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Fast Track

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Fahrenheit 9/11 to TV?

Filmmaker Michael Moore will not pursue a Best Documentary Oscar for Fahrenheit 9/11. Instead, he wants to broadcast
the provocative documentary on TV before the upcoming presidential election. Moore will try to reach an agreement with the film's DVD distributor to broadcast the film, which is highly critical of the Bush administration. So far, the company, Columbia TriStar, has refused to permit a broadcast. Fahrenheit 9/11, which cost $6 million to make, has taken in $181 million worldwide.

Jackson, King Back People Meters

Nielsen
has found some high-profile people-meter allies: Rev. Jesse Jackson, president of the Rainbow/PUSH
coalition, and Martin King, chairman of the organization. In a letter to Rainbow/PUSH members, the pair not only support the meters, which replace the old diary system, but take a direct shot at Fox, which opposes them. People-meter measurements prove that audiences of color—like other viewers—are shifting their allegiances from big broadcast channels to smaller channels and networks.

TVB's Spot Forecast

According to the Television Bureau of Advertising's two-year ad forecast, spot revenues will be down to flat in 2005 but will rebound strongly in 2006, up 7%-9%. The trend reflects the two-year Olympic Games/election cycle, which pumps up the national spot market, then deflates it in off years. TVB predicts that local spot will be up 2%-4% in 2005 and national will fall by the same percentage, with total spot at -1%-+1%. The biggest gainers are expected to be cable ad revenues, with network cable up 8%-9% and local cable up 7%-9%. The next biggest gainer: syndication, up 5%-6%, followed by network at 2%-3%. For 2006 (with Winter Olympics and national elections), the picture is rosier. National spot is expected to lead the group with projected revenue increases of 10%-14%.

DirecTV Plans HD Blitz

DBS company DirecTV
will launch four satellites by 2007, which will allow it to blanket the country with national and local HDTV channels. The first two satellites, to be launched in April 2005, will deliver 500 local HD channels. The next two, launching in 2007, will deliver another 1,000 local HD channels and 150 national HD services.

The Apprentice Does Yahoo!

Yahoo!
is teaming with Mark Burnett Productions
on an official Web site for seasons two and three of NBC
hit The Apprentice, as well as future reality offerings. Yahoo! would not disclose the price, but a rep said it sold out the second-season site to advertisers that include Staples
and Sony. It has not yet begun to sell ads for season three. The site, apprentice.yahoo.com, will include 40 minutes per week of exclusive video that isn't aired on NBC.

A&E Ups Channel Chiefs

A&E
is giving its official stamp of approval to the executive switch it pulled two years ago. A&E Television Networks
is promoting Abbe Raven
to president of A&E and Dan Davids
to president of The History Channel. Both have been EVP/GM of their respective channels since October 2002, when they swapped positions. The two are longtime AETN veterans.

ESPN Kicking Off College Network

ESPN
plans to launch a 24-hour college sports network, ESPNU, whichwill debut in 2005. The new channel will run content from the all-sports network empire, including ESPN.com, ESPN Radio
and ESPN: The Magazine. During its first year, ESPNU will carry about 300 live events, primarily Division I football and men's and women's basketball. Coverage will include regular-season and NCAA-tournament games.

Norman Knight's Night

Norman Knight, the radio and television veteran who founded Knight Quality Stations in 1959, will receive the Broadcasters' Foundation
Chairman's Award Sept. 14. The foundation gives money and aid to former broadcasters who have fallen on hard times.

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