After the coffee. Before panicking over electronic cigarettes.
The Skinny: As a former smoker, I am enjoying watching cities and health officials panic over the growing use of electronic cigarettes. Are they cigarettes? Are they dangerous? What are those kids up to? How about just passing a law making it illegal to put anything other than food and beverages in your mouth. Problem solved! Today's roundup includes more analysis of the big Disney-Dish deal and HBO's efforts to woo a more urban audience to "Game of Thrones."
Daily Dose: As previously speculated upon in this space, Dish Network won't likely be carrying the Dodger-owned channel SportsNet LA. The news isn't a huge surprise given that the satellite broadcaster already isn't carrying SportsNet, the Time Warner Cable-owned home of the Lakers. In an interview, Dish executive David Shull said the price for these two channels was too high and not enough of Dish's customers want them.
Who won? Who lost? Both Dish Network and Walt Disney Co. can claim victory in their new distribution deal. Disney got Dish to deactivate its commercial-skipping device on ABC shows and distribution for new networks including ESPN's SEC channel and the Latin news and culture network Fusion. Dish can brag that it got rights to distribute Disney-owned channels via the Internet. So who lost? Perhaps Dish customers who will see bills go up because of the new channels and who won't be able to skip ads on ABC shows during the first three days of their airing. Analysis of the deal from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, New York Post and Bloomberg.
Maybe Downton Abbey can try this too. Looking to bring in a more urban demographic to its hit "Game of Thrones," HBO is hiring rappers to perform numbers about the show that it will release online. "Our multicultural audiences are a very important part of our subscribers, and we don't want to take them for granted," Lucinda Martinez, HBO's senior vice president for multicultural marketing, told the Wall Street Journal.
New dance card. ABC is revamping "Dancing With the Stars" in the hopes of bringing in a younger audience and advertisers whose commercials don't require disclaimers about potential side effects. Besides a new host and bandleader, the show hopes having no one over the age of 50 know who any of the contestants are will help. More on the makeover from the Hollywood Reporter.
Report card. It's been six months since Al Jazeera America launched and while it has gotten praise for its serious news product, as a business venture it is still struggling. Ratings are small and major advertisers are still steering clear. The good thing for Al Jazeera America is that its pockets are deep and it has said it is in this arena for journalism, not money. Advertising Age on Al Jazeera America.
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