Feb 9, 2004  •  Post A Comment

I’ve been following the American reaction to “Boobygate” with much amusement. And now “ER” is being edited? Good gravy, they’re just breasts! Half the population has them. I honestly can’t understand all the fuss. If it had happened here in Canada, it would have been forgotten about by the end of the game.
Greg O’Brien
Broadcaster Magazine
Why do we need to even go further in showing nudity? If there is a good story and it holds my interest, I don’t need to see bare breasts or any nudity. I just can’t understand the need to keep going. I feel it is only so everyone will watch that show. The cable channels have enough of that stuff, and the porno channels are awful. Let’s keep public TV clean. Our kids watch this. I am outraged that Janet Jackson did that.
Holly Currence
Fredericksburg, Va.
The flap over Janet Jackson’s “exposed” breast during Super Bowl XXXVIII and the ensuing plans for a Federal Communications Commission investigation are another example of how ridiculous our country’s leaders have become.
Who cares whether Janet’s breast was exposed for a second? If you blinked you missed it!
Who cares about the bumping and grinding of the dancers? I don’t care for it, so I didn’t watch it. I wasn’t offended at all.
It seems to me that our national leaders should be more concerned about telling us the truth about our country’s misdeeds than expressing shock and outrage when some entertainer wants to get attention for a soon-to-be-released record album.
Europe has long shown nudity and other normal human activity on television programs. Foul language routinely is broadcast, and none of those cities or countries has turned to a pillar of salt.
You can’t mandate or legislate morality or common sense.
Grow up, America!
David Bonar
Dover, Del.
For the life of me, I do not understand this uproar about the Janet Jackson incident at the Super Bowl. American TV shows murder and mayhem nearly every day and nobody bats an eye. It shows a naked breast and one would think the demise of Western civilization is at hand. I don’t want to sound smug, but for a Canadian like me, it sometimes feels that American society as a whole is suffering from a case of arrested sexual development. For heaven’s sake, people, grow up! It’s only skin.
Pierre Roussel
Edmundston, New Brunswick, Canada
Broadcast-Cable Shell Game
Wayne Friedman’s story about media buyers and sellers planning to “play hardball” in the upfront by moving dollars from network to cable seems ingenuous to say the least (“Nets, Buyers Prepare to Play Hardball at Upfront,” TelevisionWeek, Jan. 19).
The same companies that own the broadcast networks by and large own the cable networks, so all this tactic is likely to do is to push cable rates up a bit higher and hold network rates to lower increases. This looks to me like a shell game being played by the buyers and sellers for the benefit of uninformed advertiser clients.
I’m glad to see that clients are paying more and more attention to the activities of their media agencies; it’s clearly necessary because it’s going to take a great deal to change the ingrained incestuous relationship between network buyers and sellers. I wonder when the planners are going to rise to the challenge and put true alternatives into the media plans they offer their clients. Maybe when their clients give them an extra nudge.
Gene DeWitt
New York
Sweeps Still Essential
Regarding “Net Chiefs: Old Rules Out of Date” (TelevisionWeek, Jan. 19), no disrespect to Jeff Zucker, but I think news of the sweeps’ demise has been greatly exaggerated.
While nationally as well as in the metered markets, sweeps may be losing their relevancy, for local TV stations in the remaining 155 nonmetered designated market areas, sweeps is currently the only way to measure program ratings.
While I’d like nothing more than to see Mr. Zucker’s prediction come true, it’s not for a lack of technology as he implies; it’s for a lack of money. Local TV stations in those 155 markets can’t even afford what Nielsen charges today to become a metered market. What evidence exists to suggest that this will change anytime in the near future?
Though they may only represent about 30 percent of the country, those 155 markets still include strategically important markets for spot TV buying: spot TV bought using sweeps ratings data.
For the networks (or more accurately, 155 of their affiliates), this is a game of high-stakes poker: If just one network were to abandon the sweeps system prematurely and run “normal” (read “repeat”) programming against their competitor’s sweeps programming, they run the risk of crippling 75 percent of their affiliates’ local ratings and, more importantly, their ad selling ability. Due to this, I’d guess it’s an “all for one and one for all” kind of thing among the networks.
But if NBC plans on playing out this hand on their own, I hope Jeff Zucker has an ace (or four) up his sleeve.
Dave Woodall
Media director
Smith Phillips DiPietro Advertising
Yakima, Wash.
Shales’ True Calling
Why does Tom Shales write a column on television every week if he doesn’t like any of the shows on it? Isn’t there a job at Blockbuster for him somewhere?
Don Abel
Tallahassee, Fla.