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Apr 2, 2003  •  Post A Comment

New T-MAP Analysis Tool Touts Cable’s Ad Value

The tip of the spear for cable in this year’s pre-upfront battles with broadcast for advertiser dollars looks to be a new analytical tool that purports to refute scientifically the broadcast proposition that cable is a frequency medium while broadcast offers reach.

That broadcast-reach argument underlies much of the rationale for the premiums that advertisers pay to buy time on the broadcast networks.

Cable’s analytic counterattack is the newly created Turner Multidimensional Analytical Platform [T-MAP], developed in a collaboration by Turner’s corporate research group, Nielsen Media Research and Multimedia Solutions, which was unveiled this morning in Manhattan by Turner Broadcasting sales and research executives.

T-MAP is the third iteration of Turner’s Media at the Millennium initiative, which is intended to make the argument that “schedules containing high levels of fully distributed national cable dispersed across the prime-time daypart can replace broadcast with no loss in reach and no increase in frequency,” according to Barry Fischer, Turner’s executive VP of marketing and research.

What makes Millennium III unique is the Pentium 4 chip inside, which increases computational power exponentially, permitting complex calculations about specific multi-network advertising flights to be completed in seconds, not days, Mr. Fischer said.

Turner is set to take T-MAP, a tool designed primarily for planners and researchers, to agencies beginning tomorrow. The essential argument will be that there is a drastic over-dependence on broadcast, which results in astronomical costs for tiny incremental increases in reach points. Those additional reach points also could be realized — at multimillion-dollar savings — by substituting fully distributed cable networks.

“Know the cost of running up that [reach] curve because it is an incredibly expensive neighborhood,” said Mr. Fischer, illustrating his proposition with charts that showed specific individual spots in specific advertising schedules. When, say, two-thirds of the desired gross rating points in an advertising schedule have been achieved by advertising on broadcast networks, the cost of additional incremental broadcast reach could rise to $4 million and more per spot, he said.

“Are those last few broadcast reach points really worth $2 [million], $3 [million], $4 million? That’s the issue,” Mr. Fischer said, “not whether [to] buy broadcast or not.”

That argument “serves [Turner’s] purposes very beautifully, but I’d like to see the raw data,” said Moira Coffey, King World’s chief researcher, when apprised of the T-MAP-based contentions that broadcast is no longer simply reach and cable is no longer simply frequency, but that in fact they are interchangeable, and that broadcast’s incremental reach points are not cost effective.

Some broadcast spots become “95 percent frequency,” Mr. Fischer said. “Find a client who believes that his broadcast spots are 95 percent frequency,” he added. “Find a client who says, ‘I buy broadcast for frequency,’ and ‘I buy premium broadcast at premium frequency,’ and then let me know and then let me present [the data].” What affects broadcast reach is diminished ratings, increased repeats and multiplays, he said.

“I think they’re ignoring the [importance] of frequency,” Ms. Coffey said of the Turner argument. “It’s also a very, very vital component of the success of the advertiser message. … You can see a spot once and have it not have an impact. By the fourth time you know the name of the prescriptive drug.”

With T-MAP, “we are now able to quickly identify those specific networks or announcement [i.e., commercial spots] that bring little or no incremental reach to a client’s schedule,” Mr. Fischer said. Some clients don’t understand, he said, that added broadcast spots deliver frequency, not reach, and that they are paying too much for frequency alone.

Fox Rises to the Top With ‘Idol’ and ’24’: American Idol and 24 combined to give Fox a nightly win in adults 18 to 49 and total viewers last night.

Fox scored a 7.9 rating and 20 share in the demo and an average of 16.9 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate data.

ABC’s midseason sitcom Lost at Home premiered to a 3.9/10 in adults 18 to 49-up 8 percent over the time period average so far this season. It held onto 93 percent of its lead-in, According to Jim. Jim aired back-to-back original episodes from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

The 9 p.m. episode beat NBC’s original episode of Frasier with a 4.2/10 vs. 3.5/9. That gave ABC its first victory over an original episode of Frasier since Frasier moved to the time slot in October 2000.

From 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., ABC’s Barbara Walters Special, originally scheduled to run on Oscar night, tied CBS’s Judging Amy for second place in adults 18 to 49 at 3.3/9.

NBC’s Dateline was first with a 3.4/9. Barbara Walters, perhaps hurt by the fact that none of the three celebrities she interviewed won Oscars, finished third in total viewers with only 8 million.

For the night, Fox won in adults 18 to 49 with a 10/15, followed by ABC (3.6/9), NBC (3.2/8) and CBS (2.7/7). In total viewers, Fox won the night with 16.9 million viewers, followed by CBS 11.5 million, ABC (8.5 million) and NBC (8.4 million).

MTV Announces New Series: MTV has unveiled a development slate that includes two series commitments, one for an untitled reality series chronicling the first year of Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey’s marriage and the other for The New Tom Green Talk Show, a nightly hour.

Ms. Simpson and Mr. Lachey (98 Degrees) are two well-known pop stars who will be followed by MTV cameras as they set up house and record their respective new albums. Mr. Green’s new late-night talk show is scheduled to debut June 16. In addition, MTV has given the green light to the following pilots:

When I Was 17-reminiscences by celebrities.

High School Stories: Scandals, Pranks and Controversies.

Untitled Bam Margera Project-a reality series that documents the life of the Jackass cast member.

The Scene-a verite look at a group of people connected by the music scene of which they’re all part.

Roommates-a reality game series.

Posse-a visit with a star’s entourage.

Also in development at MTV are the Paula Abdul Reality Cheerleading Project, a reality competition; Girl Makes Band, a reality game show; Wade Robson Project, a daily dance show; Lifeguard, a reality show; and Homewrecker, a Big Brother-style competition in which the house itself is the big prize.

Bravo Previews Upfront Schedule: Bravo, the advertising-supported arts-and-entertainment cable network recently purchased by NBC, unveiled its first upfront schedule under the sign of the Peacock at a lavish dinner in Manhattan yesterday for approximately 300 Madison Avenue buyers and others and entertainment by Cirque du Soleil.

Centerpieces of the network’s new programming include the Cirque du Soleil Variety Show, 13 one-hour episodes scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2004; The Reality of Reality, five one-hour segments that will examine TV’s hottest genre, set for the third quarter; The Sexiest Moments in Film and Television, five one-hour segments, set for third quarter 2004; The TV Revolution, five one-hour segments, a look at TV’s most important shows, set for second quarter 2004; The Greatest TV Characters of All Time, five one-hour segments, set for third quarter 2004; and the previously announced reality makeover series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, 12 one-hour episodes scheduled to begin this July.

High on the presentation’s agenda was an assurance by Jeff Gaspin, who not only heads Bravo but also is NBC’s head of alternative programming, that the cable network will continue to focus on arts and entertainment rather than become a home for repurposed NBC programming.

“Will we become a repurposing network? Will we change [Bravo] from an arts and entertainment network?” he asked rhetorically. “The answer to both questions is no.”

Mr. Gaspin predicted double-digit increases for Bravo-at a “minimum”-in this yea
r’s upfront.

When NBC and Bravo air this year’s Best Picture Oscar winner, Chicago, in the 2005-06 season there will be approximately 15 minutes of new footage that wasn’t included in the theatrical version, including at least one additional Queen Latifah song, Mr. Gaspin said.

NBC’s The West Wing will have its basic cable premiere this August on Bravo. Mr. Gaspin intends to air it with such politically themed theatrical features as Absolute Power and The American President.

Eszterhas to Write Script for ESPN Movie: Controversial Hollywood screenwriter Joe Eszterhas (Basic Instinct, Showgirls), whose 14 films have grossed more than a billion dollars at the box office, will write the script for ESPN’s third original movie, The Ice Bowl. The movie will premiere on ESPN Saturday, Dec. 13, at 9 p.m. (ET).

Initiative Media Promotes Koerner: Stacey Lynn Koerner has been promoted to executive VP and director of global research integration for Initiative Media Worldwide.

Ms. Koerner had held the position of senior VP, director, broadcast research.

She will continue to be based in New York and will report to David Ernst, executive VP and director of IM Solutions, Initiative Media North America.