TVREV’s Week in Review: It’s Awards Season

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1. Awards Season Is Upon Us

It starts with the Super Bowl and ends with the Oscars. But for four weeks in February, the media is all about a relatively recent phenomenon we like to call “Awards Season.”

Where the Super Bowl, The Grammys and the Academy Awards were once single-day affairs, they are now week-long events, with much of the run-up and follow-up happening on social media. It’s provided brands and networks with expanded opportunities to tie themselves to these much buzzed-about events and made the entire month into a new holiday season.

Because, when you think about it, how much difference is there between the Super Bowl and Thanksgiving?

Why It Matters

Brands and networks need to start factoring Awards Season into their future planning. Super Bowl sales and Oscar week promotions are now every bit as much a part of the landscape as 4th of July sales and Halloween promotions. Social media allows us to keep track of who the fans are and what else they like, valuable data that’s one of the rewards of Awards Season.

What You Need To Do About It

Plan out your own Awards Season strategy and make sure your social media team is involved. The beauty of it is you can take part in the pre- or post- show festivities as a sponsor or by providing related content.

2. Verizon Remembers Those Pesky Carriage Deals

When FIOS announced its new “Custom TV” last year that allowed customers to configure their own bundles, Disney was more than a little peeved about ESPN’s being shunted off to the “optional” sports package and promptly sued Verizon, claiming that the new plan violated their existing carriage agreement.

That’s likely why Verizon’s Q4 earnings call last month included a sidebar from CFO Fran Shammo that Custom TV was being “refreshed” to comply with current carriage deals. In other words, ESPN was back in the required reading section.

Why It Matters

The MVPDs and the networks have scores of pre-existing legal arrangements that seem designed to hold up progress and prevent the industry from innovating. This is just the latest example of how something that seemed innocuous when it was signed now stands as a barrier to progress.

What You Need To Do About It

If you’re a network or an MVPD, you’ll need to lawyer up. While Verizon and other MVPDs would love to alter their carriage agreements, the networks have zero interest in allowing that to happen and some sort of happy medium needs to be found.

Everyone else just grab your popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show.

3. Speaking Of Popcorn…

Popcorntime is back. The beautifully designed pirate movie site is back and no one knows who is behind it. That said, it’s already managed to generate an awful lot of press.

Why It Matters

While movie piracy is definitely a problem, the technical limitations (you need a certain level of technical know-how to use BitTorrent) always seemed to make it less of one. But PopcornTime is as easy to use as Netflix and the interface is possibly even prettier. That ease of use could lead to a big upsurge in unauthorized viewing.

What You Need To Do About It

Hope it doesn’t spread to television. And keep an eye on attempts to find out who is behind this latest effort and on who’s doing what to shut them down.

Originally published at on February 19, 2016.

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