Whoa. Colleague From a (Rival) Cable Network Just Sent This…

After reading this blog, a reader from a rival network just slipped this to us. With no comment from me, I wonder what you think…



EMPTY RATINGS, by Anonymous

It was the best of times (for programming) and the worst of times (for sales).

Personalities on my network (I can’t say who, sorry) shared one thing in common: Driven by their high ratings, our programming department has peppered our schedules with these salacious and egregious characters. And while ratings still rule in this business, these programs have unintentionally unearthed a new phenomenon within our hallways: Unsellable ratings – or EMPTY RATINGS, if you will.

Ask anyone in any sales department, and they will confirm that the advertising community has classified these shows as “uncontent-friendly.” As a result, high-paying advertisers are refusing to run their creative within our programs that “debase the human spirit.”

Undeniably, the marketplace has become saturated and ratings erosion remains huge threat. It’s hard to walk away from a rating’s formula that appears to be working (from the programming perspective). However, if sales can’t monetize those rating points – no one wins. Sales can’t sell, and programming budgets will ultimately be scaled back. Has anyone ever counted the amount of empty ratings on television? Think about it, it’s staggering.

So why can’t programming and sales align? How can we learn to produce engaging, high-rated, sellable shows? We’ve stumbled upon a few brilliant nuggets. Because no one should have to walk into an advertiser’s office with a straight face and hand them what we’re handing them.






4 responses to “Whoa. Colleague From a (Rival) Cable Network Just Sent This…”

  1. jargulaster Avatar

    so who wrote this, someone from CW? Or you say cable so im thinking E?

  2. barbaraville17 Avatar

    I work for a broadcast network and though it's not as extreme (it's getting there!), we do have the same issue. Like whoever sent this post, I am in sales, and I head out daily on sales calls, pitching content I don't really believe in and know I am unlikely to be able to sell. Sometimes, when I'm "on," I convince the agencies I actually believe in this or that show, but most of the time I worry they can see right through me. It would be smarter of us all to align programming with at least some semblance of what marketers will support. Otherwise how long can this really go on?

  3. thinkinonit Avatar

    what does "empty rating" really mean? that the advertising community is judging content not based on how many people are watching it, but what attributes/spirit/morality(?) the programming projects and whether they want their brand associated with it? or maybe that advertisers are worried about who the people watching are, what they care about, as they imagine who buys, or who they want to buy, their product. it's a dangerous situation if marketers at big advertisers are driving what programming gets made — or is it? aren't we all — programmers, marketers, advertisers — talking to the same people?

  4. patrick Avatar

    i'd love to know what an "uncontent-friendly" show is. that's a weird word. couldn't they just call it a "cash4gold" show?

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