MediaBizBuzz: NBCU, Facebook, Hulu, ABC, Sinclair and More

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A roundup of the week's key news from MediaVillage member companies and trends from the wider media industry. Streaming was big news this week, with networks, cable operators and digital media companies all generating a stream of headlines.

TV's Big Broadcasters Post First Quarterly Ad Sales Gains in Four Years

Third quarter national TV ad sales market growth was driven by higher upfront pricing, a burgeoning scatter market and new football season (via AdAge).

+ Here's Why Ad Spending Is Healthier Than Many Had Forecast (via MarketWatch).

+ Random Reflections on the Fall TV Season: Broadcast Edition, Part 1


NBCUniversal Merges Linear and Digital Ad Sales Teams and Creates a Client-Focused Group

"Because of the scale of our company, we needed to be more accessible in a bigger, faster way to our clients…" (via AdWeek).

+ Omnicom Moving Zocalo Group Operations to Critical Mass (via AdWeek).

+ Disarming the Ad Bomb: Part 1


Facebook is Now Selling Virtual Reality-Like Video Ads

Facebook will start publishing more 360-degree video content into your News Feed — and it's also going to start including 360-degree video ads (via re/code).

+ Comcast, Time Warner venture arms invest in virtual reality start-up NextVR (via FierceCable).

+ Facebook Mulls Ad Changes for Instant Articles After Publisher Pushback (via WSJ).

+ Facebook launches Notify app to take on Twitter for news (via The Next Web).


Google Adds Programmatic Support for Native Ads

The long-expected move is likely to bring a flood of new advertiser dollars to native ads (via AdExchanger).

+ Q&A: Kijiji, an eBay Company, on Using Automation to Capture Ad Spend


Hulu in Talks to Sell Stake to Time Warner

Hulu is seeking to sell a stake to Time Warner Inc. as part of a deal that would value the streaming-video service at more than $5 billion and advance its efforts to compete with Netflix and (via WSJ).


Comcast's Streaming Service for Cord-Cutters Rolls Out to a Wider Audience

Stream, the online TV viewing service Comcast began testing this summer, is now available across the Boston area (via The Boston Globe).

+ Comcast licenses X1 video platform to Cox in first cable deal (via Investors Business Daily).


ABC Lines Up Original Series for New Streaming Effort

Count ABC among the growing number of TV networks developing original programming for its own new streaming effort, but not quite like all the others are doing (via Variety).

+ Walt Disney Co. silences critics with its earnings report (via The Motley Fool).

+ "Star Trek": CBS Boldly Goes Where It Has Not Gone Before


YouTube Takes on Spotify With a Music Streaming App of Its Own

The best way to understand the new music app is to think of Facebook (via The Verge).

+ Vevo Follows YouTube Music's Debut with an Upgraded Music App of Its Own (via TechCrunch).

+iHeartRadio Launches New Kid-Friendly Streaming App (via Forbes).


Sinclair Signs New Deal for Data from Rentrak

Sinclair Broadcast Group signed a new agreement for audience measurement services from Rentrak for all 172 Sinclair stations (via Broadcasting & Cable).

+ Opposite Cable and Streaming, Syndicators Ramp Up Original Content


Clear Channel Outdoor May Sell Some US Billboard Assets

Billboard operator is exploring the sale of assets worth up to $800 million to help pay off some of the $20.6 billion in debt held by its parent company, iHeartMedia (via Reuters).


Hearst to Launch Snapchat Channel Called "Sweet"

Called "Sweet," the channel will launch on Snapchat and make use of other social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest (via WWD).

+ CPG Highest Adspend Increases: Social, Digital Video — Part 3


Microsoft Wants to Guess How You're Feeling

Facial recognition and artificial intelligence can determine the emotions of people in photos, and Microsoft wants developers to use the technology in their apps (via Quartz).

+ Vevo: Harnessing the Power of Emotion Through Music

+ Tech Is Eating Media. Now What? (via Medium).

People on the Move

Fox Broadcasting veteran Shannon Ryan has been promoted to lead marketing and communications for Fox Television Group, and Rachel Webber has been promoted to senior VP of Fox Television Group, tasked with developing new business opportunities for the Fox network and 20th Century Fox TV.

ABC has elevated John Rouse to executive vice president of affiliate relations and marketing.

Video Picks

TV's Not Dead, We Can Prove Its Worth: Simulmedia's Piccone

"Actually, what we're seeing is that it's very alive and well alive when it comes to getting your money back in your marketing efforts" (via BeetTV).

Sky's Not the Limit: Drone Advertising has Come to Tucson

"It's a specific message to a targeted audience," said Robert Luscumb, the owner of Omnidronez (via KVOA).

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