CBS Sports and Turner, which carry the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, said their commercial inventory is sold out on TV and on digital platforms, generating record revenue for the event.
Prices were up double digits, with 30-second spots on early games costing a couple of hundred thousand dollars and commercials in the final game going for more than $2 million. Two years ago, the tournament generated nearly $1 billion in ad revenue, according to Kantar.
This is the 10th year that CBS and Turner have teamed up for March Madness. While the deal provides the NCAA with its largest source of revenue, it has also turned a profit for both networks as well as benefiting fans because all of the games are available nationally. The success of the partnership, which will last until at least 2032, has exceeded the expectations of CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus.
Costs are inhibiting a flood of 4K sports production, but 1080p HDR offers numerous practical advantages, among them that the improvement in picture quality is more readily apparent to consumers than the gain from 4K resolution. Above, Sony tested an 8K camera at the Sony Open in Hawaii last year, but doesn’t expect 8K to be used for regular sports production for several years.
Nothing but net as advertisers snatch up the last of the tourney’s ad inventory a full month before tipoff.
WarnerMedia has tapped company veterans Sofia Chang and Rich Warren to oversee distribution for HBO, the nascent HBO Max streaming service and the Turner channels. The appointments of Chang and Warren as president of WarnerMedia Distribution come as part of the continuing shakeup of HBO and Turner operations following AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner last year.
ATT’s Turner TV unit has parted ways with industry ad consortium OpenAP. “As our company has transformed, our advanced advertising strategy has evolved,” stated a WarnerMedia representative, regarding its Turner unit. “As a result, we are withdrawing from OpenAP.” After completing its deal to acquire Time Warner (now WarnerMedia), AT&T has pushed its own advanced advertising unit, Xandr.
CBS Sports and Turner Sports say Nielsen ratings for the entire tournament are up 8% from last year at 6.7, heading into Saturday’s Final Four.
A memo went out on Wednesday to Turner employees offering volunteer severance packages aimed at those 55 years and older and who have served a minimum of 10 years. The move suggests that voluntary leaves will come before large numbers of people are let go as AT&T strives to rid itself of duplicative job functions and rein in spending at its new asset.
Sal Petruzzi, who has supervised U.S. communications outreach for the Turner suite of media businesses, will step down from the role as the unit, once part of Time Warner, is making a transition under the ownership of AT&T.
CBS and the three Turner networks — TNT, TBS and TruTV — have sold 95% of the ad inventory in the 67 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship tournament games at a cost-per-thousand 5% to 6% higher than last year. Advertisers love the tournament and the nets love to offer it. While neither CBS nor Turner executives will comment on how much total advertising the three weeks of televised games brings in, it will likely top $1 billion.
With change rippling through WarnerMedia, symbolized by the twin exits of Turner President David Levy and HBO chief Richard Plepler, teams of senior executives are being advised to stay on task and not panic as the organization is restructured.
The other shoe has dropped at WarnerMedia, with word emerging Thursday that Turner chief David Levy is leaving. The news landed on the same day that HBO chief Richard Plepler also announced his exit. The two longtime executives have both been squeezed as the AT&T-owned company reconfigures its executive suite and refines its plans for an ambitious new streaming service launching by the end of the year.
Turner President David Levy picked perhaps the perfect venue, Las Vegas, to offer his bullish predictions about the future of sports betting. Levy said this change in the legal landscape is a boon for sports broadcasters like Turner, allowing them to capitalize on new experiences and revenue opportunities. “Here’s what we know about sports betting,” Levy said in remarks Wednesday at CES. “If you bet on a game, you’re 80% to 90% more likely to watch the event. If you’re more engaged, guess what happens to ratings? Ratings will go up.”
AT&T’s Turner networks and advertising business Xandr said Tuesday they have begun using the wireless carrier’s customer data to help advertisers better reach audiences across Turner brands like CNN and TBS on TV and over digital platforms.
AT&T will kick up addressable advertising on its Turner networks next year. “We’ll be able to monetize that inventory without automation in the year 2019,” says Randall Stephenson, chairman-CEO, AT&T, speaking at a UBS media investment conference on Tuesday. “Hopefully, you’ll start to see those results in 2019.”
Turner has started Turner Ignite Studios, a creative studio for advertisers to develop original content, for its Adult Swim, TBS, TNT and truTV network brands. The unit is part of the Turner Ignite, Turner Advertising Sales content and data division.
Sometime in the next week, CNN’s parent company Turner will be filing court papers providing evidence for how it has allegedly been cheated by Dish Network out of license payments for the cable news network. The case has remained under the radar for more than a year since it was initially filed under seal.
AT&T Inc.’s boss Randall Stephenson said the company may shift resources to HBO from other parts of its newly acquired Time Warner business to step up programming investments and use data on its customers’ tastes and habits to inform its content bets, part of a plan to compete with streaming giant Netflix.
Turner’s Bob Hesskamp is overseeing the company’s shift to IP-based operations that’s happening concurrently with the construction of a new CNN headquarters in New York City, a new next-generation master control facility at Turner’s Techwood campus in Atlanta and a new CNN bureau in London. The move to IP, he says, “is the most significant change we have undertaken. We are changing everything, from the infrastructure up, and every system that rides on top of it and how they talk to each other.”
Bleacher Report Live will feature live broadcasts of UEFA Champions League, NBA League Pass, NCAA Championships, PGA Championship and more.
Time Warner’s Turner and Warner Bros. are focusing their movie-streaming firepower on one service for film buffs: FilmStruck. The corporate cousins reached a deal to stock Turner’s FilmStruck with more than 600 classic Hollywood films each month from the Warner Bros. library.
YouTube TV, which launched last spring in five markets, has added Turner networks including TNT, Adult Swim, TBS, CNN, Cartoon Network, truTV and TCM to its offerings. The streaming service also said NBA TV and MLB Network will soon be added to the base package. The catch: the monthly fee will go up $5 to $40 for new subss on March 13.
ComScore today announced an agreement with Turner, expanding its existing relationship to include linear TV ratings measurement and comScore’s Advanced Audiences segmentation. Turner already subscribes to comScore’s video on demand and core digital Media Metrix services. With this expansion, the company can combine household-level TV tuning information with consumer behavior data from third-party segmentation providers […]
Turner is building a 21st century media company, Super Deluxe, in downtown Los Angeles to “future-proof” TV. Super Deluxe, which launched early last year, is testing different forms of storytelling to engage young viewers. It has sought out unconventional characters to develop scripted programs for television, screwball contests for the Internet, political spoofs and other videos for Facebook Live, the platform that enables users to share live videos with their friends.
Time Warner’s Turner and Warner Bros. will test the subscription VOD waters for ‘toon fans with the launch of Boomerang, a service starting at $5 per month that will include more than 1,000 episodes of classic and current series.
Accenture will run — with support from Nielsen and comScore — OpenAP, a new TV ad sales targeting consortium formally unveiled today by partners Fox Networks, Turner and Viacom.
Turner Networks will stream select games from the final rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament in 360-degree virtual reality on Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR headsets. Those with the necessary Samsung hardware and the NCAA March Madness Live VR app will be able to view games from the tournament’s Sweet 16 and Elite 8 rounds, as well as the Final Four National Semifinals and the National Championship. They can choose to pay $2.99 a game or $7.99 for a package of six.
Three of TV’s biggest players are teaming up in hopes of convincing Madison Avenue to accept a different yardstick when it comes to measuring the effectiveness of millions of dollars in advertising. Viacom, 21st Century Fox’s Fox Networks Group and Time Warner’s Turner say they will all back a single system to facilitate a type of advertising buy that has become more common in recent years as new technology allows marketers to pick and choose the audiences they pitch with a greater deal of precision.
The digital, millennial-focused women’s lifestyle brand has made a deal with Turner to produce TV and digital programming together, as well as to sell advertising jointly. Turner led a $45 million funding round for Refinery29 as part of the deal. While specific collaborative ideas are still embryonic, TV is “an incredibly high-impact, high-engagement, high-quality medium that we just really want to be producing content for,” says Refinery29 CEO Justin Stefano.
How will Turner Broadcasting, NBCUniversal’s CNBC and Sinclair Broadcast Group navigate television’s transition from baseband SDI to an IP environment? Senior engineering executives at all three companies participated in a roundtable interview about how they are making the move. Matthew Holcombe, VP, Turner Production Broadcast Engineering; Del Parks, SVP and CTO of the Sinclair Broadcast Group; and Steve Fastook, SVP of technical and commercial operations at CNBC, revealed how they’re currently deploying IP, why they are doing so and where they hope IP-based technologies will take their operations in the future. Highlights of that interview, produced for Grass Valley by NewsCheckStudio, are here. Full interview here.
The cable programmer, whose channels include TBS, TNT, CNN and Cartoon Network, among others, is introducing a new native advertising unit at the Consumer Electronics Show this week with the goal of reimagining commercial breaks.
Turner’s acquisition of the Las Vegas-based streaming and tech company is part of its plan to create a cloud-based technology infrastructure while gaining tools to develop new products and offshoots of existing businesses.