Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Cynopsis: DIGITAL


Good morning, it’s Monday, February 23, 2009, and this is your first early morning digital briefing. 

Looks like it’s back to the drawing board for actors and producers who are battling to reach a new contract to cover provisions for payment of work appearing online and on multiple platforms. On the eve of The Oscars, the Screen Actors Guild voted 73% to 27% to reject the “ last, best and final offer” for a new contract with Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The deal fell apart after the AMPTP switched the terms of the agreement from two to three years, according to statement issued by SAG. For its part, producers claimed they had always sought a three-year deal and suggested that actors should be happy with the offer given the “unprecedented economic crisis.” “We simply cannot offer SAG a better deal than the rest of the industry achieved under far better economic conditions than those now confronting our industry,” stated the AMPTP.


In a move to avoid massive linear cable disconnections the two top cable MSOs, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, are in talks with programming conglomerates to begin offering a large selection of cable programming online accessible to cable subscribers only, per the WSJ. A service could launch as soon as this year if the sides can agree on a plan. Comcast-owned CDN thePlatform has confirmed it is providing backend support for the initiative.
Netflix is working to expand the library of its Watch Instantly online video rental service and is preparing to offer a separate download-only subscription service, per Bloomberg. Meanwhile the company has begun adding direct “Add to Netflix Queue” and “Watch Now on Netflix” links to movie reviews on and Rotten Tomatoes. Netflix is continuing on its hot streak in terms of customers, already adding more than 600,000 new subscribers since the beginning of the year.
ESPN is expanding into local digital media launching a 24/7 site dedicated to the Chicago market, reports the Chicago Tribune. The site will feature SportsCenter telecasts and local breaking news provided by Chicago’s local ABC directly-owned affiliate WLS-TV.
NBCU’s relaunched with an increased focus on customizable show-length video. The homepage allows users to customize and prioritize their page by news genre. A number of segments can also be clipped and embedded on blogs and other third-party sites.


Facebook Connect, which allows third-party sites to add users through the Facebook friending feature, launched a Comments Box social widget to allow users to post comments that can be spread to other sites. More than 6,000 sites have integrated Facebook Connect so far and the feature continued to win converts leading up to the Oscars:

  • WorldTV teamed with India’s ZoomTV to create an embeddable player and Facebook widget to allow users to watch the telecast and post comments to their friends in realtime
  • launched a live status feed over the weekend using Facebook Connect, enabling viewers around the globe to share comments about the Oscars on the web
  • is teaming up with Facebook once again to offer live streaming and concurrent commenting during President Obama’s State of the Union Address at 9pm ET tomorrow


The land grab for digital market share continues as WPP Group’s London-based ad agency Mediaedge launched a web marketing unit and its Ogilvy & Mather agency expanded to begin buying online media for clients, reports the WSJ. So far Mediaedge’s efforts have been focused on designing advanced sites and applications for clients including Sony Ericsson and Unilever’s Rexona deodorant.


It looks as though Rockstar Games has won itself some more free publicity from the courts and conservative family groups alike. The newest downloadable chapter of Grand Theft Auto IV – Lost & Damned, available exclusively for the Xbox 360 – is being widely condemned for featuring full-frontal male nudity. Parents group Common Sense Media issued a public warning against the expansion, warning to keep it away – far away – from children. Meanwhile a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier District Court ruling on Friday that invalidated a California law banning the sale or rental of violent games to kids younger than 18.
Under pressure to keep up with the Verizons of the world, Comcast announced plans to pass more than 30 million homes and businesses with its upgraded cable modem service by the end of year, to cover more than 65% of its footprint. Comcast also confirmed its super-fast “Wideband” service, offering speeds up of to 50 Mbps downstream for $140/mo., will be available across 30% of its footprint by year end. The service has already available in several markets including the Twin Cities, Boston and Philadelphia.
End-to-end web development and content management platform Platformic is announcing today that it has signed on to manage more than 100 enterprise class websites including broadcast-related sites Comcast SportsNet, Bicoastal Media and Peak Broadcasting.


ABC ranked as the top broadcast network website for the week ending Feb. 14 according to Hitwise with CBS claiming the #2 spot. has dropped to 4th behind ABC’s Dancing with the Stars site was the top broadcast minisite after finishing #11 last week, followed by FOX’s American Idol site and ABC’s The Bachelor site. Home Cooking was the #1 ranked adult cable TV show website, overtaking Comedy Central’s South Park site.
Top Visited US Top Visited US Broadcast Network TV Sites (Week ending Feb. 14, 2009)
Rank                Network Website    Market Share of Visits
   1  ABC                           28.93%
   2  CBS                           18.72%
   3  PBS                             18.33%
   4  NBC                           15.13%
   5  FOX*                         15.03%
   6 The CW                       3.70%
   7 MNTV               .15%
Source: Custom report from Hitwise, *includes traffic aggregated from stand alone websites,,, and
Top Visited US Broadcast Network TV Show Sites (Week ending Feb. 14, 2009)
Rank   Network       Website                      Market Share of Visits
   1          ABC         Dancing With The Stars          12.41%
   2          FOX         American Idol                        10.02%
   3          ABC         The Bachelor                           8.58%
   4          CBS          Survivor                                6.47%
   5          FOX          America’s Most Wanted           4.93%  
   6          NBC         The Biggest Loser                    3.74%
   7          NBC          The Office                              3.47%
   8          NBC          Heroes                                  3.38%
   9          ABC          Lost                                      3.08%
  10         NBC          Deal or No Deal                     2.50%
Source: Custom report from Hitwise
Top Visited US Cable Network TV Show Sites -Excluding Children’s Programming (Week ending Feb. 14, 2008)
Rank   Network                   Website                   Market Share of Visits
  1    Food Network          Paula’s Home Cooking        3.92%
  2    Comedy Central       South Park                        3.81%
  3    Comedy Central       The Daily Show                 3.13%
  4    CNN                        Lou Dobbs Tonight            3.10%
  5    Food Network          Barefoot Contessa             2.47%
  6    Fox News                O’Reilly Factor                   2.42%
  7    BET                        106 & Park                        2.38%
  8    USA                        Burn Notice                       2.23%
  9    Food Network          Ultimate Recipe Showd.      2.07%
 10   MTV                        America’s Best Dance Crew 1.91%               
Source: Custom report from Hitwise


                                                                            introduced Stratus, a weather widget powered by Adobe AIR that works on Windows, Mac and Linux machines as a desktop-based client application. Similar to the AccuWeather iPhone app, Stratus appears as a small transparent button offering day and night same-day forecasts with a fly-out panel that provides 5-day forecasts.
Broadcasters can review some of the products featured in NATPE’s What’s Next Tech Premieres showcase in a new video section of its site powered by Vimation.


Steven Abraham
, Global Leader for IBM’s Global Business Services in Media & Entertainment, and Mike Volpi, CEO of Joost, have joined content service provider Ooyala‘s Board of Advisors. Ooyala will also be providing video technology services for Joost platform, according to reports.



U2 has signed a deal with MySpace to offer digital downloads of its latest album “No Line On the Horizon” exclusively on the MySpace Music service from now until March 3. There are no purchases allowed yet from partner Amazon’s MP3 store, but you can preview any of the tracks on the album or add them to your MySpace playlist. (Log in required.) However copies of the album are already being downloaded by the hundreds of thousands via unauthorized file sharing sites. The Australian arm of Universal Music reportedly accidently posted the album on its site two weeks before its release where more than a few fans legally purchased the DRM-free tracks. Oops. The incident is creating quite an uproar given U2’s stature and penchant to be extra careful in trying to prevent piracy. It raises renewed debate about DRM protections and the perverse thrill so many fans get by doing something they’re not supposed to – downloading illegal tracks.
Later — Wayne
 Wayne Karrfalt for Cynopsis: Digital

Cynopsis Digital Ad Sales:
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Cyn opsis CLASSIFIEDSFor More classifieds, visit the classifieds page here    .

JOB OPENINGPOST SCHEDULER/ATLANTA, GA: Seeking experienced post production scheduler with proven client service skills. APPLY:  [email protected] (2/28)

JOB OPENINGPR MGR/WE tv/NYC: Dvlp & imp effective PR campaigns for net prgrmng & online initiatives. 5+ yrs hands-on comm/media relations exp incl. digital outreach. Work pref in TV/agency envir. Res:   #8180BR(2/28)

JOB OPENINGSALES DIRECTOR/Little Pim/NYC:  3+ yrs exp w/Content-based goods. Increase sales w/Large Markets, manage sales cycle, demo product. Exp w/Youth mkt a +.  Apply: (2/28)

JOB OPENINGSR GRAPHIC DESIGNER/BBC/NY: Plan create & code web designs & flash pieces to spprt chnnl prgrmng/enhance user exp. Write code & build own design. Strong comm & collaboration. Resume to (2/28)

JOB OPENINGACCT EXEC/MediaPlace/NY & CHI:  Out of Home TV, creative “out of box” thinking, media & promotion sales/ planning exp. Please email Res/CL to: [email protected]  “AE” in subj. (2/28)

JOB OPENINGDIR, BUS AFFAIRS/ABC Daytime/SOAPNet/LA: Structure, negotiate, oversee wide variety of deals/prods; top analytic skills.  JD+ min 5yrs exp in TV. Netwk/cable strongly pref’d. Apply, Req ID# 188120 (2/28)

JOB OPENING: CONSUMER PRODUCT LICENSING LAWYER/Cookie Jar Ent/CA: Draft & negotiate contracts and handle contract admin; Manage CPL Paralegals; manage disputes; negotiate; supervise litigation. Apply: (2/27)

JOB OPENING: INTERACTIVE MKTG MGR/National CineMedia/NY: Resp for creating/executing overall strategic mktg plan. 5-8 yrs exp consumer mktg & strategic dvlpmnt @leading internet co/agency Apply: Job Tab (2/27)

JOB OPENING: DIR, BUS PLNG & DEVL/Disney Channel Worldwide/LA:Work w/Sr mgmt to devlp growth strat for int’l Kid’s media; fin/bus modeling, proj mgmt; 5+ yrs media exp; MBA; exp TV/prod pref’d. , Req ID#186360 (2/27)

INTERNSHIPS – These positions are for credit only – nobody gets paid here. These ads are always posted for free , and students work for school credit only. For more information on the specs for posting an Internship ad, email Trish at [email protected] .

SPRING/SUMMER INTERNSHIP/CREDITS ONLY: 2 PROD INTERNS: Needed for NY Production Co. Interns will help develop new shows and existing projects. Great networking opportunities. If interested, please send your resume to [email protected] (2/27)

SITUATION WANTED ADS, POSTED BY THOSE LOOKING TO BE HIRED …  There is no charge for placing your Situation Wanted ad … for more information contact Trish Pihonak at [email protected]

SITUATION WANTED: CASTING PRODUCER or ASSOCIATE /Reality/Ent/Docs. NBC; CBS; Spike; Dis; TLC; E!; VH1; MTV; Specializing in the hard to find, runs on Batteries. (LA based) [email protected]    (2/28)

SITUATION WANTED:   Award winning ON-AIR/OFF-AIR CREATIVE DIRECTOR:  20 years network / cable experience.  Innovative promotion, design, branding and strategy.  Hard working, detail oriented, motivated.  [email protected] (2/28)

SITUATION WANTED: MEDIA BUYER: Based in Dallas/Fort Worth with over 12 years experience, available for FT/PT/Freelance media buying. Contact: [email protected] (2/28)

SITUATION WANTED: RESEARCH DIRECTOR – network experience (ad sales/prog/mktg), sales estimate expert, all Nielsen software, MRI, MS suite, supervisory exp., references. Full-time or consulting. [email protected] (2/28)

SITUATION WANTED: NON-FICTION PRODUCER/Reality/Ent/Docs. Prism Award; Field and Post; NBC; CBS; Dis; TLC; E!; Story Driven,Runs on Batteries. LA based. [email protected] (2/27)

SITUATION WANTED: ASSOCIATE/FIELD/SEGMENT PRODUCER seeking position with a show or network in NYC. Additional experience as a Coordinator/AD/Art Director. [email protected] (2/27)

SITUATION WANTED: Veteran AFFILIATE SALES PROFESSIONAL: 20+years experience in cable TV/media sales. Home office based, Start-up network/company specialist. Seeking full-time or consulting opp. Contact [email protected] (2/27)

SITUATION WANTED: TRAFFIC MANAGER/SPECIALIST: Exp Traffic professional with over 6 years of experience in both cable and broadcast television. Exp with various traffic programs. [email protected] (2/27)

SITUATION WANTED:  COMMERCIAL OPS/TRAFFIC EXPERT: 12+ years experience, knowledge of multiple traffic systems and much more. Recently returned to NYC and ready to start work immediately. Please contact me at [email protected] (2/26)

SITUATION WANTED: I’ve delivered proposals dressed as Sparky the dragon, and had my life threatened by an 11 year old while dressed up as Santa. Looking for MARKETING work. Resume available. Contact: [email protected] (2/25)

SITUATION WANTED: NEW MEDIA/GAMING EXECUTIVE Cross-Functional Skills in Marketing and Product Development. Experience from Start-ups to Microsoft and Yahoo! [email protected] (2/25)

SITUATION WANTED: GOT RESEARCH? Ph.D. AND ex-Professor seeking P/T research work from my home. I can find and report on almost anything! Contact me @ [email protected] (2/25)

SITUATION WANTED: Experienced LOGGER seeking transcription work. Can transcribe interview, B-Roll, and show footage. Will come to you to pick up media. Email [email protected] (2/25)

SITUATION WANTED: EXECUTIVE/ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT for 30 plus years. Worked in Production for Executive Producers, Writers, Directors and high level executives. Excellent skills … email: [email protected]   (2/24)

SITUATION WANTED: FREELANCE DP/SHOOTER (NE Corridor, NY based): HD, Betacam or DV. Full Production Services. 20+ year pro. From sports, magazines, and docs to testimonials, no job is more important than yours. [email protected] (2/24)

SITUATION WANTED: FREELANCE DEVELOPMENT PRODUCER (LA): creative exec in reality/doc seeks development gig for creating, developing, or expanding series proposals, formats, and materials. all genres. [email protected] (2/24)

SITUATION WANTED: CAREER COACHING for media professionals seeking to make a job change or to reposition their career. 15+ years exp in industry working with execs. contact: [email protected] (2/24)

SITUATION WANTED: LA Based, AWARD WINNING “PREDITOR” From cutting edge promos to breakthrough reality, I do it all. Specializing in Story Producing/Editing, I can make the AVID sing! Freelance or Permanent gig. [email protected] (2/24)

E-mail [email protected] or call Trish Pihonak at 203.926.9878 for rates and specs for Job Openings.

Are you looking for a job? Post your Situation Wanted Ad here — Email [email protected] for specs.

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