MediaBizBuzz: NBCU, Fox, CNN, AOL, Univision, Ad Blocking and Podcasts

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A roundup of the week's key news from MediaVillage member companies and the wider media industry. This week, NBCU sets Rio record, cable news nets set viewership records, AOL bolsters its ad platforms, Univision and Comcast weigh in on MFN clauses and digital publishers put the Web on a diet -- plus plenty more weighty media news.

Rio Summer Olympics Ad Sales Top $1B, NBCUniversal Says

"Rio 2016 remains on pace to secure the most national advertising sales ever for an Olympic Games and the most by any network for any media event in U.S. history." (via Hollywood Reporter)

+ Political Ad Spending to Hit $11.7 Billion in 2016; Trump's Free Coverage Unprecedented (via Hollywood Reporter)


Fox News Tops All of Cable Viewership for Quarter; CNN Up Triple-Digits in Primetime

Nielsen data shows Fox News had its first-ever quarterly total-viewer victory among all cable networks and CNN had its most-watched quarter in seven years, pulling further ahead of MSNBC. (via Variety)

+ Morning-Show Wars Take a Twist as "Today" Trumps "GMA" in Total Viewers (via Variety)

+ Fox Takes AIM at Data, Programmatic and Advanced Advertising


Verizon Reportedly Planning to Share Customer Location Data with AOL Advertisers

AOL's CEO Tim Armstrong has been out selling clients on the idea that they should advertise with AOL so they can leverage this ability when it comes online for all clients later this year. (via The Verge)

+ AOL Enhances ONE by AOL: Publishers' Unified Video Platform with Out-Stream and SideView (via AOL)

+ AOL: We'll Reach the Tipping Point for Addressable TV This Year


Yahoo Sets April 11 Deadline for Interested Buyers

Letters to potential suitors asks them to state which parts of the business they may be interested in, with approximately 40 companies reportedly signing non-disclosure agreements. (via The Drum)

+ Yahoo Sports' Struggle Points to Starboard Opportunity


CBS Considering Plan to "Split Off" Its Radio Division

Plan to "split CBS Radio off via an IPO" comes two weeks after CEO Leslie Moonves announced that CBS was investigating options for its radio group. (via Billboard)


Turner Leads $15 Million Investment in Mashable

As part of the new partnership, the two companies will develop content together for both digital and linear distribution, while Turner will gain access to Mashable's Velocity analytics technology. (via WSJ)


In FCC filing, Univision Takes Aim at MFN clauses

"These MFNs often harm competition and diminish innovation, especially for independent and diverse programmers and creators," said Univision President Randy Falco. (via Multichannel News)

+ Comcast Defends MFNs in FCC Video Inquiry (via Broadcasting & Cable)


Cablevision, FourthWall Go National With Analytics

Deal allows Cablevision Media Sales to deliver data analytics beyond the New York footprint of parent Cablevision Systems using FourthWall census-level viewership data. (via Broadcasting & Cable)


Sinclair Broadcast Joint Venture Tests First System to Deliver Mobile TV Viewing

"This is the first of hundreds of [single frequency networks] Sinclair Broadcast Group ... and other broadcasters will roll out in adoption of the Next Gen Technology." (via Baltimore Sun)


Sony is Launching its 4K Streaming Service on April 4

Android TV app Ultra will require customers to purchase individual titles at $30 each. Those movies, from a collection of about 40 to 50 titles, are then streamed to a 4K TV. (via The Verge)


Header Bidding Comes to Platform Publishing, as Rubicon Ties Up With Google AMP

"This [technology] will probably be disruptive, and companies and technologies that don't keep up will fall behind if AMP is widely adopted." (via AdExchanger)


Spotify Raises $1 Billion in Debt with Devilish Terms to Fight Apple Music

"This financing gives them the strategic resources to further strengthen their leadership position." The money will be spent on growth and marketing. (via TechCrunch)


Digital Publishers Want to Put the Web on a Diet to Fight Ad Blocking

Stakeholders from across the ecosystem are trying to get creative about how to streamline the delivery of digital content and ads in a social and mobile world. (via WSJ)

+ Ad Blockers Are Employed by 10% of U.S. Desktop Users, comScore Finds (via WSJ)

+ Microsoft plans to build ad blocker into its Microsoft Edge browser (via ZDNet)


The New York Times Launches a Podcast Team to Create a New Batch of Wide-Reaching Shows

Plan to launch several new shows this year, backed by advertising and designed to draw broad audiences, follows similar efforts from papers like The Guardian and The Wall Street Journal. (via NiemanLab)

+ Podcast Sponsorships and Measurement, Part 1: An Art and a Science

News of People

Comcast Cable Announces Senior Vice President Promotions

Company makes promotions in its Customer Experience, Consumer Services Group, Technology and Product, Enterprise and Platform Services, Enterprise Business Intelligence, Business Development, Sales and Marketing and Comcast Business departments. (via Comcast)


Vice Media Ad Sales Chief Exits on Heels of Web Traffic Decline

Richard Beckman has left the company less than a year after joining as chief revenue officer. (via Variety)


Zachary Treuhaft Leaving Grey to Join Omnicom's New P&G Media Agency

Omnicom Media Group has reportedly hired Grey Chief Digital Officer Zachary Treuhaft to serve in a senior role at its new Procter & Gamble agency. His specific role is not yet clear. (via Ad Age)


Yahoo Loses Another SVP, Talent Hunter Sandy Gould, as Compensation Issues Rile Staff

It is not clear where the well-regarded exec is headed. Gould was hired just over three years ago after a high-profile career at Disney/ABC Television Group, Linden Labs/Second Life and RealNetworks. (via Re/code)

The opinions and points of view expressed in this commentary are exclusively the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, Inc. management or associated bloggers.





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