Was the British press too wild about Harry to do its job instead of keeping mum? Let the debate begin. Good leap day to you.
The History Channel signed a $1 million deal with Enterprise Rent-a-Car to sponsor the 10-week mini Battle 360, about the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Enterprise. While The NY Times’ advertising columnist Stuart Elliott rhapsodizes about the deal’s sweet-sounding intro: “brought to you with limited commercial interruption by… ”, he points out the move is designed to be a counterattack “against viewers who are increasingly willing to use digital video recorders and other technologies to avoid and ignore commercials.” The limited commercial time also allows History to give viewers more of the show. Oh, and it turns out that Enterprise Rent-a-Car was named for the aircraft carrier by its founder Jack Taylor, a WWII vet. [NYT]
Gosh, Comcast has been taking it on the chin lately, perhaps deservedly. Now Massachusetts Democrat Sen John Kerry has joined the chorus of those ticked that Comcast brought in seat warmers to pack Monday’s FCC hearing on net neutrality at Harvard Law School. Comcast blocks the public from attending the hearing, so it’s not a leap to believe it blocks Internet traffic, Kerry argues at the Huffington blog site. [HP]
Yes, everything still seems to be local. Hearst-Argyle chief David Barrett told the Association of National Advertisers that local TV news outlets continue to thrive, despite the Internet’s popularity, MediaDailyNews reports. Local news is the most engaging platform of all, Barrett added. And local news Web sites trump sites of the cable news networks. Barrett noted a recent survey showing that 55% of viewers say local TV is their main news source, with the Internet at 26%. Viewers go to local new Web sites 37% of the time, and cable news network sites 31%. [MDN]
The news from ANA wasn’t all bad for cable, as Anheuser-Busch heavy Tony Ponturo emphasized that the brewer continues to move dollars from broadcast toward cable, and not just cable sports nets, MediaDailyNews reports. It advertises on 35 cable networks and Ponturo said yesterday “we need to shift some of that money to the cable entertainment side." [MDN]
NBC cancelled Internet-import series quarterlife after its disappointing debut Tues, but it will live on at NBC-U’s Bravo network, The NY Times and The Hollywood Reporter say, citing unnamed sources. Interestingly, as we noted yesterday, creator Marshall Herskovitz, prior to the cancellation announcement, said the show would likely end up on cable. With 20-20 hindsight, Herskovitz says for quite some time he dreaded the series moving to network television ,The Boston Globe reports. [NYT] [HR] [BG]
The Wall Street Journal explores how HBO was able to insert the proper amount of grit and grime into miniseries John Adams, which premieres March 16. Actors wore little makeup and their hair and costumes weren’t cleaned much. The Journal also has an online interview with producer Tom Hanks, where he says John Adams appealed to him because he was so well connected with everything and everyone during the Revolution. [WSJ] [Hanks Interview]
UFC can celebrate inking a major sponsor, and Anheuser-Busch is as big as they come. Now, can Spike keep UFC at the network? [MDN]
More good news for Versus and the NHL, not. Russia’s pro hockey league, Superliga, wants to make a resurgence, The NY Times reports. [NYT]
Univision sold its music unit to Universal Music Group, the world’s largest music company, cementing its reach into Latino music in the US. [NYT]
Viacom’s financials benefited from the writers strike as its MTV, VH1, Nickelodeon and BET cable networks attracted more advertising dollars at the expense of the broadcasters, the AP reported. [AP]
Disney-ABC unveiled its Stage9 digital studio, saying its content of some 20 original short-form programs will be distributed by YouTube and abc.com, The Hollywood Reporter says. [THR]
The Wall Street Journal sees good and bad in Sundance Channel’s Terminal City, a series about a woman with breast cancer. [WSJ]
You can’t say Starz Inside movie-based doc series is predictable. The new slate includes one called Ladies and Gentlemen (Nov 25), about cross-sexual movies like Mrs Doubtfire, another takes on the use of makeup in Fantastic Flesh (Oct 28) and then there’s In The Gutter (July 29) about the best gross-out comedy films, including American Pie and Jackass.
It’s old home week of sorts for AmericanLife’s Carla Lewis-Long, who’s been signed as SVP, Affiliate Sales. One of cable’s nicest, Carla had been at AmericanLife, but left a few years ago to join Oxygen. Now she’s returned to a company in her former home base of D.C. And she’ll be able to forego the D.C.-N.Y. commute she made weekly for a time during her Oxygen gig. She’s now N.Y. based for AmericanLife.
Excellent piece by si.com’s Richard Deitsch discussing ESPN’s newest analyst Bob Knight, and loaded with zingers. A notorious media hater, Knight is joining the ranks of people he once called "one or two steps above prostitution." [sic.com]
Influenced by Hannah Montana, Tennessee is considering a law prohibiting mass buys of tickets online by businesses that then re-sell them for profit, reporter Eriq Gardner blogs at thresq. He suggests offenders should be forced to listen to a Hannah Montana album. [TE] Today in CableFAX Daily: DirecTV stayed quiet about the opportunities for synergy with its Liberty compatriots.
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