Ryan Seacrest, shown with U.S. swimmer Lia Neel, isn't getting high marks from all the critics for his Olympic work. (NBC / August 2, 2012)
Bronze but no gold. NBC parent Comcast Corp. said it could break even on its coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Given that most industry analysts and even Comcast had been anticipating a big loss, this is good news for the media giant. "We are way ahead of where we thought we would be," said NBCUniversal Chief Executive Steve Burke. More on NBC's financial performance from the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and Associated Press.
Reboot or remake? Hollywood may lack creativity when it comes to new movies or TV shows, but it sure is good at coming up with new words to hide that fact. The latest phrase being used in tinseltown is "reboot." What's a reboot? Well, a marketing executive will tell you its a new take on an old property. A normal person will tell you its regurgitating something because there were no new ideas. The producers say that people do not remember the origional film and will take to this new modern sensability version. Producer Neal Moritz and director Len Wiseman tried to give the sci-fi reboot a less corny feel with more realistic action and dialogue. A look at the "reboot" of "Total Recall" from the Los Angeles Times.
The Skinny: I'm trying watch the commercials on NBC but the Olympics keep getting in the way. Thursday's headlines include a big hire by NBC, a big deal by CBS and a critique of Ryan Seacrest's Olympic performance.
Daily Dose: TV stations in the top 50 markets are now required to start posting online detailed information about what politicians are spending during election season. Already public information, now the FCC is keeping all that information on its own website. However, while the spending information is supposed to be up as of Thursday, many stations are still trying to figure out how to upload the dirt and are complaining that the FCC's support system to help with the process has been less than, well, helpful.
ABC, is heading to rival NBC to become its president of programming planning, strategy. The scheduler is a key role at any network even in the age of digital video recorders and online streaming. The move puts a cloud over the future of NBC's current scheduler, Lisa Vebber. While NBC has struggled lately, a scheduler is only as good as the shows he or she is scheduling. No word on who will succeed Bader at ABC yet. More on the move from Variety, Deadline Hollywood and Los Angeles Times.
Static on the satellite dish. Satellite broadcaster DirecTV reported net income of $711 million for the second quarter, a slight gain from a year earlier. However, the service posted a net loss of more than 50,000 subscribers for the period, the first time in the company's history it has reported a decline in customers. DirecTV chief Mike White has said his focus is on retaining current customers vs. spending heavily to add new ones. Hmmm, then what's with all those funny ads I see telling me all the bad things that will happen if I don't switch to DirecTV from cable? More on the numbers from Bloomberg.
The eye gets bigger. CBS is expanding its partnership with Liberty Global's Chellomedia to launch channels in more than 80 territories in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. CBS will have a 30% stake in the venture. Coverage from World Screen. Meanwhile NBC-Universal is selling European channels and cable networks to reposition in undisclosed ways.
Inside the Los Angeles Times: Mary McNamara on Ryan Seacrest's performance at the Olympics, which she says is less than gold medal worthy.
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