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Some “TV industry insiders have been wondering why private equity giants” are showing interest in local TV station groups. While TV stations “hardly seem like a sexy acquisition”, the main reason they’re hot is that “they’re still good businesses”. As one research veteran puts it, “Local TV still has large audiences” and despite all the streaming options, “viewers still want their local stations”; local news, weather, and sports, all of which are “very personal to people”. Another draw is political advertising. (Variety: 2/23/22)


Following the 2020 election, with Democrats narrowly in control of Congress, it became clear that the 2022 mid-terms were going to be “a barn burner for political spending”. And now, estimates that were made late last year by the TV groups are being increased even higher. Despite no presidential race, E.W. Scripps, for example, predicts that political revenues will be equal to 2020. Similarly, Grey TV is increasing their “2022 political revenue guidance by approximately 10%” over their November 2021 projection. (TVNewscheck: 3/1/22)


NBCUniversal engaged with iSpot to analyze viewership of the winter Olympics. Starting with the opening ceremony, 30 iSpot staffers worked through the weekend “delivering metrics several times a day”. They didn’t just count viewers but also looked at how many commercials they were watching, how much of each spot they watched and what each advertiser’s share of voice was across the TV landscape. And to do it in real-time.” And they did it again the following weekend when the Olympics was joined by Super Bowl LVI, which also aired on NBC. These exercises s provide further confidence in iSpot’s ability to deliver a complete cross-platform solution. (Broadcasting+Cable: 2/24/22)


MediaRadar looked at the “top ad-supported premium streaming platforms” and found that Paramount Global (formerly ViacomCBS) led with 17 ads per show and nearly 24 per hour, while NBCU’s Peacock had the fewest ad messages at just under 5 ads per show and under 9 commercials per hour. Other networks measured include HBO Max (4.4 per show; 9.3 per hour), Discovery+ (7.2 per show; 12 per hour) and Hulu (which breaks out original and library licensed programming). The report also looked at ad duration (either 15’s or 30’s), but it did not reveal total advertising time per show or per hour. (Mediapost; 3/1/22)


4-time Jeopardy! winner, Christine Whelchel unveiled a new look and made a heartfelt statement for viewers; deciding she “didn’t need to hide behind the wig anymore” and wanting to “normalize what cancer recovery looks like. The piano teacher and church organist from Tennessee had spoken out about overcoming breast cancer in her first episode. And in a subsequent interview shared that she took the Jeopardy! Anytime test right after her diagnosis. Her message to fans, “Don’t let your age, cancer, or life circumstances limit you” was also shared on the game show’s Twitter feed. (Newsweek: 3/1/22)

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