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Fox to Significantly Cut Commercial Time

Brandon Contes

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Last week, NBC Universal announced they will cut commercial time by 20% during primetime programming this fall. Yesterday, Fox stated they hope to trim advertising on their networks down to just two minutes per hour by 2020.

“We feel like we work in this attention economy, and essentially where this market has gone sideways is that we’re not properly valuing the consumer’s time and attention,” said David Levy, the executive vice president of non-linear revenue at Fox Networks Group. “There’s more things competing for your attention than ever, so the price of attention has gone up.”

As more people take to cord-cutting, using services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime which have no advertising during their programming, linear TV networks feel the pressure of appealing to the modern day customer.

“There are more and more consumers, whether it’s from Hulu or the Netflixes or Amazons of the world, who are liberated via technology” from having to watch the sheer number of advertisements shown on traditional television, said NBC’s chairman of advertising, Linda Yaccarino. “TV networks would be crazy to believe that anything other than commercial overhaul was anything other than inevitable.”

According to Nielsen, the average amount of commercial time per hour on linear television during 2017 was 13 minutes for broadcast TV and 16 minutes on cable. Brian Wieser, a senior advertising analyst at Pivotal Research Group, told CNN some networks air up to 20 minutes of ad time during one hour of programming. With the current large amount of commercial time on television, a future decrease for Fox to just two minutes per hour is difficult to imagine.

As the way people consume content modernizes, more sponsors have looked toward advertising on digital platforms, affording networks to cut commercial time on traditional television. According to Magna, digital ad sales are expected to reach $237 billion this year, compared to $183 billion for television. If networks receive more income from digital advertising, they can limit commercial time on traditional television, providing more original content to viewers.

Brandon Contes is a freelance writer for BSM. He can be found on Twitter @BrandonContes. To reach him by email click here.

Sports TV News

FanDuel TV Strikes Deal With ONE Championship Martial Arts

“We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

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FanDuel TV and ONE Championship Martial Arts have struck a deal that will see the MMA, Muay Thai, kickboxing, and submission grappling series air weekly events on the newly launched channel.

“We’re eager to continue expanding the variety of content we’re offering at FanDuel TV to introduce our audience to emerging sports,” said FanDuel Chief Commercial Officer Mike Raffensperger. “We’ve long respected the content the ONE Championship team is producing and are looking forward to bringing their action to our audience through FanDuel TV and FanDuel+.”

ONE Championship is a top-five global sports property for digital viewership and engagement according to Nielsen measurements.

“We are thrilled to join the FanDuel TV lineup and give our passionate U.S. audience yet another way to engage with ONE Championship,” said ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong. “Having a quality partner in FanDuel will help raise the profile of our company in the region and provide their viewers with action-packed martial arts events like they have never seen before.”

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Sports TV News

Bob Costas Re-Lives First Announcing Assignment For NBC

“My biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979.”

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Legendary sports broadcaster Bob Costas appeared on KNBR’s Tolbert & Copes Thursday to discuss the death of Baseball Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. But before the conversation turned to the recently departed pitcher, the show asked Costas about what he has announced that would surprise someone. He reminisced about his first time on the air for NBC.

“My very first assignment for NBC, my biography usually says I began with them in 1980, but technically the first time I was on the air with them was in December 1979,” Costas recounted. “There was a program on NBC then called Sports World. It was an anthology series that was their answer to the gold standard, ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

“So they traveled the globe, like Wide World of Sports did. So they sent me, wearing a red NBC jacket, to Tokyo to cover a sumo wrestling tournament with seven-time world power-lifting champion Larry Pacifico as my color man. Now, this is all the Japanese I learned as we came on the air: ‘Minasan kon’nichwa watashinoamaeha Bob Costas’, which means ‘Hello everyone, my name is Bob Costas’. If ever there was typecasting, when they sat and looked at their roster of announcers and went ‘Who should we send to the sumo wrestling? It’s gotta be Costas, who’s entire body weight would constitute one meal for the sumo wrestling champion.”

Costas departed NBC Sports in 2019 after 40 years with the network, announcing MLB, NBA, and the Olympics, in addition to his work with the network’s sumo wrestling coverage.

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Matt Leinart, Alex Smith Make Wager Over Pac-12 Championship Game

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous. I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.”

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FOX Sports analyst Matt Leinart and ESPN analyst Alex Smith have made a friendly wager over the upcoming Pac-12 Championship Game.

USC, Leinart’s alma mater, is slated to play Utah, where Smith attended, in the game Friday evening on FOX from Las Vegas.

The two agreed to don the other player’s jersey. “At least it will be 11,” Smith said, noting he and Leinart both wore the number during their playing days.

“I gotta be honest with you: I’m not that nervous,” Leinart said when presented with the offer. “I know that sounds kind of arrogant and confident.” Smith jokingly responded by calling USC “Free Agent University”. He added he would overnight Leinart a jersey to ensure he had one if the Utes were victorious.

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