditional and innovative capabilities to gain a critical advantage. Many traditional advertisers – particularly those from the automotive or financial service sectors –

have longer lead times on repeat purchases than DTC brands. To acquire new customers and sustain their reputation with existing ones, traditional advertisers have become veterans at building strong brand awareness with TV’s unrivalled reach.

As customer acquisition and its attached costs become more challenging, DTC brands have turned their attention to optimizing TV’s impact throughout the marketing funnel. While digitally inspired tactics kick-started DTC brands’ phenomenal growth, blending a digital approach with linear TV’s more traditional approach answers their need for both acquisitions and loyalty. Those brands that are still focusing only on traditional linear TV – or that don’t use a holistic measurement solution across both linear and CTV – will miss out on incremental reach and optimization opportunities.

Reach and frequency: a balancing act To expand their customer bases, advertisers need to boost reach without bombarding audiences. Achieving this is even more vital in TV advertising than digital, but the growing number of TV platforms and screens present a challenge to frequency capping. Simply ‘following’ viewers across devices isn’t viable, so to enhance brand perception while maximizing returns, the use of round-the-clock analytics to effectively measure the unique reach and frequency offered by each publisher is vital. With these insights, advertisers can adjust publisher mix and impressions according to performance and deliver results. From the most experienced TV advertisers to the youngest DTC brands, uniting traditional and digital-like tactics will lead the way to superior campaign performance. By leveraging audience intelligence and taking a results-led approach, all brands have the potential to thrive in the post-pandemic era of TV.

Source: adnews.com.au

TV SETS AND THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS OF THEATRICAL WINDOWS

Narrowing the Gap Between Cinemas and Sofas 

The desire to watch new theatrical movies at home is not new; it’s something consumers have wanted for a long time. Until now, studio experiments with “day-and-date” simultaneous releases in cinemas and at home were stymied by theater owners.  But the intertwined impact of the pandemic and direct-to-consumer streaming services forced the hand of the studios. And now day-and-date home release has yet another tailwind in its favor: the evolving capabilities of the TV sets people have at home.

The impact of a (hopefully) once-in-a-century pandemic arrived at the same time as studios felt the pressures of quickly building subscribers to their new streaming services; both factors have accelerated the long-term decline in the theatrical film business. Having suffered through long periods of closures, cinemas now face competition from studios releasing their films day-and-date on their SVOD service (HBO Max), selling them day-and-date as a premium add to their SVOD (Disney+), and compressing the traditional release windows to a minimum, again to serve their streaming subsidiaries/partners (everybody). 

If you consider the pre-pandemic complex structure of movie windowing as a “Multiverse of Madness” (to reference the upcoming Dr. Strange sequel), then that multiverse is in the midst of being pruned to a single “sacred timeline” (the theme of Marvel’s direct-to-TV “Loki” series) to serve the burgeoning direct-to-TV business. 

Ongoing research, as well as real life results, suggest that consumers are quickly getting used to this new method of watching movies.  And that technology – in the form of evolving TV sets – will help ensure the genie stays out of the bottle.

Black Widow’s Sting

Disney’s releases of Marvel’s Black Widow in June, and of its Dwayne Johnson-powered Jungle Cruise in July are the latest evidence this new model can work for studios.  

  • Disney says that the opening weekend of Black Widow brought in $60 million of incremental premium VOD purchases on Disney+; Jungle Cruise brought in $30 million. This revenue goes directly to Disney, instead of being shared roughly 50/50 with theaters.   
  • Disney also gets to use their best content to cultivate a direct relationship with consumers – engaging their subscribers more deeply, and giving non-subs a new reason to sign up.
  • Finally, Disney gets access to a motherlode of data on its theatrical movies – where a movie is rewound, which consumers are most willing to pay, what other titles those people like to watch — all analytics that can be invaluable in improving satisfaction, retention, marketing, and profits.
  •  

The Silver Screen Comes Home

This year’s “Evolution of the TV Set” report from Hub Entertainment Research says a majority (57%) of homes have a set with a screen that is 50 inches or larger (it was only 28% in 2016). And 7% have TV that is 70 inches or bigger, up from just 1 percent five years ago! 

Most movies are shown at the equivalent of 4K in the theater.  Until recently this was beyond capabilities at home.  But things change fast – in 2021, 44% of homes have a 4K capable TV – almost 10x as many as in 2016 (5%).    


And, this year Hub reports that 40% of TV homes say they have an external sound system – a TV connected to a sound bar, home theater speakers, or a stereo system. 

And while the pandemic shut down lots of businesses, one thing it didn’t shut down was consumer investment in their home entertainment.  In Hub’s July 2021 study “Predicting the Pandemic”, about 40% of those who watch on a smart TV say they bought one during the pandemic.  It’s clear that TV tech enabling a cinema-like experience is more prevalent than ever.

Smart TVs Make it Easy

Smart TVs – or devices that stream to TV sets – have become far more user-friendly in the past half-decade. And the user interfaces of the new studio-backed streaming services tend to be easy to use as well.  This makes it easy to find and watch home releases from your favorite chair, using your familiar remote, no matter what platform they’re on. 

Watching at Home Is Less Expensive

Cost is also a not-inconsiderable factor for many people. Let’s consider a two-person empty-nester date: Black Widow costs $12.50 a ticket ($25 total), plus the usual cinema snacks ($10), for a total of about $35 – and don’t forget the time cost of a 25 minute drive each way. Staying at home, the investment would have been $29.99 for the Disney+ premium buy, about 25 cents for a bag of microwave popcorn, and a two minute walk downstairs to an 80” 4K set with surround sound. In terms of money and time, the choice between going out or staying in is about even.

Now, consider a family with two children: the match-up would change completely in favor of home viewing. It would easily be less expensive and less hassle than carting a family of four to a cinema.

Now, some people say that the experience in an auditorium full of people will never be equaled at home regardless of the cost difference; it’s true that for some movies, it’s hard to beat watching a movie with 500 other souls. But the in-cinema experience also varies widely and can contribute to a desire to stay at home. Whether it’s people talking to each other, texting or talking on their phones, or food and drinks being served during a movie, the experience has suffered over the past decade.

The Cinema As a Special Event

Before the pandemic, troubles with movie attendance had already led many chains to start to offer premium cinema experiences like better seats or in-seat food/beverage service; or extras like a bar/restaurant in the theater complex to enjoy before or after your movie. These add value to the cost of attending a movie in-person, making it more of a special occasion – but they also tended to add to the cost as well. Will it be a good strategy to turn the movies into a special event? It may well work for blockbusters but “art house” movies may well turn into “in-house” movies enjoyed at home – the home experience will be “good enough” for character studies and documentaries. 

Pushed by improving TV technology that elevates the overall home movie experience, the big question is how will cinema chains work together to create even better in-theater experiences that will pull people off their couches and into their cinemas? And what are the incentives for studios to help – or hinder – that effort given they’ve all now put down a big stake on their future with D2C?

Note: 2021 data taken from cited reports from Hub Entertainment Research. 2016 data are from GfK’s “Home Technology Monitor Ownership and Trend Report”.

Source: tvrev.com

RESEARCH: 6 IN 10 US HOMES AVOD VIEWERS

According to research firm TDG, six-in-ten connected-TV households now watch a free ad-supported streaming service on television. YouTube remains the dominant free VoD provider, with free ad-supported streaming TV services (FASTs) such as Pluto TV and IMDb seeing growing audiences.

“Clearly the effects of work-from-home and lack of traditional leisure options during the pandemic accelerated consumer use of free ad-supported streaming services,” says Doug Montgomery, TDG Senior Analyst. “Most major video providers have been preparing for this moment for years and thus able to quickly adapt to an accelerated timeline. It is a unique moment in the history of the entertainment business and those who move quickly and boldly will likely reap the benefits for years to come.”

Montgomery notes that, while there is “a kaleidoscope” of new providers, pricing plans, and content sources available to the CTV viewers, yesterday’s video revenue models persist—that is, à la carte, subscription, and free. Technologies may change, but the fundamental revenue models do not.

He also recognises widespread confusion among both industry and popular press as to what ‘AVOD’ actually means. Two distinct streaming-video revenue models, FVoD and FASTs, are folded under the AVoD umbrella, when in fact any streaming revenue model can have an advertising component. Advertising, then, should be understood not as a vertical but rather as a common revenue model that all verticals can leverage for revenue.

Just as with broadcast and cable, advertising-based revenue models span both on-demand and live (e.g., FVoD IMDb and vMPVD Sling TV), as well as transactional, subscription, and free distribution models (e.g., TVoD Vudu, SVoD Netflix, and YouTube). Thus, the ‘AVoD’ acronym should be eliminated from industry vocabulary and ‘ad-supported streaming video’ used in its place. More letters, yes, but also more accurate, says TDG.

TDG research finds that, among those that view free ad-supported streaming video on TV, 24 per cent do so daily and another 32 per cent weekly, which is encouraging given that these services are primarily comprised of older shows and movies—at least the on-demand portion. The remaining 44 per cent view monthly or less.

Other findings of TDG’s new report, The Rise of Free Ad-Supported Streaming:

· 76 per cent of those that view free ad-supported streaming video services on TV watch YouTube, more than twice the audience of its closest competitors.

· Among free ad-supported streaming-TV providers (FASTs), Pluto TV leads the pack, followed by Tubi TV. Fox’s Xumo has its work cut out, with usage in the single digits.

· When asked about the role of free ad-supported streaming services within their household’s total TV viewing, only one-in-eight Pluto and Tubi users use the service as their first choice for shows.

· In Q2.21, YouTube generated as much ad revenue as Netflix did subscription revenue.

Source: advanced-television.com

COMCAST AND VIACOMCBS TO LAUNCH SKYSHOWTIME IN THE CZECH REPUBLIC

They join forces to achieve a better position in the competition with their rivals, Netflix and Disney+.

Comcast and ViacomCBS will launch SkyShowtime, a new streaming service in Europe, offering movies, series and reality shows, said the US media companies on Wednesday. They teamed up to build a better position to take on their competitors Netflix and Disney+, wrote Reuters. SkyShowtime will offer content from the film and TV production companies, such as Paramount Pictures, Universal Pictures, Sky or Nickelodeon.

Comcast and ViacomCBS are going to launch the service next year in more than twenty European countries including the Czech Republic and Slovakia. According to the media companies, the service will provide new movies and TV shows on a regular basis. At the same time, it will offer its users a library of older content, including classic movies or kid and family shows.

SkyShowtime will be a joint venture with ViacomCBS and Comcast having the same share. For both companies, SkyShowtime is a cost-effective break into smaller European markets where neither has a strong footprint, wrote Reuters.

Source: mediaguru.cz

NOVA OBTAINED A LICENCE FOR ITS NOVA LADY FEMALE-FOCUSED CHANNEL FROM RRTV

The Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting (RRTV) granted TV Nova a licence for its Nova Lady programme for terrestrial and internet broadcasting.

The Council for Radio and Television Broadcasting granted TV Nova two licences to operate the Nova Lady female-focused channel. They include licences for terrestrial broadcasting and broadcasting through the internet. 

Nova announced its plan to expand its portfolio of thematic channels last week. The new channel focused on female viewers should be launched in the autumn. At the same time, Nova 2 will be redesigned and renamed to Nova Fun. The focus of Nova Action will also be adjusted to focus more on male viewers. 

Starting from Friday, 13 August the Nova group’s channels will expand to include two new paid channels Nova Sport 3 and Nova Sport 4.

Source: mediaguru.cz

TV ADS INSPIRE INVESTMENT INTEREST

Stock trading volumes in the United States have soared over the last year and much of it seems to be driven by retail investors. With thousands of stocks to choose from, what factors influence investors’ decisions? In a new Cornell study, published Aug. 10 in Management Science, researchers show that advertising is one of the most noteworthy influences behind retail stock investing. Jura Liaukonyte, the Dake Family Associate Professor at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, and her co-author found that 15 minutes after a TV ad aired a number of investors sought out financial information about the advertiser.

This results in an average of a 3% increase in online searches to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Edgar database of company filings and an 8% increase in Google searches.

The nature and timing of the ads made a difference. For example, commercials aired during prime-time hours and involving the financial sector sparked the strongest investor response. Ads for

pharmaceutical products and consumer staples also generated more interest.

Products with names that matched or shared similarities with the name of the publicly traded company itself spurred greater reaction. The most influential commercials were longer, aired first among several commercials during ad breaks, and surfaced in new – rather than long-running – campaigns.

“The evidence presented in our paper suggests that the advertising effect on investor actions is more immediate and far-reaching than has previously been documented,” Liaukonyte said. “The advertising-induced trading volume is less than 1% of the advertiser’s stock on a given day, but this increase is notable and isn’t an insignificant number.”

The study additionally explored a sample of 495 firms on Robinhood, the online trading platform, over 2019-20. These results indicate that the hourly turnover of retail investors holding a specific stock on Robinhood is 24% higher when a TV ad for that company is aired in that hour. This number rises to 28.7% for ads that were aired during live programs such as sporting events.

“One aspect that is surprising is that we found that television ads also trigger investor interest and subsequent trading in the advertiser’s closest rival, major suppliers and other firms,” Liaukonyte said.

Liaukonyte worked with Alminas Zaldokas, an associate professor of finance at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, on the research.

The study suggests that firms might benefit from placing more ads after releasing announcements about impressive financial performance or after their key competitors release positive financial performance results to counterbalance the increased investor attention targeted to rivals.

Source: news.cornell.edu

SILVIA MAJESKÁ: NOVA WITHOUT “ORDINACE“? OPENING SPACE FOR NEW FORMATS

Nova sought to structure its autumn programme to be successful every broadcasting day, says Silvia Majeská, Programming Director, about the new schedule.

Silvia Majeská, Programming Director

In Nova’s autumn programme schedule, there are several shows that Czech viewers will watch for the first time. They include a quiz show The Chase, a new series Pan profesor starring Vojtěch Dyk and a reality show Love Island following the lives of young couples in a villa. There is also a new show Souboj na talíři featuring the faces of the cooking show MasterChef, which will continue with new episodes in the autumn. Similarly, Pop Idol, Married at First Sight, Ulice and Specialisté will offer their new seasons. However, after 16 years, the TV series Ordinace v růžové zahradě 2 is no longer in the schedule of linear TV. Last autumn, it was replaced by MasterChef on Tuesday evenings, this autumn, Ordinace on Thursday evenings will be replaced by Pan profesor.

After the presentation at a press conference, we discussed TV Nova’s autumn broadcast schedule with the Programming Director of TV Nova, Silvia Majeská.

At first sight, I would say that TV Nova’s autumn schedule includes more reality shows in prime time than we were used to see on Nova. Namely if we compare it with 2019 and previous seasons.

It is true to some extent but it is not a big change compared to last year when we aired reality shows such as MasterChef, Wife Swap and Your Face Sounds Familiar on weekdays. We added an extra slot and expanded the number of premieres this autumn.

How do you perceive this year’s autumn schedule?

I would describe it as a step forward. We are seeking to follow successful programmes and past pillars while bringing new shows. It is hopefully a good mix for viewers. They can find what they know as well as new shows in the programme.

This season is the first one after 16 years when Ordinace v růžové zahradě is missing in the schedule, which was unimaginable before. How difficult was it to avoid Ordinace in your programming?

We had intensive debates on this issue as Ordinace was a long-term pillar of Nova. But as I said, we are moving forward and searching for new ways. Ordinace continues on Voyo, viewers are interested in watching it and its fans will not miss new episodes. At the same time it is a big challenge for us because this change gives us space to offer new formats to viewers. The new series Pan profesor is a relationship series with comedy elements addressing various serious topics of today’s young generation. In general, it is a ‘light’ entertaining series that may please viewers these days.

Is it possible for Ordinace to come back to linear TV after some time? For example in an edited version or another modified form?

In TV I have learnt that you should never say never. It is so dynamic medium that I cannot say and be hundred percent sure now that something will not happen in the future. In February 2020, we had some expectations, but within weeks they changed, we discontinued running shows and started broadcasting reruns and news specials on the pandemic, which I would not have expected to happen before.

Two seasons of Pan profesor, which will be broadcast on Thursdays instead of Ordinace, were aired by the sister TV company, TV Markíza, and ranked among the most successful programmes. Will the Czech version be similar to the Slovak one or will the two versions differ?

It will be similar as it is based on the same original (Editor’s Note: the German series Der Lehrer, aired in 2009 for the first time). But there are elements within the story included specifically for the Czech audience. It is a type of series that is formed significantly by the main character’s personality and charisma. Vojta Dyk, who plays the role, is very human and charismatic and defines the overall impression that the series makes.

In Slovakia, there will be the third season of Pan profesor aired in the autumn. Are you planning several seasons of the series for the Czech market as well?

We would be very happy to do so. But viewers will have the final say, it will depend on the feedback we will get from them. We can see some potential in the series, it has been run successfully for several years abroad. Although in Slovakia the figures of the first season were good, the results of the second season were even better (Editor’s Note: the final episode of the second season has a share of 33.8% in TG 12-54). Viewers got used to the characters and were immersed intensively in their fate.

Is Pan profesor one of the shows with the highest expectations in terms of viewership in the autumn? Is this the main blockbuster?

It is the blockbuster because it is new. It is a bit different type of series than we have aired so far. On the other hand, we do not expect that this series would drive the entire programming. We wanted to make a schedule to be successful every broadcasting day.

On Mondays and Wednesdays, you will run the cooking show MasterChef in prime time. Will you achieve the required viewership by the double offer?

MasterChef has proved successful, specifically in our target group (Editor’s Note: in the autumn season of 2020, its audience share was 29.90% in TG 15-54). It is prepared by an experienced team that is able to capture emotions, excitement and entertainment. In some countries, MasterChef is broadcast daily. It is not unusual to run it several times a week and we are naturally following the trend.

Shows like Pop Idol, MasterChef, Love Island or Married at First Sight can be understood as shows for younger viewers. Is it your aim to address younger audiences with the autumn schedule?

It is not exactly that we need to attract younger viewers because compared to our competitors, our audience is younger. But naturally, it is important for us to reach younger targets as we concentrate on viewers aged 15-54. We thus select formats that match this focus. If we selected older formats, we would not reach our target group. On the other hand, MasterChef and Pop Idol are shows broadcast for the mainstream viewers. It is true that Love Island is a show attracting much younger audiences and that is why it is intended primarily for Voyo.

Source: mediaguru.cz

CZECHS SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME WATCHING SERIES AND FILMS ON TV

On average, people in the Czech Republic spent 3 hours and 55 minutes daily with their TV in the first half. Their interest in the news and sports programmes was growing, according to Atmedia.

TV series and films have been the most watched formats among the Czech TV viewers for a long time. As the data of the official electronic TV rating measurement indicates, out of the total time spent watching TV, the Czechs dedicate 44 percent to series and films. Data by Atmedia indicated nearly the same share in 2019 and 2020. Atmedia represents 28 thematic TV stations in the Czech market.

“Series with the criminal, medical or rural themes have been very popular with Czech viewers and that will not change in the near future. Local production dominates TV series while with films it depends on individual titles,“ describes Pavel Müller, Head of Research and Marketing of Atmedia.

During the global Covid-19 pandemic, the interest in the news has increased. While before the crisis in 2019 the news programmes accounted for 11 percent of the total TV viewing time, in the first half of the previous and current years it is 14 percent. The most watched are the main news programmes broadcast by TV stations in the evening. “The high ratings of the main TV news indicate that in today’s hectic times, viewers appreciate obtaining a news summary within tens of minutes,” says Müller.

The pandemic had the strongest impact on sports programmes. While in the first half of 2019 sports programmes accounted for five percent of the total time spent watching TV, last year the share dropped to three percent in the same period. This was caused by the cancelation or delay of many attractive sports events, namely the recent Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. This year, the situation has changed and in the first half, TV viewers dedicated six percent of their TV time to sports programmes, which is more than in the year before the crisis.

Source: mam.cz