Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thursday Night Football to CBS and NBC? NFL Continues Money Scheme

The NFL has become the television industry's biggest bully on the block and their reign over major media conglomerates doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon.

Last week, it was revealed that football ratings for every single network except for ESPN were up year-to-year. With a lead-in from a fierce Broncos-Steelers divisional game, CBS' 60 Minutes also reached a record ratings grab of 20 million viewers. The fact is that football is still the biggest show in town. In this era of cord cutting, it is one of the few things viewers continue to watch live as it happens. 

America's past time has a lucrative package of games up for grabs and is attempting to use their power in order to garner their heart's desires. Unfortunately though, if their plan transpires, it will place CBS and NBC's Thursday night schedules under sabotage as the Wall Street Journal explains:
The NFL is attempting to throw its weight around by insisting on flexibility with how it divvies up the games between CBS and NBC, according to people familiar with the matter. Rather than have one network carry five games in a row followed by the other network, the NFL’s proposal has been to bounce the games back and forth between the two networks and the NFL Network. That approach would give the league more flexibility in scheduling high-profile games on its own network. 
For the past two seasons, CBS has carried its portion of games at the start of the season. This time, games may end up on the broadcast networks later in the season, too. 
Those scenarios aren't being embraced by the networks because it would be difficult to promote a haphazard Thursday football schedule, as well as disrupt their ability to consistently schedule—and build a following for—other fall programming on the Thursday nights without a game. Constantly juggling shows on the schedule can confuse and frustrate viewers.
The networks have been using the league to its advantage for years but this is extremely petty and grimy in my opinion, especially for CBS. After spending so much money and time to cultivate and promote Thursday Night Football, the reward CBS gets is a smaller amount of games for the same price (WSJ says each network could pay at least $300 million each) if not more? 

By now, most NFL fans know that Thursday Night Football airs on the NFL Network. It has shown in the ratings whenever CBS's portion of the package has ended last season and the year before. I don't think it is in the NFL's best interests to confuse fans who don't have a clue where to find games week to week. 

The belief that fans will decide to stick to the NFL Network every week in order to avoid confusion is definitely the wrong conclusion to make. Why? Because many fans still don't receive the network on their basic cable packages which means that if they can't find it on their television set, they'll find a way to watch it online. 

With the league's impending deal with an online service for TNF rights, this purposeful confusion will most likely end up benefitting them rather than helping NFL Network's viewership. The other option might be that a confused viewer will give up and choose not to watch the game at all. If this happens, it hurts Thursday Night Football's chances of catching up to the prestige of the Sunday night and Monday night packages.

CBS and NBC will be in a ton of trouble with the studios that provide them with shows on Thursday nights. The only way to prevent major confusion among television viewers is to partner together on a massive campaign that begins after the schedule is released featuring NFL stars, commentators, and stars of CBS and NBC's respective shows. The campaign would need to be publicized everywhere across a plethora of CBS and NBC's platforms but especially during CBS's March Madness/Masters coverage and NBC's Olympics coverage.

The New York Times reports NBC's Olympics coverage will play a major role in determining who wins Thursday night rights.
NBC seems to have a strong case to succeed CBS because it would be able to use the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which start Aug. 5, as a promotional platform for the games on multiple channels and online. That heavy promotion would end in 17 days, a few weeks before the N.F.L. season starts. Still, if the league wants to keep building preseason awareness, the Olympics would be a valuable tool. And NBC is familiar with Thursdays; it televises the opening-night game on Thursday, so adding eight games would provide continuity through late October.
The one question I ponder is who will handle the production of these games as well as who will serve in the commentators' roles. Will it be every network for themselves or will each entity pick an all-star roster to combine similar to CBS and Turner Sports' coverage of March Madness? Because CBS and NBC are not bidding together, I would have to guess that they will handle production of their games separately.

In my opinion though, this isn't a good idea. Fans will already be confused about where to watch the games, the last thing you need to do is also confuse them with the branding of these games. The NFL Network needs to have one set of graphics, commentators and production shown each week in order to provide viewers with a satisfying on air presentation that isn't all over the place. 

The key to garnering loyalty among viewers - continuity. This is part of the reason football is still as popular today as it was 20 or 30 years ago, the characters have changed but the drama, excitement and intensity it promises each week has not.

There have previously been reports that this Thursday Night Football deal would also come with a minority stake in the NFL Network. Last week, there was also word from WSJ's Joe Flint that the NFL wanted one of its partners to produce a morning show in their studios for NFLN. Out of the two potential TNF partners, NBC may be better positioned to handle both duties.

NBC could help NFL Network gain more carriage through the pull of their parent company Comcast and they also have ample studio space to use in their Connecticut studios. One interesting option could be housing an NFL Network morning show on the top floor of Today Show's 30 Rock studios in order to create synergies and partnerships between NFLN's show and an established brand. 

Today Show personalities and NFL Network personalities could appear on each other's respective shows and they could use each other to book big celebrity guests. NBC could even sell advertising units targeted at both men and women which would air on Today and NFL Network respectively. ESPN's Mike and Mike and Good Morning America were considering doing the same exact thing this year but Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg weren't able to come up with a deal monetarily that would help convince them to move to New York.

Hypothetically, if this came to fruition, I don't know where it would leave CBS in terms of its role in promoting the league-owned network. Maybe the NFL decides to sell all of the operational duties needed for their channel to another company looking to bolster their share in sports programming. Would Disney, Turner or Discovery (all companies who know how to operate successful cable networks) be interested in partaking in that type of voyage?

There have been some weird online trails which have connected Turner to the NFL including NFL tweets being promoted on Twitter by the TBS Network's account and the following entry found on Turner Sports' Wikipedia page.

After finding out when this edit was made and by whom, I decided to trace the IP address to see if this came from someone possibly in Turner's Atlanta offices or the NFL's studios in Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, I didn't find anything juicy. It was just a random person in Jacksonville, Florida who made an innocent error.

Sports media observers are definitely going to get some interesting news regarding the future of Thursday Night Football and the NFL Network next week as the league wants to sign a deal before Super Bowl 50. I would expect the news to leak late next week with an official announcement during CBS's Super Bowl pregame show (unless CBS ends up losing their rights in an unexpected shocker).

Will Fox come into play and bid aggressively enough to remove one or both of the current leaders from their positions?

This would not be CBS and NBC's first awkward relationship with the NFL Network. In 2007, CBS and NBC simulcasted NFL Network's last Saturday night game of the season featured an undefeated Patriots team facing the New York Giants.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Launches New Show on Hulu, How Can Univision Compete?

In a deal worth $200 million according to the New York Times, Univision has bought a stake in satirical newspaper The Onion. Univision's president of news, Isaac Lee, says that the biggest motivator for this deal was comedy's expanding role in culture.

“It has also proven to be an incredibly engaging format for millennial audiences and is expected to play a key part in the 2016 presidential election process via our robust content offerings in Spanish and English.”

Univision's acquisition is expected to bolster their digital reach among young demographics as well as diversify their audience. The company is expected to go public soon and is entering English-language media in order to look more attractive to investors, according to the Miami New Times.
Univision, which keeps its headquarters in New York but has much of its production and business operations in Miami, garners ratings that now compete with the major networks. It's not uncommon for the company's flagship network's offerings to attract more eyeballs than some of its English-language peers. Though, TV ratings are down across the board, and Univision's audience still skews older.  
That's a problem for Univision as its prepare to re-debut as a publicly traded company sometime later this year, especially as younger Hispanic Americans prefer to consume media in English. In other words, before returning to the stock market, Univision needs to prove to potential investors that it has a plan for the future.  
Univision also wants to use The Onion to produce new shows with a comedic slant for millenials on Fusion. The Onion has made attempts at producing television programming for IFC and Comedy Central in the past. Each show has been dealt with a sizzling consequence - cancellation. Still, Univision believes The Onion can serve as a complement to Fusion.
Univision executives saw The Onion as a complement to Fusion and its other properties, with comedy filling a vital role in culture, political discourse and the discussion of current events, according to the person briefed on the deal. They also saw the deal as helping Univision develop new comedy and satirical offerings in Spanish and English and collaborate with up-and-coming talent.
The problem with this proposition is that we're living in a media golden age. There is so much competition out there especially in the comedy world leading up to this year's election. The usual contenders of SNL and The Daily Show are not letting up while other online comedy powerhouses are launching online. All of these potential competitors could prevent Fusion from making a dent no matter how much help The Onion provides in terms of quality content or talent.

Barstool Sports recently received VC funding from Peter Chernin to create comedic videos and blog posts, Netflix is giving Chelsea Handler a documentary series focused on issues that will play a role in this year's election process while Jon Stewart is taking his talents to HBO for a major project that has yet to be announced. CBS recently launched a new late night show centered around smart conversation with Stephen Colbert. And we still haven't mentioned all of the other late night shows on the other broadcast networks, TBS and Comedy Central. Where does this leave room for Fusion to shine?

Hulu is even entering the political game with a comedy series about the upcoming election featuring Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. The fake animal has been seen around the country at various events such as last week's Democratic debate, Republican rallies and town halls. It is unknown how the fake animal is able to obtain press passes to all these event but the program, which is expected to debut on February 5th, is sure to be a doozy according to tweets from journalists who have encountered the act.

Triumph, created by Conan O'Brien and Robert Smigel, has been heavily featured on O'Brien's late night shows on TBS and NBC and will finally get his chance to shine solo after Smigel's Adult Swim show with Jack McBrayer was cancelled last year.

Smigel, O'Brien and Hulu have not confirmed the new show publicly but it has been promoted during campaign events of which the dog was in attendance. There is also no confirmation about whether this will be a documentary, episodic series or how many seasons/iterations it will last. Coincidentally, February also marks the month when one of Hulu's most anticipated program ever about JFK's assassination, 11/23/63, starring James Franco debuts. This means that Hulu could see a jump in users watching shows on their platform, increasing the odds of success for this unique look at what has become known as The Circus.

Hulu is taking the smart route of framing its election coverage around a well-known character who has a built in audience that has been developed for decades. Its also a different perspective from what you may normally see on the gazillions of other comedic options available on TV or on the web.

So where does this leave Fusion?

No matter how powerful Univision is, its going to be tough to convince cable companies to carry a network that doesn't have enough of a threshold to be rated. Comcast and Time Warner Cable will not budge their stances - declining to carry Fusion - due to this year's cord-cutting crisis unless the network finds a way to prove its worth.

Fusion needs to do use Hulu's strategy and find someone who draws viewers on their own in order to gain some notoriety and garner viewership. As of now, there are no characters scripted or unscripted associated with The Onion who can fit this category making it questionable how much The Onion can really help the fledgling network.

Fusion was built for the 2016 election cycle and needs to find a way to build its hype now! The Onion will help bolster Fusion's online statistics but definitely isn't a reasonable strategy that can help it survive past the 2016 election on the tube.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Brian Urlacher's Publicity Stunt Went So Well

Has a head of hair ever been this popular?

This is a question I'm sure Brian Urlacher and his PR team were asking themselves yesterday after the former Chicago Bears linebacker went viral. In a scheduled interview with WGN-TV, Urlacher revealed that he had a special announcement - he has hair.

It was a life-changing moment more than 8 months in the making. Recommended by a friend, Urlacher went to "Restore By Katona" in Chicago and received a $10,000 hair transplant surgery which took one day. His doctors took hair from the back of his head and placed it where his bald spots were located.

An hour later, Urlacher had another scheduled interview with WCIU-TV's "You & Me" together with the President of "Restore By Katona." By the time that interview began, Urlacher's reveal had already went viral. Football fans and bald guys alike were shocked by the transformation. And that's when the calls came coming. Fox's Clay Travis referred to him as the "media's biggest interview of the day."

Sports Illustrated's 120 Sports. NBC's The Dan Patrick Show. CBS' The Doug Gottlieb Show. Fox's Outkick The Show with Clay Travis. Yahoo Sports. ABC 7 Chicago. ESPN Radio. Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

The former Fox Sports football analyst was all over the place as Crains Chicago Business recalls in a profile of the hair transplant company:

But sharing the news that one of the most famous bald-headed Chicago celebrities would be ditching the chrome dome would have to wait. The reveal had to be big and send new potential customers toward a company in which Urlacher now has a financial stake. 
And so Urlacher went about the past year wearing hats in public to keep his secret—the hair takes around nine months to grow back in full—even going as far as shaving away his newly grown hair to maintain his famously bald appearance.
"We would check social media every day to make sure nothing had come out," said Jordan Sadoff, president of Oak Brook-based Restore By Katona. "It's been somewhat of a challenge, but it was important to us that we showed his hair fully grown." 
It worked. 
Urlacher and Sadoff made headlines nationwide today on a media tour showcasing his new 'do, quickly becoming a trending topic on Twitter. 
The result was a flood of media inquiries, phone calls and web traffic. Restore's website crashed by mid-morning. "I didn't know what phones ringing off the hook really meant until today," said Sadoff.
Restore By Katona also released a YouTube video with Urlacher telling his story and giving fans a behind the scenes look of how he achieved his newfound fountain of youth.

Now that Restore By Katona has come to the public's attention, the hair transplant company should continue to utilize social media and online video to its advantage. Hair tutorials, hair advice, other testimonials, hair product recommendations, surgery giveaways, and football prognostication from Mr. Urlacher himself should all be features that the media team at Restore By Katona include to continue user engagement.

Mr. Urlacher, who left Fox Sports not too long before this surgery, should also continue making the media rounds to promote the product. Hopefully he makes a stop in Cleveland to convince King James to participate.

Fledgling Cable News Networks Suffering

It is not a good time to be a cable news network not named Fox News or CNN right now.

MSNBC's left-wing slant has cost them hundreds of thousands of viewers. The programming strategy was originally established as a voice for anti-Bush supporters who had enough of what was happening with the economy and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But with a Democratic candidate in office, passionate anti-Bush advocates are satisfied with the man inside the White House. Less passion means less viewers.

NBC News eventually hired the former chief of the news division back in his old position with the same mandate he had ten years ago - save MSNBC, keep NBC's shows at number one. So far, his tactics have worked. "Today" is now #1 in the demos while "MTP" and "Nightly News" are now number 1 overall. MSNBC's left-wing shows in the daytime and evening were scrapped and replaced by newscasts anchored by NBC News' Thomas Roberts, Chuck Todd and Kate Snow.

Correspondents from NBC News are featured on the network more often and former Nightly News anchor Brian Williams has been brought in to take the reins during breaking news. The addition of Williams is seen as a rejuvenation for MSNBC's reputation along with his own career. "Morning Joe" contributors Mark Halperin and John Heilmann also have their own show at 6pm, a tape-delayed simulcast of their 5pm Bloomberg TV politics brief.

The new changes have helped improve ratings but MSNBC has not been able to catch CNN yet. In spite of all the difficulties ratings-wise, MSNBC still makes money for Comcast due to retransmission fees. With the upcoming election, ad revenue also doesn't seem to be much of an issue going forward.

The same can't be said for Al Jazeera America and Fusion. Both networks have attempted to make a dent in the news cycle but for the most part have failed. They've each had their moment to shine but faced scrutiny while doing so. Fusion's lead anchor Jorge Ramos was kicked out of a Donald Trump press conference on immigration and subsequently told to leave America in a video that viral. Al Jazeera on the other hand raised allegations about Peyton Manning and his possible usage of HGH in 2011.

Peyton Manning has received the benefit of the doubt from many fans and sports media. During last Sunday's NFL pregame shows and during the game which Manning played, no commentator mentioned the controversy even once. In his podcast, Bill Simmons described the reasoning as a "love affair" between Manning and the press but based on Twitter reactions, there is no brand trust in Al Jazeera.

Deborah Davies, Al Jazeera's investigative reporter behind the story, has made appearances on MSNBC, CNN and "Today" to set the record straight about her story. She even broke some news to CNN's Brian Stelter during last Sunday's "Reliable Sources" stating that Al Jazeera has a second source confirming Peyton Manning received HGH shipments in his residence.

The story was picked up instantly by Deadspin and other blogs and went viral on social media. It didn't stop fans from rooting for him later that afternoon after he stepped onto the field for the first time since being benched. But it makes me ponder whether anyone would've even known about the new detail in Al Jazeera's investigation if she didn't go on CNN in the first place.

If she simply made an appearance on her own network, AJA, and broke these latest details, how long would it have taken for others to pick it up and take notice? This is the problem with AJA. They still don't have a brand or reach in the United States, characteristics which took decades for CNN/Fox/MSNBC to build. The doping documentary was only watched by 25,000 people live on television. Does AJA have enough money to continue being on air past the 2016 election?

Meanwhile, the grass isn't much greener in Miami. Fusion has never been able to find its flavor. Sometimes, its an entertainment network. Sometimes, its a sports network. Sometimes, documentaries. And then maybe some news, here and there. As Fusion struggles to find its television identity, Vice is continuing to strengthen its hold. So much so that Disney announced it would invest $10 million into Vice and leave its joint venture with Univision.

Fusion is currently facing its biggest test as a featured partner on Snapchat Discover. If millenials like what they're reading on Fusion's page, the hope is that they eventually gravitate to the website and television network. The only problem? The TV network isn't available on Comcast and other major cable providers. They're not even rated because no one knows where it is on their dial or even has it in the first place.

Fusion recently produced an excellent episode of "Nightline" which aired in late December on ABC about cocaine. I expect Fusion and ABC to continue as partners with some of Fusion's reporting occasionally featured on ABC News and vice versa. But with the cord-cutting fears that ESPN's subscription numbers are causing, it is no surprise that Disney doesn't have enough patience to wait for Fusion to blossom. Univision still believes in the plan and will likely take on Disney's stake but before they do, they really need to have a vision for what Fusion really stands for.

An upcoming presidential forum will be Fusion's chance to prove itself on the national stage. Jorge Ramos and Alicia Menendez, Fusion's biggest stars, will be moderating. Will they be able to capture millennials or capture headlines?

How Will Wanda's Deal With Legendary Entertainment Affect Players Tribune

In 2014, Derek Jeter launched an evolutionary sports media outlet exclusively produced by athletes known as The Players Tribune. The venture was created together with Legendary Entertainment.

Two years later, Jeter's partner is being acquired by a Chinese behemoth known as Wanda. Here is an analysis of why the acquisition is happening from Variety:

Like other Chinese players, Wanda has wanted to have a presence in Hollywood for several years. Its chairman Wang Jianlin has previously made statements about buying either Lionsgate or MGM, and is understood to have looked into acquiring DreamWorks. (Lionsgate last year tied up a major production finance deal with another Chinese company, Hunan Television.)
While it has been poring through the books of those companies, Wanda has also been eyeing film projects in Hollywood. Progress here has been slower, with indie boxing picture “Southpaw” its most recent co-investment. Legendary, which had a mixed 2015 with hits including its 25% interest in “Jurassic World” and flops including “Black Hat,” has a pipeline of movies going forward several years, and would represent a major scaling up.
Owning the majority of Legendary would be transformational, not just for the two companies concerned. It would be the first time that a company whose stock-in-trade is the tentpole movie business is owned by a Chinese parent.

Wanda owns AMC Theaters in the United States as well as a giant movie theater chain in China. Wanda is also heavily invested in international sports. They recently a European sports media company known as Infront Media, a stake in soccer team Atletico Madrid and the owner of Ironman Triathlons. The Wall Street Journal described what Infront Media does in a recent article:

Wanda would take on uncharted business territory with its move for Infront, which has held World Cup production rights, represents Olympic winter-sports federations and provides media and marketing services for the Chinese Basketball Association.
Infront is the exclusive sales representative for distribution of broadcast rights to the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, according to Infront’s website. The company also has sales-representative rights for FIFA events in 26 Asian territories, including China and India, from 2015 to 2022, Infront said. 
Wanda even owns a major movie studio complex in Qingdao, China worth $8 billion according to The Guardian. The company originally was founded as a real estate company but has rapidly transformed into a force to be reckoned with in the media world.

Legendary Entertainment has invested in both rounds of The Players Tribune's fundraising efforts. If they continue to have a role with the website after Wanda takes control, the ownership's capabilities could work to their advantage.

The ability to reach China could be the edge TPT provides versus other media outlets when an athlete decides where they want to post video or articles about their lives and careers. Wanda's relationships in the soccer world and Olympics could also help expand the kinds of athletes expressing themselves on TPT which would help further its international reach.

Wanda's movie theaters also give TPT a unique venue to distribute their video pieces before hit movies begin. Even though TPT is probably not at this point of development yet as an entity, if it decides to produce a theatrical documentary, the site would have access to physical venues worldwide where the movie could be released. A movie studio complex in China would TPT investor Kobe Bryant after retirement as he seeks to become a storyteller. Bryant could take advantage of his popularity in China to create a cross-border story.

The connections with FIFA do raise red flags because as we've discovered over the past couple of months, the business of soccer is extremely corrupt and dirty. It is unknown whether Infront or Wanda was involved in any extent and any suggestion at this point is only pure speculation. But it is something to keep in mind as more revelations about FIFA's wrongdoings continue pouring out.

Believe or not though, Wanda might be The Players Tribune's best bet in becoming an international force to be reckoned with if all the puzzle pieces end up coming together.

Intel Investing In The Future of Sports

During their CES presentation this year, computer processing company Intel announced some new endeavors involving the world of sports that could be transformative.

Its first announcement addressed new ways to watch a sports match-up. freeD technology would give sports fans at home or spectators at an arena the ability to watch a sporting event in any angle you want. Fans would have the ability to control their view and create a custom made clip based on their view. The technology has been used in the past at Yankee Stadium and Braves Stadium.

There were no announcements made at the presentation about whether any of the major sports networks would be willing to make this technology available to its consumers online but the example used was an NBA game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder. With Turner making its presence known at CES on Thursday, a potential partnership could be at bay if the two sides meet this week. Intel is already co-producing an unscripted show alongside Turner known as America's Greatest Makers.

Intel also announced a partnership with another NBA rightsholder, ESPN. The network's president John Skipper even made an appearance at the event to promote the value of Intel to ESPN's X Games coverage. Intel will install chips onto snowboards which will measure real-time data that can be used on air and by the athletes for personal usage. Intel also made a similar deal with Red Bull Media, a company that has a great deal of extreme sporting events of its own.

Could ESPN's close relationship with Intel lead to freeD technology and data accumulation being implemented in its other major sports broadcasts? One can only hope so.

The most exciting announcement from Intel for me was their partnership with the Grammy's and Lady Gaga. The group is collectively producing a performance during the show in February that is expected to mix technology with music in "ground-breaking" ways. No one knows what it means yet but it sounds like must see TV.

Here is more from Intel's press release:

  • Intel announced a collaboration with ESPN to showcase the latest technology set to add new levels of data-powered insights to the feats of athleticism at X Games Aspen 2016. The tiny, low power Intel® Curie™ module will be integrated into the Men’s Snowboard Slopestyle and Men’s Snowboard Big Air competitions to provide real-time data on athlete performance such as in-air rotations, jump height, jump distance, speed, and force on landing. This access to new data will provide athletes with greater insights into their performance, provide additional metrics for on-air analysts, and change the fan experience both at home and in the stands. The competitions will be televised on ESPN and ABC***.
  • Intel and Red Bull Media House announced a global partnership that will extend into multiple genres and platforms. Red Bull Media House CTO Andreas Gall joined Krzanich on stage to demonstrate how athletes and spectators can get information about the performance instantly with the help of Intel Curie technology, with the promise of more announcements to come in 2016 and beyond.
  • Intel is working with Replay Technologies* to deliver completely new viewing experiences for sports fans on broadcast, in the stadium, and in the home. Using Replay’s freeD™ technology optimized for Intel platforms, sports fans will be able to re-watch key moments of sporting events from nearly every conceivable angle and share a custom created clip with the world. FreeD takes advantage of 6th Generation Intel® Core™ processors and Intel server technology that has been optimized to deliver this immersive entertainment experience.
Changing the Landscape of Health and Wellness:
  • Intel and New Balance announced a strategic collaboration to develop wearable technologies that connect athletes with technology to improve their athletic performance as part of New Balance’s newly formed Digital Sport division. Krzanich and New Balance CEO, Rob DeMartini, wore running shoes featuring customized 3-D printed midsoles enabled by Intel® RealSense™ technology and disclosed plans to develop a smart sport watch available for the 2016 holiday season***.
  • Oakley and Intel previewed the first look at “Radar Pace” – smart eyewear featuring a voice-activated, real-time coaching system. Oakley is the first Luxottica Group* brand that Intel is working with to fuse premium, luxury and sports eyewear with smart technology. Engineered with Intel Innovation and crafted with Oakley’s high-quality design and materials, the smart eyewear is designed to provide runners, cyclists and workout enthusiasts with in-the-moment feedback and analytics, helping to track progress and improve real-time performance***.
Unleashing Creativity:
  • Six-time GRAMMY®-winning global music icon Lady Gaga announced today her first collaboration with Intel, in association with Intel's announcement of a multiyear partnership between Intel and The Recording Academy® as part of the official "Next Generation of GRAMMY® Moments" program that will launch during Grammy week February 2016. Lady Gaga commented: "Intel has enlisted Haus of Gaga to work together on a project that will showcase technology through creativity at the highest level. The partnership culminates in a ground-breaking collaboration that inspires to remind the world of the seed of innovation." While Lady Gaga will not perform new material as part of the program, she promises to deliver an experience not to be forgotten.
  • MGM Television Group* and Digital President Mark Burnett joined Krzanich onstage to provide a sneak peek at the innovators vying to turn their ideas into reality – from improving health monitoring to communicating in new ways to testing the limits of our imagination – in the new competition series, America's Greatest Makers. Premiering this spring on TBS*, America’s Greatest Makers is part of a larger initiative that includes coverage on*, Bleacher Report* and other Turner* digital brands. They also launched the Digital Hub at, which spotlights inventors, new innovations and tech tutorials, as well as unique, weekly digital content.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Snapchat Stories on TV?

As part of the NFL's official agreement to curate fan and player Snaps into one live story, the NFL Network has the ability to show the NFL Live Story on their postgame show. NFL teams have also been allowed to temporarily post their own respective Snapchat stories on their websites.

Snapchat is much different from television because the video segments are not professionally shot. To make matters worst, video is exclusively filmed vertically creating blank space on the sides of the screen. This has not stopped NFL Network from airing these Snapchat Live Stories during their broadcasts as they did in Week 3Week 5 and Week 17.

While the experience doesn't feel as personal as it would on your mobile device, it does make me think about another way for Snapchat to create revenue for itself. Create TV clip shows. It is much easier said than done but I believe it is possible.

First, Snapchat would need to find a television production company to help them. Snapchat is already struggling to produce content for its own app so producing TV content on its own isn't a solid bet. Next, find a host and put them in front of a green screen or get a narrator to provide transitions between Snaps. Finally, create a narrative.

If this was a clip show based on NFL fan Snaps, producers could find common themes among the various submitted Snaps to create segments on. For example, the show could feature best fan dances, best fan rants, funniest tailgate moments, cool locker room moments etc. With the amount of video the app receives on a consistent basis from various stadiums across the country, I doubt they would ever run out of video to use. The clip show could take a humorous approach similar to America's Funniest Home Videos and help promote the app as it strives to continue growing its user base.

Imagine being able to view the best Snaps on the campaign trail from throughout the week that you may have missed? It would provide viewers with an all access pass that doesn't feel invasive and normally wouldn't happen anywhere else. You could also play around with the layout of what you see on the screen. Place the vertical Snap on the left or the right of the screen rather than the middle with a fancy graphic describing what you're seeing, who it was submitted by and when it happened.

If Snapchat created this kind of show about a sport or the election, I don't doubt that they could sell it to a league-specific sports network or news network easily. Both types of networks are always looking for content to fill their schedules and a show such as this would be cheap to create. Snapchat could split revenue with the network and production company and then maintain online rights of the show to be posted on YouTube or another video platform available on both mobile and desktop.

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