For avid TV watchers, May is one of the best times of the years. The networks strut out their best quality stuff, there are plenty of cliff hangers, NBA finals (Go Lakers) and don’t even get me started on the season/series finales. It’d be nicer if we could just have fresh content all year round, but for whatever reason the networks want to make consumers gorge on television, just to take it all in for one month. At least there will be time for sunlight during summer reruns.
For advertisers and the studios though, May marks the start of a vicious frenzy of negotiations, where fortunes can be won and lost in a bizzarre game of chicken, that I’m not sure I’ll ever understand. Every year, we see the same dance, the studios unveil their A list stuff and the marketing agencies come drooling with their blank checkbooks.
Last year though, things didn’t go as smoothly as planned. Issues like DVR usage and streaming internet video started to creep into the negotiations. The marketing agencies demanded that they only pay for live viewers and the studios tried to convince them that DVRs were somehow actually good for them.
The truth was though, that the studios had lost control and eventually the ad agencies were able to negotiate rates on their terms, instead of having to cave to last minute pressure. With May sweeps about to start up all over again, you can bet that both sides are positioning themselves for how they plan on dealing with these irritating DVR owners. Continue Reading…