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NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

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NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Old 03-20-09, 02:24 PM
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NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

http://www.mediapost.com/publication...art_aid=102392

Zucker Weighs In On Leno, NBC's Future
by David Goetzl, Yesterday, 4:31 PM


Since "Friends" left, NBC hasn't hit first place in prime time--and it isn't aiming to return to the top spot, either, NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker said Wednesday.


"What does No. 1 in prime time mean anymore?" he asked, adding that the traditional measuring stick has lost relevance.

DVRs, online video and other factors have moved the needle. A more appropriate metric is aggregate viewing across on-air, online, VOD, iTunes, etc.--a gauge where the NBC hit "The Office" performs well.

"I don't think we'll ever be able to say, 'NBC is No. 1 in prime time,'" Zucker said at an industry event.

Any aspirations were effectively thrown out when NBC made the decision to go with a Jay Leno-fronted show weeknights at 10 p.m. Zucker said ratings there won't approach even what the network's current crop of struggling dramas are doing in the hour.

Still, he said the Leno move is not a white flag--just a reaction to new dynamics. "We're not proclaiming defeat," he said. "I don't think anyone thinks Fox is any less of a network because they program two hours in prime time."

Fox has been touted as the top network in recent years, but it has seven fewer hours a week to fill with hits than its three leading competitors.

Zucker reiterated that the Leno move was made partly to keep the comedian on NBC, but also in response to changing viewer behaviors that necessitated new business models. He acknowledged, however, that NBC may not have taken the gamble if prime-time ratings were as healthy as they were throughout the 1990s and beyond.

"Sometimes, you see the world more clearly when you're flat on your back," he said.

But he said the broadcasting industry needs "to be honest" with itself about the hurdles it faces and not "wish it were 1987."

Newspapers that ignored warning signs and failed to adapt to new technologies should serve as a cautionary tale. "We can bury our heads in the sand, and then I'll know we'll be defeated," Zucker said.

Broadcasting--a business supported only by advertising--was in flux due to DVRs and audience fragmentation even before the recession. Now it is facing further uncertainty, which is likely to continue through the coming upfront. Zucker said he expects the market to "move slowly," and signaled that NBC won't sell as much inventory as it has recently.

The economy has not only impacted the NBC network, but even more drastically, the local stations NBCU owns. Zucker said the company is buoyed by its portfolio of cable networks, which derive revenues from more stable affiliate fees as well as advertising. And despite the turmoil, he said, each cable outlet is on target for record ratings and financial performance in 2009.

"First and foremost," Zucker said, NBCU is a cable-network business. Some 60% percent of operating profit comes from the sector, estimated at $520 million in the 2008 fourth quarter. With that orientation, the company has recently added Oxygen and a controlling stake in the Weather Channel.

Among the cable portfolio is MSNBC, and Zucker said the news/opinion network is looking to add a signature show from a fourth personality to its prime-time lineup that features Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow.

In regard to new business models, Zucker has frequently spoken about the need to find a way to monetize online video and avoid trading analog dollars for digital pennies. A revenue gap between on-air and online remains vast, but he said it has closed slightly.

"I think we're at digital dimes now ... but there still is a long way to go from those dimes to dollars," he said.

Still, even if online ad dollars never eclipse those from traditional sources, Zucker said tinkering with the cost structure may still allow NBCU to come out on top.

He said NBCU supports ubiquitous distribution, and will be focusing over the next two to three years on developing an economic model that supports it.

these quotes bother me!

“What does No. 1 in prime time mean anymore?” he asked, adding that the traditional measuring stick has lost relevance.


“I don’t think we’ll ever be able to say, ‘NBC is No. 1 in prime time,’” Zucker said at an industry event.

nbc should fire him and silverman!
Old 03-20-09, 02:28 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

With all those reality shows on, they will never be Number 1.
Old 03-20-09, 02:36 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

It's good they recognize the number 1 rating should include all other mediums, DVR, online or iTunes because if they're going to keep posting yesterday's episodes on hulu, why would I bother to watch it during their regular time slot? Hulu has only one commercial in between breaks and I can watch it on my own accord.
Old 03-20-09, 02:48 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

NBC has the only good shows. The only others shows I watch are 24 and Lost.
Old 03-20-09, 02:49 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

No big deal for me. I watch 1 show on the network.
Old 03-20-09, 02:51 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Seeing as they cancel every show they put on Monday's at 10 they obviously have no desire to build any type of viewership.
Old 03-20-09, 03:01 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

This sounds like they are focusing less on Neilsen numbers. Good news then for Chuck, Life and FNL I hope.
Old 03-20-09, 03:05 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Originally Posted by SuperJim88
It's good they recognize the number 1 rating should include all other mediums, DVR, online or iTunes because if they're going to keep posting yesterday's episodes on hulu, why would I bother to watch it during their regular time slot? Hulu has only one commercial in between breaks and I can watch it on my own accord.
I agree. HOWEVER, it is BEST if the advertisers recognize that too. They are after all for what the networks are fighting.

As for Hulu, I only watch shows there that I don't mind seeing in or had to record at home in SD. If it is an HD broadcast show, I want it on my HDTV and not my teeny (by comparison) monitor. TiVo HD saves me from watching more Hulu. That and the week delay they put on most programs I want to watch on there have (BSG, Damages, Nip/Tuck).
Old 03-20-09, 03:39 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Strange. It was number 1 for more than 15 years... UNTIL HE TOOK OVER. Lost all of the networks hits, and couldn't program a single new hit show.
Old 03-20-09, 04:25 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

remember nbc had hits such has
er, seinfeld, friends, law & order, etc

right now they have no goods shows

closing thing they have is the office

when zucker took over nbc was number one
these days they are considered by many as cable network
Old 03-20-09, 04:42 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Originally Posted by PopcornTreeCt
NBC has the only good shows. The only others shows I watch are 24 and Lost.
NBC has decent sitcoms but everything else it really complete rubbage. Why they scratched "Scrubs" I have no idea. And Leno at 10pm is a disaster move.
Old 03-20-09, 04:43 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

I don't watch ABC or CBS. Just NBC and Fox.. but I never watch broadcast TV when it's first on other than Hell's Kitchen. Everything else I can just watch online.
Old 03-20-09, 04:50 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Originally Posted by SuperJim88
It's good they recognize the number 1 rating should include all other mediums, DVR, online or iTunes because if they're going to keep posting yesterday's episodes on hulu, why would I bother to watch it during their regular time slot? Hulu has only one commercial in between breaks and I can watch it on my own accord.
Doesn't NBC own Hulu? That's the greatest website practically ever, btw.
Old 03-20-09, 05:01 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Fox has been touted as the top network in recent years, but it has seven fewer hours a week to fill with hits than its three leading competitors.
Wait, what? Fox has American Idol and what else?
Old 03-20-09, 05:01 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Originally Posted by SuperJim88
It's good they recognize the number 1 rating should include all other mediums, DVR, online or iTunes because if they're going to keep posting yesterday's episodes on hulu, why would I bother to watch it during their regular time slot? Hulu has only one commercial in between breaks and I can watch it on my own accord.
You really shouldn't be watching TV while you drive, however cool it might sound.
Old 03-20-09, 05:01 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

They should keep shows like Journeyman.

Then they'd still be number 1.

Remember the smash hit that was Seinfeld had abysmal ratings year one and two and almost got canned.

They should give shows a real chance. Like, a whole season, perhaps.
Old 03-20-09, 05:06 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

I'll say this about NBC. They have kept Life and Friday Night Lights on the air despite less than stellar ratings. And those are IMO right now my favorite shows on that network along with Medium on Mondays, which is in it's 5th season even though it's never been a huge hit. They have put alot of garbage on the air though.
Old 03-20-09, 05:21 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

NBC has the only good shows. The only others shows I watch are 24 and Lost.
Agree

I don't understand why 30 Rock is not in the top 5 shows rated by Nielson which is a joke.


Their late night shows blow away CBS and ABC.

I have not watched anything on CBS since Nash Bridges and that show sucked compared to Miami Vice.

I don't watch Friday Night Lights but it should get better ratings than American Idol and Dancing with the Stars.

if they they did carry the NFL (only thing I watch) they would not exist

it is a network for people over 70.


Brian Williams owns Couric and that loser on ABC.
Old 03-20-09, 06:24 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Originally Posted by Mordred
Wait, what? Fox has American Idol and what else?
They don't need anything else.
Old 03-20-09, 06:31 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Originally Posted by Kdogg
They don't need anything else.

actually 24, bones, and house have done very well in ratings
plus the simpsons and the family guy do well in 18-34 category
Old 03-20-09, 07:18 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Seriously, do people just not understand how television works?

If no one is watching Journeyman (and they weren't), then it has no prayer of staying on the air. NBC is being generous with a LOT of their shows, just to have something on there.

You have tens of millions of people tuning in every week for shows like American Idol and The Bachelor and Dancing with the Stars. Losing money on Journeyman for a whole season isn't going to bring those viewers back to NBC. It's a completely different ballgame out there, and the lowest common denominator is winning. Audiences don't want quality - they want to vote on the best karaoke singer in the country while drinking a Coke.
Old 03-20-09, 07:53 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Originally Posted by DJariya
I'll say this about NBC. They have kept Life and Friday Night Lights on the air despite less than stellar ratings. And those are IMO right now my favorite shows on that network along with Medium on Mondays, which is in it's 5th season even though it's never been a huge hit. They have put alot of garbage on the air though.
I am not in the giving credit mood for NBC. Especially since they wouldn't give Las Vegas a Finale after the writers strike.

If NBC renews Chuck, i'll give NBC a little credit.
Old 03-20-09, 07:53 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Originally Posted by Draven
Seriously, do people just not understand how television works?

If no one is watching Journeyman (and they weren't), then it has no prayer of staying on the air. NBC is being generous with a LOT of their shows, just to have something on there.
Everybody thinks their show was going to be the next Cheers.

For what it's worth, NBC airs out its failures far more reliably than ABC or Fox. That's what I like about them. What I dislike is the dwindling number of decent NBC shows under Zucker.
Old 03-20-09, 08:23 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Sad but true Draven. NBC has (some) good shows. What it doesn't have is popular shows.
Old 03-20-09, 10:15 PM
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Re: NBC will never be No. 1 in prime time-Zucker

Originally Posted by wmansir
Sad but true Draven. NBC has (some) good shows. What it doesn't have is popular shows.
Very very true. Life and Friday Night Lights are IMO very good shows. Just not popular with mass audiences. Plus, you have a tool like Ben Silverman running the network who would rather waste money on shit like The Chopping Block or Mama's Boys than give Knight Rider, which was gradually gaining viewers a full 22 episode season or waste $60M dollars on Kings.

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