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TV Show Media And Audience Marketing

This chapter covers TV show media and audience and marketing.

Active vs. Passive Audience

active meaning being involved (m​aking sense of the message within their personal and social contexts)​with the given material on television, while passive is basically blankly taking in what is watched. Adorno/Horkheimer believed Americans were a passive audience, and could be easily influenced by media.

Adorno and Horkheimer

coined the term c​ulture industry​: ​popular culture​is akin to a factory producing standardized cultural goods — ​films,​​radio​programmes, ​magazines,​etc. — that are used to manipulate ​mass society​into passivity. Criticisms: They simplified popular culture; they did not take into account that audiences could be active they make their own decisions about what to take away from a film; does not hold true today because movie are now specifically geared towards niche audiences, which takes away their idea of mass passivity.

Airwave spectrum sale

​government uses an ​auction​system to sell the rights (licences) to transmit signals over specific bands of the e​lectromagnetic spectrum​and to assign scarce spectrum resources. when TV went digital, it freed up a lot of airwave space, this was auctioned off to cell phone companies.

Authorship/auteur theory

a ​director​’s ​film​reflects the director’s personal creative vision, as if they were the primary “auteur” (the ​French​word for “author”). for TV, showrunners are seen as the auteurs. this challenges auteur theory, because TV is a collaborative process. However, showrunners are still seen as the genius behind a show regardless.

Barrier to entry

Not very many people or companies have the money or distribution contacts to produce a TV show that a mass audience can see. The media conglomerates act as gatekeepers.
Acting as a gatekeeper means that in order to gain entry into the market you have to have as much money as they do in order to create content and distribute/exhibit it, or use them (the conglomerates) as the distribution/exhibition outlet and pay them to do it.
This makes products homogenous, because they are going through the same main people.

Bifurcated audience

An audience consisting of fan and nonfan viewers.
sophisticated humor for adults in children’s programing, goes over the head of kids, parent ultimately decide what kids watch. also something seen in shows like ​Gotham​: previous fans and nonfans of Batman.

Block programming

Put several related shows (usually the same genre) in a row to keep a certain demographic watching.

Broadcasting vs. narrowcasting

Broadcasting​has a much broader audience, NBC, ABC, CBS, all are broadcast networks are free to the public, so they must hold certain standards for their content for sakes of advertising.
Narrowcasting​is usually done through cable networks, the audience are much more specific and aim towards a certain type of viewer rather than a large audience. seen as more efficient. advertisers like this, because they want a smaller amount of people who will actually buy their product, instead of a mass amount of people who won’t buy it.

Bugs and snipes

those annoying as **** banner ads that appear while watching a show.

Challenge programming

When you put one of your hits up against your competitors’ hits.
Common on Thursdays.

“Class vs. Mass” and sitcoms

programming for educated/high brow viewers vs. the highest audience share/dumbed downed audience. Sitcoms (and the three camera style) have mass appeal but are not considered to be high class shows. however, they are still generate higher ratings regardless. Ex: Two and Half Men


Copy the formula of a hit show. Ex. “Sex and the City” inspires “Cashmere Mafia”

Cold roll

(aka Cold Open) Credits occur several minutes into a show. Ex: The Office

Conglomeration and Consolidation

● Conglomeration: ​Networks become both buyers and sellers of programming
Networks and film studios owned by the same parent company
Fueled by the added cable channels and decrease in viewership on network channels OK for networks to own shows and syndicate them
● Consolidation: Media companies are owned by a handful of large conglomerates less competition


Balance between the rights of holder and the public good, constitution: congress has the right to promote the progress of science and useful arts by securing for a limited time to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries, today copyright maintains status quo against the threat of innovative technologies public domain part of free culture, public creations belong to everyone, P.D inspires innovation someone builds on prior work (disney fairy tales, shakespeare adaptations)


Instead of trying to directly compete with another network’s hit show, you program a show that appeals to a completely different audience


– Cost per Thousand Viewers
– Ad time sold by CPM
– Advertisers buy CPMs, not shows
– Talked about during upfronts season
– higher CPM cost for shows reaching younger demographic

“The Culture Industry”

● Culture has become commercialized
● Popular culture is standardized, appealing to a general taste
● Pop culture texts are uniform and predictable
● Written by Horkheimer and Adorno (originally in German, 1947)
● Culture has become an industry
● Everything they see in American culture is the opposite of what they think art should be
● Marketing and advertising gets you to buy things you otherwise wouldn’t have

Day parts

● Morning: 68 am
● Daytime: 8am3:30
● Early Fringe: 3:306:30pm
● Primetime Access: 6:307pm
● Primetime: 710pm
● Late News: 1010:30pm
● Late Fringe: 10:3012
● Late Night: 12

Deficit financing​

Going heavily into debt creating content while hoping that the payoff will be made in syndication.

Dual Product Market

programming is sold to viewers, viewers are sold to advertisers.

Dual revenue streams

(TV) Making money from subscription service as well as advertising

DVR viewing

25% of DVR viewers retain ad content, vs. 69% of live viewers; DVR challenges traditional form of advertising; advertisers have to find new ways to make money (bugs and snipes, product placement/integration, etc.)

Fall TV season

when tv shows all air their new seasons to test them out and will also air spring season if successful (someone clarify me on this); becoming less relevant now, because there is more year round programming

Fandom (relationship with creators)

a term used to refer to a ​subculture​composed of f​ans characterized by a feeling of empathy and camaraderie with others who share a common interest. Creators can build relationships with their audiences and use their insights for future development and stuff. Some creators choose not to, however, because it can influence their decisions about the direction of the show. Also, fans can become angered about character deaths, plot points, etc.


regulates interstate communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.

Fin-syn rules

Networks as both buyers and sellers of programming. (networks want to own a piece of the shows they distribute. Abolished in 1993. Was supposed to allow for more competition, but didn’t do so.

First-run syndication

​First-run syndication refers to programming that is broadcast for the first time as a syndicated show. Ex: Judge Judy, game shows


A general title or concept used for creating or marketing a series of products, typically films or television shows. Risk aversion strategy.

Free Ride ​(Robert Levine)

Digital distribution companies like cyberlockers make millions from pirated work.

Genres and genre conventions

a typical or standard trope of plot, character, setting, icon, theme, or effect in a genre story. For instance, in a Western it is conventional to have the heroes wear white hats and the villains wear black hats (icon convention) Or in the superhero genre, it is a convention to have the characters wear costumes (icon convention).

Genre cycles

1) innovation 2) imitation 3) saturation. You make something new, it gets immitated until the point of oversaturation. It must then start over, or else it will lose money.

Genre hybridity

combining a “saturated” genre with another can create a new genre cycle


scheduling a show with mediocre ratings between higher rated shows in order to boost viewership

Horizontal integration

own different but related businesses (facilitates synergy)

Hot switch

rolling into a show without a commercial break or credit roll. The credits will sometimes roll in a box on the side, this is done in an attempt to keep an audience watching

Indecency vs. obscenity and TV regulation

● Obscenity: Not covered by first amendment, generally refers to very explicit sexual content, definition based on “community standards”
● Indecency: material that “depicts or describes in offensive terms sexual or excretory organs or activities”. This is allowed on cable, and during safe harbor on networks.

Johnson, ​Everything Bad Is Good For You

multiple threading of plots, fewer flashing arrows and redundancy to make sure you understand the story , complex character relationships and large number of character, not just asked to remember but to analyze, sleeper curve, video games are complex, probing explore the environment making and testing hypotheses, telescoping goals, more like real life than a narrative,. critique: what is smart,
dumb and simple is different, fails to support his claims with research, overstate complexity of media texts, avoids content

​Leadin/leadout :

● Leadin: People that tune into a popular show early might catch the show before
● Leadout: ​You might watch the show after the popular show

Least objectionable programming

mediological theory explaining television audience behavior. viewers consume television as a medium and not television shows themselves, they will watch until they find something offensive and then switch the channel

Lessig, Lawrence and copyright law

Laws need to be changed for piracy. Today’s copyright laws are not meant to protect the artist, but rather maintain a certain way of doing business. Public Domain is a crucial part of a vibrant, free culture.

Niche audiences, their value to advertisers

synergy allows the production of shows with niche audiences, cult shows often produce very lucrative merchandise tie ins. Advertisers like niche audiences because they are more likely to buy their products, unlike a mass audience that won’t buy it.

Pilots – their purpose and goals Primary and secondary TV markets:

Pilots – their purpose and goals Primary and secondary TV markets:

Primary and secondary TV markets

I think this has to do with the reach of the big networks broadcasting signals being the primary market, and affiliate stations are the secondary market for broadcast television. Correct me if I’m wrong!

Product placement

Basic product placement: you see the product. Advanced: characters talk about the product (ex: Hawaii FiveO Subway thing)

Product integration

● Paid or unpaid
● The product is an essential part of the storyline. Ex: The Price Is Right, Clive Owen
BMW “movie”

Public good vs. public interest mandate

​​public good is something that is actually good for you vs public interest is something that is only interesting to you. BBC is a public good, more sophisticated programming that is beneficial for citizens, run by the government. U.S. is public interest, owned by the public, what the public wants, not what they need, and is commercial.

Offnetwork syndication

reruns on cable channels. EX: Friends, Big Bang

“Quality” programming

to describe a genre or style of television programming that they argue is of higher quality due to its subject matter, style, or content. Serialization is an example of this, complex narratives, many character storylines, etc.

Ratings (TV)

∙ TVY , TVY7
∙ TV14
∙ Issues: Parents relinquish responsibility to government, Vchip only used by 12% of parents


Create a new show by combining two or more hits. Ex. CSI + The X Files = Bones

Regulation of television content

Network programming, broadcast on public airwaves, is susceptible to FCC fines for offensive content. TV self regulates as well (Katy Perry, The Office examples)

Risk aversion​

developing content based on formulas that have succeeded in the past
● Example: Overproduction, genres, franchises

Safe harbor

10pm6am , ​can broadcast material that may be deemed indecent for children, foul language, sexual content, violence


Shows voluntarily censor themselves. (Ex: The office halloween episode, Sesame Street Katy Perry episode)


usually the creator/producer of a show, makes the calls about how the show progresses in respect to characters/storyline. Showrunner can build themselves up into a brand. Style (ex: David Lynch), genre, quality, target audience (ex: Joss Whedon).

Single camera vs. multicamera sitcoms

Multicamera sitcoms are generally shot in a studio with a live audience, inundated with a laugh track, high key lighting. It is an easily recognizable style. Single camera style allow a greater amount of flexibility, outside of the studio, more complex camera movement. Seen as being higher quality than multicam, yet it is not as popular as multi cam shows. More geared towards niche audiences. “My Name Is Earl” was used as an example.

Sitcoms as a genre

conventions: characters (ex: annoying neighbor, dumb dad, etc.), location (home or work), plots.

Sonny Bono Act 1998

“Mickey Mouse Protection Act”, Extends copyright for another 20 years. only about 2% of affected material is commercially viable


taking a popular character from a show and building a new one based upon him/her

Synergy – what it is, does it work?

Dictionary definition: S​ynergy​is the creation of a whole that is greater than the simple sum of its parts. ​Conglomerates (horizontal integration) attempt to maximize profits by using all aspects of a product they can think of as they promote it with all of the different companies/divisions they can. Example: Disney owning Marvel and making films based on characters, distributing through it’s own distribution companies, DVD sales. Additionally, licensing/selling toys based on the characters, licensing clothing labels, licensing partnership advertising, etc. ​Does it work?​It was a big idea that proved to be difficult to implement to the fullest capability that was originally thought. Each branch of a conglomerate needs to be independently profitable. Sweetheart deals lead to lawsuits from people with financial interests in a program. If one branch isn’t doing well, the conglormerate will not keep it around.

Telecommunications Act of 1996 (its purpose and effects)

Purpose​: deregulate the telecom industry. government argues that less government regulation leads to more competition which is better for consumers. ​Effects​: media consolidation, media companies are owned by a handful of large conglomerates. no increase in competition, decrease.


a highly rated show set between two others that don’t have the same high viewership, it is used in the hopes that people will tune in before the show they like or stay tuned afterwards

TBS and branding

-​TBS’ brand “very funny” proves that they’re trying to be known as the place to go to find all great sitcoms
-Produce original programming (‘Men At Work,’ ‘Are We There Yet?’ ‘Conan O’Brien’ -Also show many popular syndicated sitcoms (‘Friends’ ‘Big Bang Theory’)

Vchip and ratings system

vchip built into tv’s in order for parents to control what children watch. rating system tells viewers up front what is to be expected in the show they will watch. vchip blocks programming base on a show’s rating. only 12% of parents use it, so it is not very useful.

Vertical integration

controlling every stage of the industry creating content, distribution, exhibition

Viral marketing

Marketing that relies on wordofmouth. Today, most closely associated with internet marketing. Promotional entertainment freely distributed by viewers. Ex: lady hit in the face with a watermelon


pros and cons selling most of the advertising for shows during a few day event early summer
pro​: helps to ensure funding for programming, creates buzz for fall schedule good for networks
con​: creates situations where advertisers may not get guarantees for viewership bad for ad companies

Websites (for a TV show)

sometimes are very interactive, made in a way to help advertise for the show. Could contain a game or something interesting to keep the idea of the TV show in your head when you’re even not on the website. Goal is often to get people to watch the show live while getting extra info on the website in real time.