MediaBizBuzz: CBS, NBCU, Scripps, Maker Studios, and Q4 Roundup

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A roundup of the week's key news from MediaVillage member companies the wider media industry. This week, CBS is upbeat on the Upfronts, NBCUniversal brings programmatic buying to linear TV, Scripps sells sports and buys travel, Maker Studios hopes to spark new content ideas, and plenty of fourth quarter financial results.

CBS Suggests New Momentum for TV's 2016 Upfront Market

The success of Super Bowl 50 and the Grammys, along with the strength seen in scatter, provide an "excellent market indicator as we head into the upfront" (via Variety).

+ Innovating to a Fault … One Year Later


NBCUniversal Takes First Steps to Sell TV Programmatically

The company is opening its NBCUx product, which debuted last year to use data and automation for digital buys, to its entire portfolio of broadcast and cable linear TV inventory starting this fall (via Ad Age).

+ National TV Advertising: The Evolution of Alternative Data-Driven Sales – Pivotal Research


Has Cord Cutting Been Overhyped? Maybe, Analysts Say Looking At Q4 Data

"The data simply doesn't fit the story of accelerating secular decline that has so dominated discourse in the general press and on media earnings conference calls of late" (via Deadline Hollywood).


TiVo Study: NBC the Least Time-Shifted Broadcast Net

NBC, with 52% of its primetime programming viewed out of pattern, had the least time-shifted prime among the Big Five. Fox weighs in at 56%, then ABC at 63%, CBS at 64% and The CW tops at 78% (via Broadcasting & Cable).


AMC Networks Chief Takes Aim at Broadcasters

CEO Josh Sapan gave advertisers a sneak peek at the company's 2016-17 upfront strategy, characterizing the flagship network as a viable replacement for broadcast TV (via Ad Age).


Scripps Buys Cox Travel Channel Stake, Sells Fox Sport South

Scripps purchased a 65% interest in Travel Channel from Cox in 2009 for about $1 billion and just bought remaining 35% for $99 million. Company also sold its 7.25% interest in Sports South and Fox Sports Net South to Fox Southern Holdings for $225 million (via Multichannel News).


Univision Swings to Fourth-Quarter Profit, Discloses $27.1M Price Tag for Onion Stake

CEO Randy Falco said momentum was "fairly robust" in the network scatter ad market in the fourth quarter and that momentum has continued (via Hollywood Reporter).

+ Univision Aims to Make Hispanic Voting Bloc Even More Formidable (via NY Times)


Havas Announces Organic Growth of 5.1% in 2015

Havas claimed $1.85 billion in new business for 2015, including global media accounts from Ubisoft and Danepak, and creative and digital briefs for Santander bank in Spain (via Ad Age).


Cablevision Loses Fewer Pay TV Subs in Fourth Quarter, Earnings Drop

Company says 2015 was its first year of "organic growth in total customer relationships" since 2008 (via Hollywood Reporter).


Rubicon Project Turns a Profit On $1 Billion In Managed Revenue

The amount Rubicon takes from transactions on its exchange increased from 19.3% in Q4 of 2014 to 24.9% in Q4 of 2015 due to an increase in RTB impressions and a shift away from static impressions (via Ad Exchanger).


iHeartMedia's fourth-quarter loss widens to $93 million

CFO Bressler said the company is constantly looking for "opportunities to strengthen our balance sheet as we focus on positioning iHeartMedia for long-term growth" (via mySanAntonio).


Fourth Quarter Revenue Even for Sinclair Broadcast Group

The 85% decrease in 2015 political ad revenue was offset by a 33.1% boost in fourth quarter digital offerings (via Broadcasting & Cable).


Warner Bros. to Acquire Korean Soap Opera Site DramaFever

DramaFever, an online video company that specializes in Korean television shows and movies,

caters primarily to younger viewers and has both a subscription and an ad-supported service (via WSJ).


Maker Studios Reveals Spark Cross-Platform Content Incubator

Maker Studios Spark invites creators from YouTube, Vine, Facebook, Instagram and other social video outlets to pitch original concepts that can be developed into series or cross-platform franchises (via VideoInk).


Advertisers Don't Like Facebook's Reactions. They Love Them

Seeing how you react to their ads offers greater insight to brands that they can use to inform future campaigns (via Wired).

+ Facebook Canvas, a.k.a. Instant Articles for Brands, Officially Launches(via Digiday)


Data Drives Political Advertisers to Buy More Cable TV Than Ever

Channels that haven't historically seemed like obvious buys for political advertisers, including Food Network and HGTV, have sold more than three times the amount of TV spots to political buyers this election cycle compared to 2012 (via Ad Age).

+ The Primary Debates: Are News Networks Serious About Their Role?


Amid Diversity Furor, Oscar Sponsors are Anxiously Waiting to See Audiences' Response

Most advertisers finalized their ad buys last fall, long before the furor. Advertisers agreed to shell out about $2 million for each 30-second spot in the TV program, a new record (via LA Times).

+ Stuart Elliott: What Are Tarnished Oscars Worth to Advertisers?


Google, AOL and Yahoo hit back at Shine's claim that they abuse customers with 'military grade tracking'

"I'm yet to be proved that there is non-abusive ad tech. Not every publisher is a bad publisher, true, but every individual is being abused by ad tech and that's not selective" (via The Drum).


People on the Move

In Reshuffling Top Management, Ernie Simon Is Mindshare's New North American Chief

Current CEO, Colin Kinsella, is leaving the GroupM media agency and being replaced by Ernie Simon, president of GroupM Consulting. Cindy Gustafson, managing director of the agency's Invention Studio in North America, was named chief strategy officer in the U.S., replacing Jordan Bitterman who is departing the agency (via Adweek).

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