Samba TV: New NBC Series ‘La Brea’ Tops TV/Streaming Viewing

With heavy promotion on “NFL Sunday Football,” new NBC primetime disaster series “La Brea” dominated live and on-demand TV/streaming consumption through Sept. 26, according to new data from Samba TV — which tracks more than 46 million opted-in TVs globally, of which 28 million are in the U.S. across 210 designated market areas.

The Sept. 28 premiere episode tracked 3.1 million U.S. households watching live and on-demand. The audience skewed above 55 years old and white (+15%). Of the top 25 DMAs, Pittsburgh over-indexed the most (+20%), followed by Denver (+17%) and Minneapolis (+13%).

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Whether the series, about a giant sink hole in L.A.’s La Brea tar pits neighborhood, has legs is another question. Previous shows with similar plotlines — “Manifest” and “Debris” — were dumped by the network (and resurrected on Netflix) before their storyline conclusion.

Meanwhile, 1.8 million U.S. households watched “The Simpsons” season 33 premiere. Viewership was down 46% from the season 32 premiere in 2020. The audience skewed slightly male (+2%), adolescent (ages 10-19 +6%), and black (+28%). Of the top 25 DMAs, Minneapolis over-indexed the most (+151%), followed by Dallas (+85%) and Tampa, Fla. (+74%).

Finally, 1.1 million U.S. households, 105,000 British households, 35,000 German/Austrian watched Marvel Studios’ “What If…?” on Disney+ during the live+six-day window. Another 289,000 U.S., 27,000 British, 15,000 German/Austrian households watched “Star Wars Visions” on the streamer.

Another 90,000 U.S., 7,000 British, 4,000 German/Austrian households  watched both premiere episodes in the L+6D window. The audience of “Visions” skewed  male (+3%), 20-24 years old (+24%) and Hispanic (+14%). Of the top 25 DMAs, Washington, D.C. over-indexed the most (+115%), followed by Sacramento, Calif., (+90%) and Portland, Ore., (+53%) for L+6D -.

Data: Tokyo Summer Olympics Dominated Sports Viewers Attention

Primetime TV ratings for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics may have dropped from the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, but remained strong among heavy and moderate sports fans, according to new data from Samba TV.

With a total of 113 medals, 39 of which were gold, U.S. households were watching less for the medals and more for the sports tournaments. However, household reach began to decline after the second weekend of events, despite Saturday, Aug. 7, being the biggest day of gold wins for the United States.

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Samba found that 16.6 million U.S. households with heavy sports viewership watched both the first and second weeks of the Games on NBC, representing 77% of all heavy sports viewership households in the country. Conversely, 10.1 million light sports viewership households watched week one of the Olympics and 10.3 million watched week two, representing 18% of all light sports viewership households.

While sports fans unsurprisingly were high consumers of the Olympic games, NBC was still able to draw close to 20% of light sports viewership households to its programming in each week.

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Indeed, 78% of the U.S. households that watched the opening ceremony on NBC did not watch the closing ceremony, choosing instead to watch 2021 U.S. Open Golf Championship.

Samba looked at 28 cable sports networks during July 4 and July 17, to determine heavy and light sports viewership households. Heavy sports viewership households are classified as the top 20% by consumption duration across these 28 cable sports networks. Light sports viewership households, however, are classified as the bottom 45% by consumption duration across these cable sports networks.

‘Friends’ No More: Netflix Loses Key Content to Start 2020

New Year’s Day 2020 started ominously for Netflix as it officially no longer can stream ongoing syndication hit “Friends,” the former NBC sitcom that introduced Rachel, Monica, Ross, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe to American living rooms and made household names of Jennifer Aniston and others.

The 26-year-old series stopped airing on primetime television 16 years ago, but has remained a lucrative product on syndication, packaged media and streaming.

Netflix lost exclusive “Friends” streaming rights to WarnerMedia’s pending streaming service HBO Max, which paid $425 million over five years to snag all 236 episodes of the series. “Friends” reportedly was the second-most-popular series on Netflix in 2018, according to Nielsen.

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HBO Max reportedly spent billions more to secure exclusive streaming rights to “South Park” and “The Big Bang Theory”.

“How [‘Friends’ exit] impacts [Netflix] in terms of subscribers … will really depend on what else they have coming up that we’re not focused on,” Courtney Williams, Europe regional director for Parrot Analytics, told Vanity Fair.

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Indeed, Netflix original series “Stranger Things” and “The Witcher” continue to congregate atop weekly Parrot Analytics charts tracking the most on-demand programming.

“I don’t think any specific content matters at all to Netflix,” Michael Pachter, media analyst at Wedbush Securities, said in an email. The analyst contends the bigger threat to Netflix is when other content creators collectively divert content toward proprietary services.

With Netflix increasingly losing Disney/Fox, NBC Universal and Warner Bros. content, consumers will feel compelled to try new services offering recognizable programming and/or favorite shows, according to Pachter.

The analyst believes Netflix will lose around two-thirds of its content (measured in viewing hours) and will have a tough time replacing that with content of similarly perceived quality. At the same time, Pachter says competitors such as HBO Max will take awhile to gain traction with consumers.

“We expect the [Netflix No. 1] status quo to be largely maintained until the end of 2021,” he said. “For now, Netflix provides tremendous value for its subscribers.”

Free TV Streaming Service ‘Locast’ Fights Back Against Major Broadcasters With Countersuit

Locast, the free New York-based service that streams broadcast television feeds online, on Sept. 27 filed a lawsuit against NBC, CBS, Fox and ABC, alleging the major broadcasts colluded to undermine its business, among other claims.

The service claims to have about 700,000 registered users/donors across 13 cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, N.Y., is counter litigation against against a civil complaint filed by broadcasters in July against Locast and its non-profit advocacy group Sports Fans Coalition NY parent, alleging the platform violated the content copyrights and revenue streams from pay-TV distributors.

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Locast founder David Goodfriend, in his countersuit, claims the networks colluded to put pressure on pay-TV operators in an effort to undermine his business model.

Under federal law, broadcasters must make their signals available to the public through a digital antennae. But pay-TV operators pay networks retransmission fees to distribute their signals.

Locast, as a non-profit, argues it merely acts as a “signal booster.”

“This is classic copyright abuse,” read the complaint. “[Networks] have misused copyrights to expand their market power beyond what those copyrights were intended to protect.”

Unique to the case is the fact Locast has received funding from major media companies such as AT&T ($500,000), which owns WarnerMedia, and Google’s YouTube.

The suit alleges the networks threatened YouTube with litigation if it enabled Locast to operate on its servers.

Yet, when AT&T’s DirecTV satellite distributor and U-verse pay-TV channel had a retransmissions fee dispute with CBS this summer, it directed its 6.5 million subs blacked out from CBS content to use Locast.

Indeed, Dish Network offers the Locast app to its satellite and Sling TV subs as alternative on its AirTV devices.

‘The Good Place’ Season 3 on DVD July 30

Shout! Factory will release The Good Place: The Complete Third Season on DVD July 30.

The NBC comedy series follows ordinary people Eleanor (Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars), Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto) as they navigate the afterlife with the help of an “angel” named Michael (Ted Danson) and his assistant, Janet (D’Arcy Carden).

In the third season, the humans are given a second chance at life in order to earn their way into the good place, though it soon becomes apparent that the system may be rigged to prevent anyone from avoiding the bad place despite how good they may be.

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The season three DVD includes all 13 episodes, plus extended episodes, audio commentaries, a gag reel and a visual effects reel.

NBC recently renewed the series for a fourth and final season to begin Sept. 26.

Season 1 of ‘Manifest’ on DVD July 23

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Manifest: The Complete First Season on DVD July 23.

The NBC series deals with a plane that inexplicably disappears on a trans-oceanic flight and returns five years later with no time having passed for the passengers. The first season comprises 16 episodes.

“Manifest” stars Melissa Roxburgh, Josh Dallas, Athena Karkanis, J.R. Ramirez, Luna Blaise, Jack Messina and Parveen Kaur.

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Poll: 44% Say Netflix Vital Source of Video Content

While Disney rolls out its branded “Disney Plus” subscription streaming video service for investors, new data from Hub Research finds that 44% of consumers consider Netflix an important source of content.

The research firm’s “The Evolution of Video Branding” study found that the vast majority of respondents from a January poll of 1,692 consumers in the United States chose Netflix over other over-the-top video services for their video content.

Other entertainment sources include CBS (29%), ABC (28%), NBC (28%) and ESPN (24%).

Among younger respondents (16-34 years-old), 59% opted for Netflix, followed by Hulu (26%), ESPN (24%), HBO (17%) and Amazon Prime Video (17%). Among older respondents CBS ranked first with 41%, followed by ABC (37%), NBC (37%), Netflix (35%) and Fox (26%).

Notably, the report found that while respondents were familiar online TV services such as Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV, DirecTV Now, Sling TV, and PlayStation Vue, 80% claimed they were unaware of what each platform’s value proposition was.

Indeed, among younger respondents, simply branding video content “original” was enough to make them consider streaming it. And 69% considered Netflix the best choice for original fare.

“It would be easy to explain Netflix’s strong position as a must-have TV source by citing the sheer variety of its content,” Peter Fondulas, principal at Hub and co-author of the study, said in a statement. “Then again, the same can be said of the variety of shows on broadcast networks. Whether it’s a function of a higher level of show quality or of strong branding — or both — Netflix has managed to set itself apart from networks that offer a similarly wide variety of genre choice.”

Netflix’s ‘Umbrella Academy’ Tops ‘TV Time’ Binge Week Chart

Netflix’s just-released superhero series, “The Umbrella Academy,” was the most binge-watched show of the week Feb. 11-17, according to new data from TVTime.com.

The website registers a binge session when four or more episodes of a show are watched and tracked in the TV Time app within a given day.

“Umbrella Academy,” which co-stars Ellen Page spearheading a dysfunctional family of superheroes, was binged-watched 3.29%, compared to “One Day at a Time” (Netflix), which was binge-watched 2.59%. Rounding out the podium was “Friends,” the former NBC sitcom being binge-viewed 2.57%.

Previous-week top shows – Netflix’s “Russian Doll” and “Sex Education” – ranked ninth and seventh, respectively. NBC’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and reruns of “How I Met Your Mother” (CBS All Access) ranked fourth and 10th, respectively.

The CW had two shows in the Top 10 with “Gossip Girl” (6th) and “Riverdale” (8th).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Season 2 of ‘The Good Place’ Due on DVD July 17

NBC’s The Good Place: The Complete Second Season will come out on DVD July 17 from Shout! Factory.

From executive producer Michael Schur (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” “Parks and Recreation”), “The Good Place” stars Kristen Bell (“Veronica Mars”) and Ted Danson (“Cheers”) in a comedy about the afterlife.

Bonus features include extended episodes, new audio commentaries with cast and crew, a gag reel, and a visual effects reel.

‘American Idol’ Going Live Nationwide

Ratings-challenged “American Idol” announced it would for the first time air live simulcasts nationwide of the remaining three weeks of season 16 of the music performance reality show. Previous telecasts have been tape-delayed for Westcoast audiences.

The series, which began airing for the first time in March on ABC after its original run (through 2016) on Fox, is down to 14 contestants. Celebrity judges this season include Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Ritchie.

Hosted by Ryan Seacrest, revamped “Idol” has struggled against rival reality show, “The Voice” on NBC, whose first-time celebrity judge Kelly Clarkson was the original “Idol” winner on the show’s inaugural 2002 season.

Despite reportedly luring Perry to “Idol” with a $25 million payday, the show has trailed “The Voice” in TV viewers for the past five weeks. Indeed, “Idol” ratings last week dropped to an all-time low among the coveted 18-49 demographic.

Media reports suggest Perry’s antics on the show, which include kissing an unsuspecting male contestant and pulling a strand of hair from 19-year-old long-haired contestant Cade Foehner on the April 22 show, are politically incorrect in the #MeToo era.