Cynopsis Media Presents: The Best of the Week: August 18-22, 2014

Welcome to “In Case You Missed It,” which is a quick roundup of the top stories of the previous week in each of our four daily editions. So if you skipped a newsletter, this is where you want to go to make sure you’re up on the latest news, Cynopsis-style, in the worlds of linear, digital, sports, and kids television. Enjoy!

Flagship

Discovery had its highest-rated “Shark Week” in the stunt’s 27-year history. The week delivered over 42 million viewers (P2+cume), with Discovery the top network in all of television among M18-34 and M18-49 delivery for the week. Making the biggest splash: Shark of Darkness: Wrath of Submarine, ranking as the top non-sports cable telecast in 3Q14 in the men under 50 demos.

AMC picked up Halt and Catch Fire for a sophomore run. While the drama about the rise of the PC era didn’t deliver a Walking Dead-size crowd, the net notes “a committed core audience and notable critical acclaim.” Not to leave out Nielsens: season one of Halt was one of the most upscale dramas on ad-supported television, reports the net, number three among A18-49 and number four among A25-54. “We have a history of demonstrating patience through the early seasons of new shows, betting on talent and building audience over time,” said Charlie Collier, AMC president. “We see that opportunity here.”

Sports

College football is in the air, and the announcement from ESPN and the Mid-American Conference can be a game-changer for those schools involved. The deal between the two companies is for an extension of their exclusive rights agreement that will deliver record coverage of the conference across multiple ESPN platforms through 2026-27. Highlights of the 13-year pact: ESPN, the MAC and its 12 member institutions will work jointly to develop in-house production capabilities that will provide significant national coverage for MAC sports on ESPN3. As a result, ESPN3 will showcase a minimum of 420 events a year (a minimum of 120 men’s basketball) once all 12 institutions have launched a production program.

Every MAC-controlled football matchup will be available on one of ESPN’s national networks or via an ESPN sublicense agreement with additional outlets. The football schedule will continue to feature regular Thursday, Friday and Saturday games, select Tuesday and Wednesday prime time matchups, and an annual “MACsgiving” contest on the Friday after Thanksgiving.

A hard-hitting Nevada team against Pennsylvania star pitcher Mo’ne Davis spelled ratings gold for ESPN, and grabbed a 3.4 overnight Nielsen rating and an average of nearly five million viewers (4,988,000) P2+ for the channel to make it the highest-rated Little League World Series telecast ever on ESPN. That number is also up 143% over last year’s corresponding game between California and Connecticut. Locally, the game drew a 16.3 rating in Las Vegas and a 14.9 rating in Philadelphia, both records for Little League World Series telecasts in those markets.

 

Digital

Get ready iTunes, Spotify and Pandora: SoundCloud will now incorporate advertising and let artists and labels collect royalties. The New York Times reports the six-year start-up has more than 175 million people on its platform each month around the world – four times the Spotify user base. The company will allow some record labels to have equity in the company, to prevent copyright issues. SoundCloud will also introduce a new ad-free subscription service, called Premier. The first adverts include Red Bull, Jaguar and Comedy Central; content partners include Sony/ATV, BMG and Funny or Die.

Disappearing message and photo app SnapChat will start sending out movie and TV clips, ads and news articles this November. The Wall Street Journal reports advertisers and media companies are discussing providing content for a new service called SnapChat Discovery – users will be able to read clips or watch videos by holding a finger on the screen, as they do now for photos and messages on the app, before they vanish.  

Kids

Big things are happening at Fuhu. The creator of the nabi tablet is growing the line this fall with the nabi Big Tab HD 20-inch and nabi Big Tab HD 24-inch tablets, retailing at $449 and $549, respectively. The Android tablets, the market’s largest to date, were designed with collaboration and socialized learning in mind, and their lightweight and built-in short-term battery enables room-to-room portability. The new tablets have new built-in features including:

*   Two Play  a suite of classic games such as Checkers, Chess, Backgammon and Tic Tac Toe.

*   Game Room  multiplayer games and activities designed to bring the entire family together, from board games to air hockey.

*   Show Time – a collection of watch apps and videos from Disney, Cartoon Network and Cookie Jar Entertainment, managed by nabi’s proprietary parental and content controls.

*   Story Time  section includes more than 35 free interactive e-books from iStory Time and Speakaboos.

*   Big Canvas  a suite of drawing, animation and video editing apps under the Dream Pro Studio line.

Radio Disney is putting its eggs in the digital distribution basket. The Disney owned network in September will reduce its radio station outlets to just one, KDIS-AM in LA, with staff reductions at local stations and in ad sales and operations expected. Disney has had a distribution arrangement with SiriusXM for 12 years; it now has new agreements with ShowMobile, Slacker and Harman International‘s Aha Radio, and a deal for top 30 syndication.

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