Management restructuring at NBCU cable: scripted programming choices centralized

Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by phrelin, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    There's been a few changes at NBCUniversal since January 28, 2011 when Comcast acquired 51% (subsequently they acquired all shares in the company). The most notable changes involve the NBCU cable channels. Let me explain....

    Last year Bonnie Hammer in Fortune magazine wrote about reaching 65 in Hollywood. If you're saying to yourself "Bonnie who?" you probably haven't paid much attention to NBCUniversal since Comcast bought it. This is Bonnie Hammer...


    ...who in early 2013 was appointed Chairman of NBCUniversal Cable, the person responsible for about half of the NBCUniversal's operating cash flow according to an article in AdWeek in February 2013. (In an article today AdWeek states that "Hammer's portfolio is on track to bring in an estimated $5.5 billion in revenue this year.")

    Hammer today "dropped the other shoe" in her overall restructuring of NBCUniversal Cable, most of which is fodder for a boring business journal article. In September 2014, the overall management of Bravo, Oxygen, E! and Esquire was combined into with the creation of the Lifestyle Networks group. Today it was announced that the overall management of USA, Syfy, Chiller and Cloo have been combined into an Entertainment Networks group. These changes mean the consolidation of executive duties in marketing and publicity, among other areas, for the two four-channel groups. (Actually, they announced that Sprout, formerly PBS Kids Sprout, was added to the Lifestyle Networks group leaving only Universal HD - outside the two groups as NBCU sold its interest in TV One last year.) Hammer has now appointed Dave Howe, who has been president of Syfy and Chiller,to president of strategy and commercial growth, a position that spans the 10 channels which will oversee all business affairs and business development.

    But also today Hammer announced a change that will be revolutionary for scripted TV. As explained by Variety:

    The seemingly off-handed "any other channels that try scripted series" cannot be ignored. In an AdWeek article last November it was noted:

    The Hollywood Reporter today reported just how significant a change this will be for creators of new scripted shows trying to sell an idea as explained by Hammer:

    The Variety article offers a perspective on the change I had not considerd (emphasis added):

    The idea 'that every show on a network's air is its own cottage industry" because of streaming is really revolutionary. Sure, old episodes of shows on broadcast networks have always been syndicated, but this is different. The concept of emphasizing Live+7 ratings that include streaming plus the revenue generated by later streaming on internet "channels" like Hulu have created a completely different market perspective. What we used to consider as "cult favorites" - shows that didn't have big live audiences and thus were canceled - now have second lives. They get picked up outside the advertising supported channels, on Netflix as an example, and viewers can watch new episodes later, on demand.

    And so Comcast's NBCU Cable is restructuring to deal with the new reality. And because Comcast is a big international corporation with shares traded over the market (and without old owners' or managers' personalities confusing things), we'll likely be able to watch the successes and failures over the next few years. It will be interesting.

    For anyone interested, here's Hammer's full internal memo as published in Deadline Hollywood's article:

  2. the2130

    the2130 Active Member

    Dec 17, 2014
    If they are interested in slowing the decline of linear TV, they should think about getting rid of the logos and other on-screen graphics. I quit watching most of the channels listed above because it's just too annoying.
  3. TomCat

    TomCat Broadcast Engineer

    Aug 31, 2002
    I am sorry to report that that particular sort of short-sightedness is not limited to linear TV. Try to watch a clip on YouTube without multiple popup ads or logos getting plastered all over it.

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