Preview only show first 10 pages with watermark. For full document please download

The Official Daily Newspaper




daily cover1 29/1/08 00:07 Page 1 THE OFFICIAL DAILY NEWSPAPER TUESDAY JANUARY 29 DAY ONE NATPE.D1.ok 29/1/08 02:22 Page 1 THE OFFICIAL DAILY NEWSPAPER TUESDAY JANUARY 29 DAY ONE NATPE consolidates its content mission s the digital entertainment storm blows across the TV industry, bringing with it new business models and fresh creative agendas, NATPE chairman Rick Feldman (right) has reasserted the Las Vegas show’s mantle as America’s only dedicated content market. “There’s no doubt this is a transformational year, for both NATPE and the business,” he said. “The strike has fast-tracked some of the changes that were destined to happen anyway. It’s obvious that linear TV is set to change, and in the digital age content is going to be different. “People are now consuming content in new ways, but advertisers still need critical mass and the traditional TV business continues to serve up a mass audience. We have the broadcast and cable networks here, but we A also have executives from the emerging platforms. Noting that while there are new platforms, new advertisers and new ways to monetize content, Feldman pointed out that the revolution has yet to fully happen. “There’ll be many new production and distribution entities creating fresh styles of content for all digital platforms in the future. NATPE will sustain traditional syndication but also provide a place for new players.” Looking forward to this year’s show, Feldman added: “I hope NATPE this year will broaden the way people see us. If you go through our agenda it’s difficult to not see the changes. Having the digital people at NATPE allows them to have one conversation under one roof about the broad spectrum of entertainment. “You are either a program convention or you’re not. We are a program convention that features a little bit of tech. CES and NAB are tech shows. Both shows are too big for the kinds of creative conversations that you need to have. We have more than 1500 buyers from all over the world, 400 companies selling content. They don’t get lost at NATPE. They all get heard, and that’s what America’s only content market is all about.” MGM Studios’ co-president of worldwide TV Jim Packer says video-on-demand is growing fast, but all the business models are competing with each other. Full story page 19. Today at NATPE Mobile entertainment isn’t TV Delivering the keynote at NATPE Mobile++ yesterday, Thomas Fellger (right), CEO of mobile solutions agency IconMobile, told delegates that there is one key thing to remember when making successful mobile content: IT ISN’T TELEVISION. “People see mobile channels as standalone like TV, and that’s a mistake,” he said, adding: “Yes, some linear content works, but this is a different medium and content needs to be designed specifically with the mobile in mind.” He urged content creators to think about mobile devices “as a tool and not just a consumption channel.” IconMobile is 40% owned by media agency WPP. It has developed mobile movie portals for Sony films and also devises proprietary mobile content. Key to all of its operations is harnessing the essence of mobile devices - mobility. For example, an outgrowth of German mobile soap Mittendrin Berlin Rockt! lets fans in on the daily schedules of celebrities featured in the series. MSN came in as a sponsor, and content was also integrated into German youth magazines. Users check their mobiles each morning to watch the soap, and also see where their favorite celebs will show up that day. The series, comprised of 3-6 minute episodes, is now going into its fourth season with over one million users in its pocket. January 29 DAY 1 3 NATPE.Day1.News06.ok 29/1/08 01:38 Page 2 NEWS I Syndicated daytime game show Crosswords, from Merv Griffin Entertainment and distributor Program Partners, has been renewed for season two in 40 of the top 50 markets. The companies announced a firm go for season two of the half-hour word-based quiz show, following commitments from WNBC in New York and stations from the NBC O&Os, Belo, Four Points, Gannett, Gray, Guardian, Hubbard, McGraw-Hill, New Age, Raycom, Sarkes Tarzian and Sagamorehill. I Sony Pictures TV International has signed a multi-year volume deal with ProSiebenSat.1 Group for current and library feature films and U.S. TV series for the latter’s free-to-air channels. The titles now slated to air on the German broadcaster include period drama The Tudors and new Glenn Close series Damages, which premiered recently in the U.K. on BBC1, as well as movies including SpiderMan 3 and The Da Vinci Code. I The U.K.’s Bravo channel, Australia’s Network Seven and Asia’s Star TV are among the networks that have acquired new ‘caught on tape’ reality show Most Daring from Alfred Haber Distribution. The 13x60’ series is produced by Nash Entertainment and follows law enforcement agencies, firefighters, coastguards and civilians facing up to various lifethreatening situations. The show originally aired on TruTV. I Seattle-based broadband VoD firm has added a slate of animated kids’ shows to its content roster via a deal with Canadian toon distributor Nelvana Enterprises. Titles to be included on ReelTime’s pay-perview and monthly subscription offering include Rupert, My Dad the Rock Star, Ned’s Newt, Jim Lee’s WildC.A.T.S. and Marvin the Tap-Dancing Horse. ReelTime claims to be the first DVD-quality ‘point, click, and watch’ user experience available on the web, and last week agreed, in its first Hollywood studio deal with Sony Pictures Television, to offer a range of movies, including Spider-Man 3 and Superbad. 6 January 29 DAY 1 THE OFFICIAL DAILY iPhone’s video threatens Blackberry dominance he iPhone’s achievements as a video platform have seen it outstrip almost all of its competitors in the mobile marketplace, with the marketleading Blackberry the only device left to topple. Speaking at NATPE Mobile++ in Las Vegas yesterday, Kent German, senior editor at media and technology company CNET, said that the iPhone, though not the first smartphone, has had a major effect on the sector. “The consequences aren’t exactly as people thought,” German said. “Two years ago people thought that this would be the only phone out there and that nobody else would be able to compete. However, 99% of what the iPhone does, other phones do. They just do it in a different way. T Kent German: iPhone chasing Blackberry “It’s one of the best mobile media players ever, the sound and video quality, the screen, the way it can sync easily with your PC just using iTunes to transfer stuff. As far as integrating a media player into your phone goes, it does a fantastic job.” According to German, Research In Motion (RIM) still dominates the smartphone market, accounting for 39% with its Blackberry device. Apple’s iPhone has soared straight on to the number two spot with 20% of the markets, followed by Palm at 10%, Motorola (7%) and Nokia (3%). The remainder of the market is occupied by devices from other manufacturers. “So many media players for these phones are difficult to use because they’re hidden in certain menus and you have to scroll to find them. As far as integrating a media player into a phone, there’s nothing like the iPhone.” German also said the industry is awaiting AT&T’s competitor for Verizon’s V-Cast mobile TV service, which is being developed with Qualcomm’s mobile TV MediaFLO service. Fox to lift Latino production Target Fox Latin America is looking to ramp up its local programming efforts after its own-produced series are racking up more eyeballs than the net’s flagship U.S. drama such as 24, Dexter, Prison Break and Nip/Tuck. Patricia Daujotas, content acquisition director at Fox Latin America, oversees Canal Fox, FX and Fox Life. She told NATPE Daily that Canal Fox series Tiempo Final and Latin America’s first chat show for women, Vanessa de Noche, which airs on female skewing Fox Life, were generating “stellar” ratings for the Fox Latin American channels, which are distributed throughout Latin America including Brazil. “They are doing better than 24,” she said. “We are a media company and we are producing a lot from our production facilities in Buenos Aires for unscripted programming and Columbia for scripted, via Fox Telecolumbia. The intention is to produce more and more.” The new localization strategy is good news for the company in Vision aims for NATPE Patricia Daujotas: localization plans the wake of the U.S. writers’ strike, in terms of having backups should there be any primetime holes. Daujotas would not comment on the strike, however. Nevertheless, Fox Latin America’s nets this year will include new episodes of Nip/Tuck, Prison Break and Dexter. Daujotas says there are a few more titles joining the lineup, but she wanted to keep them under wraps for now. New York syndicator Target Vision has brought a new magazine featuring promising high school athletes to NATPE. Sports Stars of Tomorrow, from GameDay Productions, chronicles the achievements of high school athletes in major sports around the country and allows local stations to include segments about their own community’s stars. TargetVision is also offering reality series Say Yes and Marry Me, reality-competition series Dream Home and international series Sensing Murder, in which psychics are called in to solve real life ‘cold case’ murders. In finished series, TargetVision has new reality series The Wittens: An American Family, starring Dallas Cowboys player Jason Witten; music special Frankie Avalon’s Spring Break; cooking show Taste of the Southwest and NASCAR season series Race Week. NATPE.Day1.ew.News08 29/1/08 03:27 Page 2 NEWS I Yesterday at NATPE Mobile++, Mark Donovan, chief marketing officer and senior analyst at M:Metrics, revealed that just under three million Americans are currently watching ondemand (professional) video content on their cell phones. Viewership is increasing, having grown by 60% between January and November 2007, but what is everyone watching? The top 10 mobile video genres in the U.S. are: movie trailers; music; sports or news; comedy; weather; entertainment and celeb news; local, national and world news; full-length TV/film; TV highlights; and animation content. I Fox drama Bones has lifted its syndication clearances to 21 markets, representing 45% of the country, Twentieth TV announced at NATPE. The program has been cleared for fall 2009 in all top 10 markets including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. I Ion Media Networks has picked up FremantleMedia North America’s 1990s syndication hit Baywatch, distributed by Litton Entertainment, to air on its 60station broadcast TV network. Baywatch will launch on March 3rd and air Mondays through Thursdays at 10:00 p.m. (ET). I MGM Studios is starting syndication for kids competition series Gladiators 2000 and its newly acquired DIY series Ron Hazleton’s HouseCalls here at NATPE. MGM is offering 39 episodes of 1990s title Gladiators 2000 as NBC revives the Gladiators brand. All nine series of HouseCalls are available, plus the upcoming 22x30’ episodes and renewal deals for the next two seasons. I Twentieth Century Fox TV Distribution has signed a multiyear pay-TV deal with Canada’s Allarco Entertainment, owner of Super Channel. The deal gives Super Channel several Fox movies including Waitress, Alien vs Predator: Requiem and Alvin and The Chipmunks, and builds on a deal that brought Fox’s drama series Burn Notice to Super Channel subscribers. 8 January 29 DAY 1 THE OFFICIAL DAILY Not in our backyard Yesterday at NATPE Mobile++, a coalition of U.S. media players launched a Code of Best Practice for participation TV (P-TV) as a line of defense to prevent Stateside scandals like those that have recently rocked parts of Europe, mainly the U.K. The plan is designed to instill consumer confidence in P-TV applications such as the text messaging on shows like Big Brother and American Idol, and was put together by the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF), an international trade body whose members include Endemol, CBS, A&E, Fox Mobile, Fremantle, NBC, Sprint and Verisign. The Code involves guidelines on pricing transparency, customer care and the process for managing risk. It sets out to clearly define the responsibilities of wireless carriers, service providers, broadcasters and producers of P-TV programs. In the U.K. last year there was tremendous uproar when technological glitches within Matt Straznitskas – American Idol was catalyst for mobile advertising several P-TV programs resulted in cash taken after voting had closed. Consumers lost confidence (not to mention money) and broadcasters such as the BBC and ITV were fined thousands and in some cases millions of dollars for the missteps. They later dropped most of their P-TV shows. “Participation TV in other countries has suffered some very basic flaws in terms of how it has CCTV entices west with high-kicking Bruce Lee China International TV (CITV), the sales arm of state broadcaster CCTV, is filming an ambitious new HD drama, The Legend of Bruce Lee. The 50-part series documents the life of the Kung Fu icon and is being filmed across seven countries with a largely Western cast, scheduled to air on CCTV and undisclosed networks in the U.S. and Latin America. Due to wrap in April, the series is fully funded by CCTV and is being offered to buyers at NATPE, following CITVC’s sales drive in France, Italy and the U.K. Mr M.A. Runsheng, general manager of program marketing at CITVC, said the series was picking up a lot of attention in the West thanks to its high budget, Western cast and familiar subject matter. “The series has had a lot of interest, thanks to Bruce Lee’s international following. He offered generations living in the western world insight into China,” added Runsheng. The film, made possible thanks to the involvement of Lee’s U.S.based wife, Sharon Lee, follows his life from his school years, through his study of martial arts in Thailand and Japan, to his years teaching in the U.S. Lee is depicted on screen by Danny Chan, star of Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer, with a supporting cast including Michelle Lang (Harmony Heights), Mark Dacascos (Brotherhood of the Wolf) and Ray Park, who found fame playing Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode One – The Phantom Menace. been operated,” admitted Suhail Bhat, director of policy and initiatives at the MEF. Noting that such P-TV scandals have not occurred in the U.S. to date, Bhat said that the MEF wanted to take the lessons learned from the U.K. and other European countries “and apply them to the U.S. market in a proactive and responsible way to ensure such errors are not repeated.” Watch out for Mavens and Tribes In the burgeoning world of mobile entertainment, a discouraged user is a lost customer, so it’s essential to keep the user experience in mind, Rachel Switzky of design firm IDEO, told NATPE Mobile++ delegates yesterday. Switzky, client relationship manager for IDEO’s AT&T Mobility account, said wireless carriers and content creators need to ensure the mobile video experience is seamless. That means allowing users to access it simultaneously on multiple platforms such as cell phones, TV, on-demand cable, downloads and online. “The boundaries between active and passive entertainment are changing, so it’s critical to understand where and when users want control.” NATPE.Day1.EW.page25 THE OFFICIAL 29/1/08 03:15 Page 2 DAILY Rigel preps new primetime series L.A.-based Rigel Entertainment has optioned the rights to publishing brands Fate Magazine and Hanz Holzer’s The Ghost Files with a view to developing them into primetime series. Fate is a monthly magazine that delivers ‘true stories of the unusual and unexplained.’ Published since 1948, its content focuses on psychics and spiritualists, archaeological hotspots and fringe science, UFO and paranormal investigations. The Ghost Files, created by Professor Hans Holzer, Ph.D., are tales based on ghosts returning to their loved ones. The original Ghost Hunter Professor Dr. Hans Holzer, Ph.D has authored 145 books on the supernatural and occult. The company has retained Alys Shanti as a consultant to develop the two projects. Shanti spent 10 years at Robert Greenwald Productions, where she most recently served as executive producer, responsible for the sales and development of projects including television series, miniseries, telefilms and feature films. While new productions come down the pipeline, Rigel is also looking into online distribution for its content. The company recently hired former Microsoft exec Andy Beers to create a digital strategy. “We are going to start taking our product to the major suppliers of web content,” said Rigel founder and CEO John Laing. “And we are working on making a dedicated site where people can watch our wares.” Also debuting at NATPE are two new titles made for the Sci Fi Channel. From Jeffrey Hayes (The Starter Wife, Nightmares & Dreamscapes) and David Kemper (Farscape), is the apocalyptic thriller, Heatstroke. Sent on a mission to Palaloa to investigate a strange form of radiation, an army Major (Sweeney) and his crack team of commandos soon discover the problem is being caused by aliens, sent to Earth to set up a radiation machine. The second title for Sci Fi Channel, also from Hayes and Kemper, is Aztec Rex, starring Ian Ziering (Dancing with the Stars, Beverly Hills 90210, Stripped Down) and Jack McGee (Rescue Me, NYPD Blue). Set in the year 1518 AD, the show follows a fierce native Aztec warrior community living in tenuous harmony with primevial beasts — including a family of Tyrannosaurus Rex. KEN WERNER / CHRIS GRANT / JOHN LAING EXHIBITOR PROFILES Werner expands remit at Warners Bros. Ken Werner tells Ed Waller about the all-new Warner Bros. Domestic Television. Earlier this month Werner’s It has been a busy few months role expanded to include sales for Ken Werner, newly named of the same Warner Bros. slate president of Warner Bros. across cable and pay-TV outlets, Domestic Television Distribution as the studio’s two domestic (WBDTD). Not only has he got distribution arms became one, his new syndicated talk show with president of the cable The Bonnie Hunt Show cleared sales division Eric Frankel in something like 95% of the leaving the company. country, but he also added Explaining the merger, domestic cable distribution to Werner says: “Many years ago his existing domestic television cable and broadcast syndication distribution duties. Ken Werner: new cable duties were different markets; now First, Werner’s new one-hour daily strip, which is due to launch in fall 2008, they are one. It reflects the maturity of the is hosted by comedy producer, director, cable market. Cable channels now have writer and performer Hunt. The talk show sufficient resources to pay equal or in excess business is a challenging one, Werner admits, of what the TV stations pay. They now “since there are so many franchised out compete for the same windows and offer there that have been lisenced for long similar amounts of money.” Looking ahead, Werner sees the shortage of periods of time, so the number of available off-network product, largely due to the WGA time periods is extremely constrained. “But we broke the market with Bonnie strike, actually benefiting TV stations in the Hunt,” he adds. “We did a big deal with NBC long run since it’ll force them to produce and got the premium slots that were more first-run shows. “There are 104 channels available on affiliates in New York, L.A. and in the average TV home. As this increases, Chicago. By December we were virtually local stations and cable channels will need more first-run programming than ever.” done distributing it.” Gladiators enter global arena Reveille joint MD Chris Grant talks international business with Ed Waller. Interesting times at Biggest Loser and American Gladiator producer Reveille. The company is in the midst of a takeover by Elisabeth Murdoch’s U.K. independent Shine, valuing the six-year-old company at $200m. As well as a change of ownership, with Shine ultimately owned by News Corpbacked BSkyB, Sony and private equity firm 3i, the deal is likely to allow Reveille’s distribution arm to expand its unscripted slate, and even add some drama, all drawn from Shine’s other U.K. production companies: Kudos, Princess and Firefly. However, Chris Grant, international MD at Reveille, wouldn’t be drawn on the Shine deal. Instead, he says 2008 looks set to be the biggest one yet for Reveille. “Our two new formats, Moment of Truth and American Gladiator, both dominate their slots on NBC,” he says from his THEhotel suite. “And this NATPE we’re debuting our latest acquisition - Joes vs Pros - which we picked up from Spike TV and Michael Yudin.” One of the main planks of Reveille’s business is taking unscripted domestic hits Reveille’s John Pollak and Chris Grant and selling them to overseas networks to adapt, something it has done plenty with Biggest Loser and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? Now Crosswords, which Reveille distributes on behalf of Program Partners, has also begun its international roll-out with local adaptations for Challenge in the U.K., Channel [V] in India and Sky in New Zealand, adding to the show’s recent second season green light in the U.S. Finally, NATPE sees the arrival of new hire Matt Vassallo, sales director, Latin America, a region high on Reveille’s to-do list this year. DAY 1 January 29 25 NATPE.Day1.ew.page27 THE OFFICIAL 29/1/08 03:39 Page 2 DAILY NATPE IN PICTURES NATPE’s Rick Feldman, WMA’s Mark Itkin, CBS Paramount Network TV’s Nancy Tellem, General Electric’s Bob Wright, Lilly Tartikoff and Warner Bros. TV’s Peter Roth at last night’s Legacy Awards. Garrett Law from L.A.-based Attention Span TV is at NATPE for the first time with a series created for the internet called Dorm Life. A “mockumentary with the flavor of The Office,” said Law, it is one of several shortform series the firm has in development for broadband channels. Jason Barak and David Tetreault from digital display company D3, in town to promote their LED screen, a scaled-down replica of the firm’s ABC Studios display in Times Square in New York. Muppets entertain NATPE Mobile++ delegates in style Twentieth TV and Fox TV Stations top brass including Steve MacDonald, Bob Cook and Frank Cicha at Twentieth’s welcoming dinner Sunday night DAY 1 January 29 27