October 21, 2013 |
This may be remembered as the autumn that network TV executives fell head over heels in love - with the DVR. Not that long ago, digital video recorders were seen as a threat to broadcasters' way of life, much as VCRs were seen as a killer for the movie business 30 years ago. How could any contraption that allowed viewers to skip commercials from sponsors be good for the television business? But now, armed with special data from Nielsen, executives are trumpeting the big viewership gains their shows are seeing up to a week after original air dates.
October 16, 2013 |
It is hard to pick one trait that distinguishes Vin Scully from ordinary broadcasters, but we'll go with this one: He knows when to shut up. Scully, working on radio during the playoffs, was at the microphone in the seventh inning of Tuesday's Game 4 of the National League championship series. With one out and the St. Louis Cardinals leading, 4-2, the Dodgers' Nick Punto doubled. The Dodgers had the potential tying run at bat, and Dodger Stadium was rocking. Punto was picked off. This is what Scully said: "Listen to the crowd now. " Dead silence, for a few uncomfortably long moments.
October 15, 2013 |
"Think for a moment about the term 'Redskins,'" NBC Sports commentator Bob Costas exhorted viewers during his halftime tirade of Sunday's Cowboys-Redskins game. "Ask yourself what the equivalent would be, if directed [at] African Americans. Hispanics. Asians. Or members of any other ethnic group. When considered that way, 'Redskins' can't possibly honor a heritage or a noble character trait, nor can it possibly be considered a neutral term. "It is an insult, a slur, no matter how benign the present-day intent," Costas continued.
October 12, 2013 |
ST. LOUIS -- The Dodgers do not plan to bring Steve Lyons and Eric Collins back to their broadcast team next year. Lyons had worked on the Dodgers' television broadcasts for nine years, most recently as an analyst on road games and on pregame and postgame shows. Collins, with the Dodgers for five years, had served as the play-by-play voice on televised games outside California and Arizona -- that is, the games to which Vin Scully did not travel. Lyons, a former major leaguer, announced news of his dismissal on Saturday via Twitter.
October 11, 2013 |
The nation's biggest television companies including ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox are asking the Supreme Court to shut down Aereo Inc., a startup distribution service that they view as a threat to their business. Launched in 2012 and available in a handful of markets including New York City, Aereo transmits the signals of local broadcast stations to consumers via the Internet. Aereo charges its subscribers between $8 and $12 a month for the service, which includes a small antenna to receive the signals and access to a cloud-based digital video recorder that can hold up to 40 hours of programming.
October 11, 2013 |
Cablevision Systems Corp., a New York-based cable operator, blasted the arguments made by broadcasters in a Supreme Court filing seeking to shut down Aereo, a start-up company that delivers local television station signals to consumers via the Internet. In a statement, Cablevision said the case that broadcasters including Fox, CBS, ABC and NBC are attempting to make against Aereo is a "willful attempt to stifle innovation. " Specifically, Cablevision is concerned about remarks in the filing regarding its own remote digital video recording service, which also beat back legal challenges when it was first introduced.
October 9, 2013 |
CBS will once again broadcast the annual Tony Awards ceremony, with next year's show scheduled for June 8 at Radio City Music Hall. As in the past, the network will broadcast the ceremony live, with a delay for the West Coast. In recent years CBS has struggled with falling ratings for the Tonys, which has traditionally been the least-viewed of the major entertainment award shows. But the 2013 broadcast saw a significant bump in viewers to 7.24 million, up from 6 million in 2012.
October 4, 2013 |
A dispute between Time Warner's Turner Broadcasting unit and a small cable operator has turned particularly nasty and is shining a brighter light on how programmers package their channels for sale to distributors. Cable One, which has 730,000 subscribers in 19 states, recently dropped several Turner-owned cable networks, including CNN, TruTV and HLN, rather than agree to pay more money to carry them under a new deal. However, Cable One wanted to continue carrying TBS, TNT and Cartoon Network and was willing to pay the higher fees Turner was seeking for those channels.
October 3, 2013 |
Time Warner Cable SportsNet has expanded its on-air Lakers broadcast team to include Byron Scott and Luke Walton. Scott won three NBA titles with the Lakers in the mid-1980s. Walton has two rings from the Lakers' 2009 and 2010 championships. "The addition of Byron Scott and Luke Walton to our on-air team allows Time Warner Cable SportsNet to give fans incredible perspective on the Los Angeles Lakers. Byron is an experienced and respected NBA veteran and Luke is fresh off of an accomplished NBA career," said Larry Meyers, vice president, content and executive producer, Time Warner Cable Sports Regional Networks.
September 26, 2013 |
Remember when you had to jiggle an antenna on your TV set to get good reception for a UHF signal? Well, those days are long gone and the Federal Communications Commission thinks it is time to stop treating a UHF channel as a weak sister to a VHF channel. For those of you born after the days of rabbit ears, UHF stands for ultra high frequency and refers to channels above 13. A UHF signal was not as strong as a VHF signal. VHF stands for very high frequency and refers to channels 2 through 13. Why "ultra" was weaker than "very" when it seems that it should have been the other way around will just have to remain a mystery.