One year after NBC assumed the rights from longtime broadcaster ABC, the network is preparing to bring one of the iconic events in sports to a potentially record-setting television audience Sunday. The reasons are many, but the biggest are these: There remain far fewer live events than normal because of the COVID-19 pandemic, none of the 300,000 fans that turn out each year will be there in person, and the event itself still stirs a certain sense of Americana among race fans.
TV audiences for hockey and golf are surging, and baseball is bringing in younger viewers, as people look for a break from streaming.
What’s worse than being unprepared for The Big Story? Thinking you are prepared — and finding out you were terribly wrong. Maybe a quick quiz is the best way to assess your newsroom readiness. How many of these elements are staples of your well-worn “election playbook”?
Broadcast TV series are very slowly and cautiously heading back to production amid the coronavirus pandemic. CBS drama stalwart NCIS and spinoff NCIS: Los Angeles have been assigned tentative dates to start production on their upcoming seasons under strict COVID-19 protocols — Sept. 9 for the mothership series and Sept. 3 for NCIS: L.A. Both series, produced by CBS TV Studios, film in Los Angeles.
NCAA President Mark Emmert said Thursday there won’t be fall NCAA championships because there are not enough schools participating due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, a decision that affects 22 championships.
No crowd scenes. Few locations. Limited romance. Hollywood entertainment is about to get really strange.
Sports leagues’ COVID-19 shutdowns cost networks more than $3 billion in advertising, but savings from rights fees and production costs reduced that to less than $1 billion. Meanwhile sales for the forthcoming NFL season, including the Super Bowl, are trending down, hampered by COVID uncertainty.
When television production shut down in the spring, a few showrunners began working on pandemic-themed series that could be shot mostly from afar. But will viewers even want more shut-in stories? Above, Dan Levy stars in the socially distanced HBO special Coastal Elites, which was originally written to be a filmed three-night live event. Plans changed.
The Big 12 Conference on Wednesday announced that its fall sports season would go on, one day after the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences called off their 2020 plans amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The NFL and NBA are most likely to benefit from the Big Ten, Pac-12 delays.
The college football season is the latest (partial) casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States — and another blow for media companies who will now be without hundreds of hours of live programming, and the ad revenue that comes with it, in the fall. As of publication time, 52 of the 120 schools that play at the top level of college football — more than 40% of the total — have decided to cancel or postpone their fall sports seasons. The Big Ten and Pac-12, two of the so-called “power five” conferences, announced their decision Tuesday, following similar moves by two smaller leagues, the Mountain West and Mid-American conferences, and unilateral decisions by the University of Connecticut and Old Dominion University in Virginia.
Political is bolstering a comeback for TV advertising, but as COVID-19’s uncertainties continue to loom, Fox Television Stations CEO Jack Abernethy says managing in a climate of fear continues to be challenging.
The charity launches a plea for donations to counter losses from multiple fundraising events that had to be scrapped due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A Tuesday afternoon meeting with conference presidents and chancellors led to the Pac-12 deciding to cancel its fall 2020 college football season and postpone all fall sports through the calendar year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The move comes after the Big 10 elected to cancel its fall season earlier on Tuesday. Both conferences hope to play the season in spring 2021 but have not announced any specific plans.
The Big 10 Conference has postponed the 2020 football season because of safety concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, the league announced Tuesday. The Big 10 is the first of college football’s elite Power Five conferences to decide against playing football this fall.
The Big Ten is on the verge of not playing football this fall, three people with knowledge of the decision confirmed to the Detroit Free Press. The people requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the decision. A formal announcement is expected Tuesday, the people said.
ABC game show The $100,000 Pyramid is returning to the studio in the last week of August. The Michael Strahan-hosted series shoots in New York and it is thought that it is one of the first major non-scripted entertainment shows to return to the studio in New York, where Strahan shoots Good Morning America.
While a handful of scripted shows have remotely filmed single episodes set during Covid-19, HBO is upping the ante, scheduling the first scripted series shot and set entirely during the pandemic. Coastal Elites, initially planned as a theater project, will debut Sept. 12. HBO has lined up an all-star cast for the series, most of whom shot their scenes from their own homes. Among them are (l-r) Bette Midler, Dan Levy, Issa Rae, Kaitlyn Dever and Sarah Paulson.
After a five-month break, CBS drama S.W.A.T. on Tuesday started production on its upcoming fourth season. Like with everything else right now amid spiking COVID-19 infections, the situation remained fluid until the last minute but all preliminary testing was completed and shooting began yesterday morning as scheduled.
Princell Hair, newly-installed CEO off the fledging Black News Channel, brings a wealth of general management experience to a venture that had the bad luck to launch in the pandemic. One of his biggest challenges is the network’s COVID-stunted reach.
More people continue to watch TV or other forms of video in the midst of the pandemic, but Madison Avenue is spending fewer dollars to dazzle them. National TV advertising fell 9% in June to $3.2 billion, according to Standard Media Index, a continuation of negative trends that have been in place since the coronavirus pandemic struck in March. But the June figures show losses narrowing: the 9% figures come after a 19% dip in May and a 28% tumble in April.
Local TV marketers are navigating new territory so far in 2020, one few could have seen coming. How did they respond? Fourteen local TV creative services directors shared their thoughts and 42 examples of their stations’ marketing in the five-part series, The New Us: Local TV Marketing In 2020.
We may not know the results for days, and maybe weeks. So it’s time to rethink “election night.” The changes the media faces are profound, with technical and political dimensions.
Ellen Crooke, Tegna’s VP of news, says the Black Lives Matter movement has promoted greater “intentionality” in the group’s efforts for diversity and inclusion in its news organizations and leadership. She adds that COVID-19 has also supercharged Tegna’s Verify fact-checking project and data visualization efforts.
Sinclair has repeatedly defended the independence and objectivity of the local news reporting that is carried on its many stations. But its nationally distributed news and commentary programs, produced in Washington has stayed largely faithful to President Trump’s pronouncements about the virus. Above, Sinclair TV hosts Sharyl Attkisson and Eric Bolling.
As coronavirus resurges across the country, medical data is no longer just the purview of epidemiologists (though a quick glance at any social media comments section shows an unlikely simultaneous surge in the number of virology experts and statisticians). Journalists reporting on COVID, however, have a particular obligation to understand the data, to add context and to acknowledge uncertainty when reporting the numbers. This guide to common COVID metrics is designed to help journalists know how each data point is calculated, what it means and, importantly, what it doesn’t mean.
COVID-19 has had numerous tectonic effects on broadcast technology vendors, from accelerating a move to IP- and cloud-based systems to making for much uncertainty and probable consolidations ahead.