Friday, November 13, 2009

View From the Phlipside - NBC

These are the scripts from my weekly media commentary program on WRFA-LP Jamestown

My name is Jay Phillippi and I've spent my life in and around the media. TV, Radio, the movies and more. I love 'em and I hate em' and I always have an opinion. Call this the view from the Phlipside

It's not easy being NBC these days. The peacock network finds itself in a position that few companies, let alone media companies would ever want to be.

Let's start with that most basic of TV yardsticks the ratings. The days of "Must See TV" are long gone apparently. Overall NBC is now the number four network in the land and it's a fairly comfortable number four. Number three ABC has a reasonable margin over the peacock folks and NBC is in no danger of falling into the grasp of the CW Network. The very concept of which has got to feature hugely in the nightmares of the networks executives. The only place that NBC sees any kind of bright spot is in the 18-34 year old range where, at least in the latest ratings available they climb to number three. Astoundingly CBS, the overall number one unsurprisingly, falls to the number 4 slot. Of course everyone in this particular demographic trails Fox by a huge margin so it's really a race for second best. And NBC loses even that.

On the corporate front you have the fact that your current corporate parent, General Electric, seems VERY interested in getting rid of you as soon as possible. Maybe even worse the company most interested in buying you, Comcast, isn't really interested in you at all. Comcast wants the Universal movie slash media group to create programming for their cable channels. One rumor has it that Comcast would prefer to buy the whole group then dump the TV network and the TV stations as quickly as possible. Talk about being the ugly sister.

Finally we have the Jay Leno experiment. Leno's show five nights a week isn't doing well. Worse yet it's killing the programs that follow it. Given that the show that immediately follows Leno's lead in is the local 11 o'clock news, usually a money maker for the local affiliates that's very bad news. It doesn't get any better for the Conan O'Brien show or the Jimmy Fallon show. Both of them have taken HUGE rating hits as well.

So is there ANY good news for the bird network? Curiously yes. Among the network online sites NBC recently moved into the number one spot. That's right the number four TV network has the web site with the most viewers for the month of September. Close to double the next highest network. The newly re-designed site offered lots of special programming including looks at the wedding on "The Office" plus the return of Jay Leno's Garage (Leno is an avid car collector). We'll have to see if they can continue to hold on to that one small light in the otherwise long dark night of the National Broadcasting Corporation.

Call that the view from the Phlipside

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