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FT 303 - Cable Scheduling and Programming 2

FT 303 - Cable Scheduling and Programming 2 - FT 303 Notes...

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What was one result of the Great Sitcom Drought of the mid 1980s? – Off network sitcoms coming into the syndication marketplace commanded record or near-record prices. Where do programs come from? Network, independent production companies, syndicators Cable Scheduling and Programming In 1980s and 1990s, cable nets faced the significant challenge of making inexpensive and usually recycled types of programming seem as interesting and worthwhile as what viewers already could watch free of charge on broadcast stations. Cable’s greatest programming breakthroughs have been in the areas of scheduling and promotion. Creating a brand identity is a key factor in a net’s success. Cable nets exploit aesthetic sensibilities (TV literacy, camp, nostalgia, and postmodernism) to draw audiences back to familiar, often overused, program material. Narrowcasting Cable’s Selling Point Mullen: “Offering a schedule of original programs intended for a highly specialized viewership” This isn’t actually what is offered. True Narrowcasting - Offering a schedule of original programs intended for a highly specialized viewership. Not realized in modern cable. Cable nets give the appearance of such specialized targeting by balancing a small amount of truly original programming with a large amount of carefully selected acquired programming, using interstitial material such as bumpers (program lead ins) and other self promotional spots to enforce the chosen identity, and altering acquired programming thru the use of voice over’s and image overs. 1980s and 1990s What was cable airing at this point? - Cheap, recycled, off network, old films What was their burden? – Selling this programming as interesting Who were the players? Who was truly narrowcasting? – CNN, ESPN, TWC Premium Cable Much better off than regular cable, must pay extra for these channels Advantage over basic nets because they were in existence since the previous decade (70s) and had begun to recover start up costs and had more resources to use on original programming. Hefty subscriber fees helped as well. HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, etc. o Head start o Enough time to recover initial losses o Now, $ to invest in originals o Extra $ from subscriber fees for more elaborate programs Innovating Basic Cable Branding – must market, create and maintain a set of values regarding your product – exists in realm of ideas ( EX: attaching liberty and freedom to a pick up truck) Cable’s 3 part strategy (Joseph Turow): o Consistent use of logos and other promotional techniques o Selecting reruns compatible with the brand o Signature programming
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It is in the third of these that nets zooms in on the precise qualities they desire in their audiences. Second item is what draws viewers to a network in the first place. And it is his first item that gives viewers reason to
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FT 303 - Cable Scheduling and Programming 2 - FT 303 Notes...

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