TV

John WrenTelevision’s $70bn advertising business isn’t dead yet. So says John Wren, chief executive of Omnicom, one of the world’s biggest advertising companies.

But Mr Wren’s message on Tuesday may be cold comfort to network executives who are seeing digital outlets grab more money once firmly earmarked for broadcast and cable.

“I believe that trend will continue. I don’t think TV’s dead,” Mr Wren told investors on Omnicom’s earnings call on Tuesday. He is the latest industry executive to acknowledge that the digital ad business is getting a boost from the proliferation of online content and from the valuable targeting data held by companies like Facebook. Read more

Hannah Kuchler

Sunday night’s US finale of Emmy award-winning TV series Breaking Bad sent viewers flocking to their laptops to hear a song played on the programme, boosting downloads of the 1970s British rock band Badfinger’s hit “Baby Blue” by almost 3000 per cent this week. In the last hours of Sunday night, the track was bought 5,300 times, compared to 200 the week before.

As TV viewers got ready to wean themselves off their addiction to the Crystal Meth fest, they found comfort in being able to instantly hear the song featured on the show, as well as other Badfinger songs. Sales of those tunes increased their sales by up to 260 per cent.

But according to the data from research firm Nielsen, the real story is in the streaming. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Apple disappointed some in failing to provide any news on Apple TV at its developer conference this week, with attendees at the TV of Tomorrow (TVOT) show – a short walk from Apple’s event in San Francisco – noting this would have given a boost to the industry.

Instead, much of what was discussed at TVOT – second-screen activities, automatic content recognition (ACR), T[elevision] commerce – still represented the TV of tomorrow in terms of scaling and reaching a mass market, according to speakers. Read more

Richard Waters

David Abraham, head of the UK’s Channel 4, used the FT’s Digital Media Conference in London on Thursday to let loose a new hybrid on the broadcast landscape: a linear TV channel shaped by online social media. Plumbing word of mouth to shape programming is “a kind of reverse [programming guide],” he said. Read more

David Gelles

When the National Football League yesterday struck a trio of eye-popping deals with big TV networks, the focus was rightly on just how valuable live sports have become to broadcasters today.

But buried in the press releases heralding the agreements (which will bring the NFL $24bn over nine years) was some rather revolutionary news: the TV networks also secured the digital rights to the most popular sport on television.  Read more

Over the last few months, AU Optronics, the world’s third-biggest flat-panel maker, had the dubious honour of being the last major independent flat-panel maker in the world. The Taiwanese company Thursday, however, made it clear that it agrees with its rivals: vertical integration is the way to go.

Unlike its rivals who are each allied to just one brand, however, AUO is casting its net wide by partnering with a number of Chinese TV brands. On Thursday AUO said it would add two more of its clients to this list by establishing TV assembly joint ventures in China with both Haier and TCL Multimedia.

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Over the past few years, putting together desktop and notebook computers has not been enough for the Taiwanese contract manufacturers that actually produce the vast majority of the world’s PCs.

 

Companies like Compal, Wistron and Hon Hai – relatively unknowns names that brands like HP, Dell and Acer rely on to do the actual manufacturing – have all looked towards TV assembly as the next big driver for growth, particularly as Japanese brands like Sony and Toshiba are increasingly finding it too expensive to manage their own manufacturing operations.

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Chris Nuttall

A family argument over whether that was John Barryman on Desperate Housewives last night was resolved with a quick search on the turned-on laptop by our side (I won!).

Unlike John Barryman’s appearance, this is not a rare occurrence apparently – web-surfing is not replacing TV-watching but supplementing and even boosting it, according to research from The Nielsen Company. Read more

Robin Harding

Sony's 11

In May 2008, chairman and chief executive Sir Howard Stringer said that, within the next twelve months, Sony would launch a 27″ television based on OLED – organic light emitting diode – technology.

More than twelve months later, with no 27″ version released and Sony showing only 21″ prototypes, it’s time to ask what happened. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Amazon has found itself another route to the television and Roku another use for its set-top box under a partnership announced today.

The internet retailer has been exploring ways to widen access to its Video on Demand service beyond the computer and has already made it available through Tivo digital video recorders and Sony Bravia TVs. Read more