Bloomberg.com notes that Hulu took a heavy hit when Viacom removed 'The Daily Show' and 'The Colbert Report' from its free service, with a decrease in viewship from 14.1 million in February to 12.2 million in March. And if TV Everywhere does work out for Viacom, it's unlikely they would keep negotiating with Hulu.
Media mogul Sumner Redstone is selling nearly $1 billion shares of CBS and Viacom to pay off a big portion of his debt to preserve his media empire. He owes nearly $1.46 billion and has to pay at least $500,000 of it by the end of October. Maybe he's got some used DVDs he can sell at his local Gamestop.
Of course, he'll still maintaining "controlling interest" in both companies but it won't feel the same. Now, no one will have enough power to make media bigheads like Stephen Colbert (literally) dance.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
Now it looks like the networks are giving a thought to providing an alternative. CBS, NBC, Disney, News Corp, Discovery, Time Warner, and Viacom are getting together and hope to have some sort of plan on what the "consortium" will do by the end of September. A VP at Starcom MediaVest, one of the companies involved, says that they don't necessarily want to replace Nielsen but there's no reason why another company can't "come in and do both [TV measurement and digital measurement]"
[via TV Tattle]
In a weaker economy where even television programs get budget cuts, music videos are a great alternative to showing programming since the station doesn't pay for them. It's shameless advertising for the musician and a cheap way to put things in HD.
The network, now known for pseudo-reality shows like The Hills and The City, is finally going back to devoting a good chunk of airtime to music -- that's what the "M" in "MTV" stands for, kiddos! The network kicked off "AMTV," a six hour block of music videos and news, early this morning. "AMTV" will air from 3 to 9 a.m. Monday through Thursday and will mix celebrity interviews, taped live musical performances, promos for shows like the revamped MTV Unplugged and, yes, music videos, among other segments.
The makers of The Sarah Silverman Program have been in a standoff with Comedy Central over their latest budget negotiations. Thankfully, a deal was reached and the show will return for another season, but the deal was even bigger than the budget they called into question.
Well, no one ever said you had to be good at math to run a major network, or any of the other basic requirements for passing standardized testing, for that matter. Fred Silverman's parents, for instance, had to hire their boy a special tutor so he could pass finger painting.
I didn't see this going any other way. If Viacom withheld its (very popular) line-up of channels from TWC, both of them would lose a valuable revenue stream. This is not a good idea in such an economy where people lose their jobs; I've learned that when the income stops coming in for most households, the first thing to go is cable television. This is not the case for me because the first thing to go in my house in such a situation would be the groceries (no way am I giving up Stephen Colbert).
At least subscribers can now enjoy such greats as Spongebob Squarepants, South Park, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Sadly it means they'll also have to put up with The Hills.
Well, bite down on some leather, drink plenty of fluids, and get ready for some long nights of withdrawal, because Viacom is pulling 18 channels off the air from all of Time Warner Cable's outlets in protest over their recent carriage fee raises.
That means if you're a TWC customer and a fan of anything on Comedy Central, VH1, Spike, Nickelodeon, Logo, CMT or (if you're completely blind and deaf) MTV, you're boned.
"To be clear, our fear is that the damage that digital distribution inflicted on the music industry will replicate itself in the movie industry, and our fears are too great to justify keeping neutral or positive ratings on the creators and distributors of movie and TV content," wrote analyst Anthony DiClemente.
Wait, that's not the really exciting part. I mean, sure, it's pretty cool for science geeks. But most of those shows are already available via the PBS web site, not to mention available for free over the air. But Hulu is also announcing another partnership today. The company has teamed up with Viacom to stream full length episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.
A roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.
- Lois Nettleton: She was a veteran TV, film, and stage actress who appeared in a number of TV shows, including The Twilight Zone, Seinfeld (she played the mother of the woman George was dating when he ate out of her garbage), Crossing Jordan, Babylon 5, Coach, Murder, She Wrote, The Flash, Full House, In The Heat of the Night, The Facts of Life, The Golden Girls, Love Boat, Medical Center, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and dozens of others. She was also in the films Come Fly with Me, A Face in the Crowd, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and The Bamboo Saucer, and the plays A Streetcar Named Desire and The Biggest Thief in Town. She died of lung cancer at age 80.
If you're a TV fan and have been around for a while, the TV logos/credit montage in the video after the jump is going to be like a trip back in time, a history of television in 5 minutes and 33 seconds.
Some of them are national logos (Paramount, Sid and Marty Krofft, Viacom, Desilu), and some of them will probably only be known to people in certain markets (Lexington Broadcast Services?). Some of the companies are repeated, but you get to see different logos they used.
Today: on TV Squad Daily:
- Dan Rather is feistier than I expected. He's suing CBS and Viacom for 70 million dollars.
- Who knew Klingon jokes were such hot property? Stephen Colbert is accused of stealing one from Cenk Uygur.
In addition to a recent contract signed by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker than will have us enjoying South Park episodes through at least 2011, fans will soon have an online destination through which to enjoy (legal) South Park material.
The New York Times article doesn't go into a lot of detail about what sort of material will be available at this new destination, though fans should recognize the URL: SouthParkStudios.com, which has been the official site for the series for quite some time now. The article does mention the possibility of "new applications" for the characters (whatever that means) and new concepts that could evolve into brand new comedy projects. There was no mention of streaming full episodes, though, which I'm sure is what fans want most of all.
According to C|Net News, Google and Viacom are in the discovery phase of the media conglomerate's $1 billion infringement lawsuit against YouTube, which was purchased by Google last year; in that discovery phase, the hosts of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, both on Viacom's Comedy Central, are on Google's list of people they want to have deposed in the case.
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