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The Cable Show 2011: The Promise of Technology is Something to Flip Over

This year marked the 60th anniversary of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) “Cable Show.” It’s very easy, of course, to think about how TV and cable has changed over that long of a time span. What I found more interesting at this year’s event was just how much has changed in far less time.
 

There’s No Vacation from Top Quality Original Programming in July...

...it’s all on Cable
Much of the country has already had a taste of summer, with heat waves pushing the mercury up—way up. After another hot summer day, what better way is there to spend a warm evening than enjoying a great TV show? Next month, cable networks will be premiering all-new seasons of some of the biggest hits, so crank up the air conditioning, pour a tall glass of iced tea (my personal favorite) and sit back for some hot summer nights.
 

Comcast Spotlight at the 2011 Cable Show

Next week, Chicago’s McCormick Place convention center will become the center of the cable universe for three days, as the annual National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) holds its annual convention, “The Cable Show.” Programmers, technology companies and, of course, cable operators will be on hand to learn about what’s new and groundbreaking in just about every facet of our industry, from the latest innovations coming to your cable set-top box to new ways to deliver the best customer service experience.
 

Media Experts Say Audience Fragmentation is Affecting Advertiser Reach and Agency Resources

We hope you had a chance to attend our Take Five for Your Future webcast, Achieving Reach in a Fragmented Media World, which took place on May 18. If you didn’t, you can view the complete webcast below.

Upfront Friday: Looking for the Best Scripted Series and Original Movies? Cable has Them.

What once began with a trickle—the occasional original scripted series on ad-supported cable—has become a proverbial ocean of original scripted shows and movies, in virtually every genre and style you can imagine. While it would be nearly impossible to highlight all of the scripted entertainment your customers will be watching, we’re going to take a look today at a cross-section of those amazing shows (and we’ll continue to highlight great original content—both scripted and non-scripted—each month in our programming highlights posts).

A Good Start to 2011

Earlier this month, Comcast reported its quarterly results, which included a more than 10% increase in cable advertising revenue, led most noticeably by strength in automotive advertising (and, not surprisingly, offset a bit by lower political sales in this “off year” election cycle).
 
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Harnessing the Power of Digital Media

 
Like me. Follow me. Connect with me. 
Today, business and social networks are simultaneously expanding and contracting. It can be overwhelming for even the most tech-savvy person, but that doesn’t mean it has to be.
 

Upfront Friday: The Reality? Viewers Love Networks & Shows that tell Real-Life Stories

As we continue our look at the new and returning shows cable networks will be airing in the 2011-2012 season, this week we look at some of the networks that specialize in finding unique people, places and stories and bringing them to life on the TV screen.
 

On Demand Summit 2011: Tapping VOD’s Marketing Power

When you were a kid, did you have “couldn’t miss” shows? Programs that you made sure to be at home, on your couch, with snacks in hand, so that you wouldn’t a single minute? For me, one of those shows was Scooby Doo. It took a lot to pry me away from finding out who would have gotten away with some dastardly crime if not for “those meddling kids,” and when I couldn’t be home, I wondered what I had missed.
 

Upfront Friday: Lifestyle Networks Continue Expanding Original Content Lineups

Last week, we looked at the upcoming programs on networks like Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and MTV —powerful platforms for reaching families (Nickelodeon) and teens & young adults (Cartoon Network and MTV). For our second “Upfront Friday,” we’re highlighting some of the new and returning series on popular networks with a focus on key “lifestyle” programming categories that may be an ideal match for your business.
Read more about Upfront Friday: Lifestyle Networks Continue Expanding Original Content Lineups

Comcast Cares Day 2011: Making a Difference in our Communities

Giving back to the communities we serve is a longstanding priority at Comcast, and perhaps the best example of that commitment is our annual Comcast Cares Day. Each year, tens of thousands of Comcast employees—as well as family members and friends—fan out across the country, roll up their sleeves and get to work on a range of community projects. From painting and sprucing up playgrounds at schools and parks to stocking food banks to setting up computer labs at community centers, there were more than 620 efforts to make a real difference in the lives of others this year alone, all taking place on one day.

Upfront Friday: Connecting with Kids & Families, Tweens & Teens and Young Adults

I was what you might call a TV geek as a kid. I can still remember my father taking an old shoebox and cutting a "screen" in the lid--even crafting a "microphone" out of an old aspirin bottle and some castoff parts from Radio Shack.
 

Spreading the Word to a Spread-Out Audience: Overcoming Fragmentation to Achieve Reach

It’s a phenomenon we’ve all experienced both as professionals in the media industry and as consumers: the explosion in media outlets and the resulting challenges in reaching the right audience when viewers have more choices than ever before competing for their attention. It’s a trend that’s picked up pace over the past decade, and shows little sign of slowing down anytime soon.
 

A “Call to the Hall” For a Comcast Spotlight Leader

This month, CableFAX is once again saluting the best of the best in the cable advertising sales business at the Sales Executive of the Year Awards. Many of our friends and colleagues at cable networks and our fellow service providers are among this year’s honorees, and we want to congratulate them for all that they do for our industry.
 

Partnerships and Doing the Right Thing for Your Audience

Guest Blog Post
Today's blog post comes from James Baumann, SVP, National Accounts and Media Marketing at the Ad Council.
In the current economic climate–even as we are in a “recovery” mode–it is difficult to be asked to “give.” But making a donation to a cause, whether it is a personal one or a business one, can be done in many forms that are mutually beneficial.

How to Reach Hispanic Audiences

Continuing with our "How to Reach" series, today we take a look at different ways to reach the growing Hispanic market. According to Nielsen, an estimated 40% of new U.S. households who watched television in Q4 of 2010 were Hispanic. Businesses interested in engaging this demographic should take note of a few key insights, including the Hispanic youth market’s media preferences and the importance of online advertising.

Beyond the Screen: Promotions

Did you ever need that extra oomph to get your message across, or that added strategic element to help drive sales and/or exposure? This is where promotions can benefit any marketing plan – by adding the increased awareness for a sales event, branding effort, strategic initiative, etc. that may be needed to get your desired results. By adding a promotional element to your media mix, you can help to extend the life of your next marketing campaign while at the same time driving new business and new customers. 
 

A Taste of Summer on the Way this May

Where has the year gone? May is just around the corner, and with it comes the unofficial start of the summer season (break out the wading pools and flip-flops). There was once a time when May meant the end of the TV season, but no more—those days are long gone, thanks to cable networks.

Be Different, Bold and Passionate

We set limits when we do what everyone else is doing. Beyond predictive, sameness takes the energy out of individual and team preparation. Why strive to be great when all you do is what has always been done? Coaches talk about a team that is flat. Flat happens when we do not prepare, and we do not prepare when we do what is familiar.
 

Getting the Right Message to the Right Audience, Neighborhood by Neighborhood

Not long ago, while watching a favorite cable series, I saw an insurance ad that ended with a message to call the very agent I use, with an office a short distance from my home. But if members of my family—all in the Philadelphia area—watched the same show at the same time, they saw the name of their own neighborhood agent.
 

Proud to be among the “Best of the Web”

CableFax Daily recently recognized ComcastSpotlight.com with an “honorable mention” in the category of Website Redesign. We’re honored that our site was among the many in the cable industry recognized by the CableFax editors for outstanding digital achievement.

Workforce Optimization is Imperative for Meeting the Needs of Today’s Local Advertisers

Comcast Spotlight has an enhanced position in the marketplace with the ability to sell “traditional” cable advertising, interactive and online advertising as well as advertising to newly added telecommunications and satellite homes. With this opportunity comes tremendous responsibility to our clients, partners, and to ourselves. 
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Young Guns: 40 Under 40 List Recognizes Cable Executives to Watch

We’re excited here at Comcast Spotlight that another one of our senior leaders has been deservedly recognized for his outstanding contributions to our company and our industry. Bill Haase, our Vice President of Finance and Administration, has been named to the annual 40 Under 40 list by Multichannel News.
 

Take Five Webcast Looked at “Real World” iTV Case Studies; Attendees Say it’s the Future of TV

We hope you had a chance to attend our Take Five for Your Future webcast, Interactive Television Case Studies, which took place on March 23rd. If you didn’t, you can view the complete webcast below or click here to download the slides.

Video Everywhere Conference Looks at the Challenges and Opportunities of a Changing Media Landscape

Kicking off a discussion about “translating views to revenues” at the recent New Bay Media Video Everywhere conference in New York, moderator Jon Lafayette asked his panelists if they had an iPad. Three of the four speakers—including Comcast Spotlight Group Vice President of Integrated Media Sales Kevin Smith—noted they did, and are among the 1.4 million people to download Comcast’s XFINITY iPad app so far.

Moving Beyond CPP and CPM to Cross-Platform Measurement

A lot is being made lately in the media world for the need to drive toward campaign performance metrics beyond traditional CPP (cost per point) or CPM (cost per thousand) measurement. Invariably these discussions trot out ROI (return on investment) as some distant north star envisioned as a guide to those trying to navigate the complex landscape of today's media environment.
 

Effective Marketing to Multitasking, Multiplatform Moms

If your business relies on the purchasing power of moms, you've probably noticed the many TV ads, blogs and online communities catering to this very important audience. Whether you're a family-friendly resort, snack company, or furniture retailer, you can get the attention of busy, on-the-go moms by providing the type of content they want, in the ways they want to receive it.
 

From a Royal Wedding to the Boys of Summer’s Return, it’s a Big Month on Cable this April

The winter coats are spending more time in the closet, the sounds of children playing at neighborhood parks have returned and office workers are enjoying their lunches outside in the midday sun. Ahhh, spring is really in the air now. On cable, original programming will be blooming like springtime flowers next month, with a slew of new and returning series, specials and sports that will keep viewers coming back for more.
 

Advice and Insights from Cable’s “Wonder Women”

Hundreds of cable industry professionals--not to mention some friends and family members--gathered in New York this week to honor 2011's "Wonder Women" and "Women to Watch" (including Comcast Spotlight's Vice President of Marketing, Kellie Grutko) as recognized by Multichannel News and the New York chapter of WICT (Women in Cable Telecommunications).

iTV Advertising: Join Us to Hear Real Examples from Real Businesses

For a long time, it seemed, the promise of interactivity was “just around the corner.” But as Comcast Spotlight and other companies are demonstrating, we’ve turned that corner: interactivity is here, today, and it’s delivering real engagement for clients ranging from national advertisers to local retailers. Read more about iTV Advertising: Join Us to Hear Real Examples from Real Businesses

Comcast Spotlight's i-Guide: Connecting Viewers and Content

The interactive program guide (i-Guide) is the most broadly deployed telescoping product in television today, and has been a key differentiator for Spotlight. This year marks the fifth year that Spotlight has represented the i-Guide banner ad in our footprint. We have had a great run to date and believe this is going to be the most successful year yet. Importantly, continuing platform advancements will set us up for years of continued growth.

Transformation 2011: “Positive Chaos” Means New Opportunities

This week, I had the pleasure of attending the 4As "Transformation 2011" conference in Austin. It was the first time I've been to an annual 4As conference, and clearly it was appropriately named, as "change"—and nearly any synonym you can think of—was a recurring theme throughout the event. Read more about Transformation 2011: “Positive Chaos” Means New Opportunities

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With Portability of Content Comes the Need for Unified Measurement

While traveling from New York to Philadelphia by train last week, I noticed that in virtually every row someone was watching video content on a mobile device: a laptop, a tablet or a mobile phone.  I’m not sure, of course, whether it was long-form content, like a movie or a TV show, or short-form video, like what you would find on YouTube, nor whether it was being streamed or from memory - but that really is not the point. 

Spot TV Revenues Soar Leading Advertising’s Recovery

According to data* by Kantar Media, television media continued to pace the advertising recovery during the first nine months of 2010. Contributing to an increase in total advertising expenditures of 6.4 percent, spot TV outpaced network TV. 
 
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Answering Our Clients’ Questions

In the time since Comcast closed its agreement to acquire a controlling interest in NBCUniversal, we’ve been asked by a number of our clients what impact the deal will have on our business relationships. The short answer: it’s business as usual in the way we work with you.
 

Understanding Television Viewing Habits

Though the “how” may have changed drastically, the data shows we still love watching television. According to the Nielsen Company's "State of the Media: TV Usage Trends," the average person in the U.S. watched more than 143 hours of television per month in the second quarter of 2010, essentially the same when compared to the same period in 2009.
 

In Like a Lion: March Brings a Bevy of Original Cable Programs

If you’re like me, you might be thinking March is one of the best months of the year. The grass and trees start to awaken, temperatures start climbing…and spring training means summer can’t be too far behind.
 

Advanced Advertising 3.0: 2011 is the Year of Interactivity

It was another packed house at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York this week as Broadcasting & Cable and Multichannel News hosted the Advanced Advertising 3.0 conference. Broadcasters, multichannel video operators, technology companies and the media community were all on hand to hear from keynoters John Muszynski and Tracey Scheppach of SMGx and two panels of leaders from throughout the industry.
 

How to Reach Foodies

From wineries and chocolatiers to kitchenware stores and food markets, your Zagat-carrying, Food Network adoring customers want the latest information about the local dining scene, healthy recipes and popular cooking items. People everywhere are addicted to shows like TLC's Cake Boss and the Cooking Channel's Unique Eats, and big brands have also realized the value of marketing to the foodie audience.

How We’re Making it Easier for Advertisers to Reach Wider Audiences

Today we announced an exciting agreement with AT&T to begin selling advertising on 50 cable networks carried on the AT&T U-verse platform in 21 markets where Comcast and AT&T both offer video service.  In summer 2009, we announced a similar agreement with Verizon for their FiOS service where both of our companies operate; last summer, our national rep firm, NCC Media, reached an agreement covering 25 networks carried by DirecTV in 25 markets.  Read more about How We’re Making it Easier for Advertisers to Reach Wider Audiences

iTV Quietly Arrives, Bringing New Opportunities for Marketers

After many years of hype, the world of interactive television advertising has finally arrived…without a lot of fanfare. Comcast has quietly deployed the necessary infrastructure across much of our digital TV footprint to serve up these new products with the necessary scale to appeal to national, local and regional advertisers.

Ad Sales Excellence Means Fundamentals First

Love What You Do

At the heart of every overachiever is a love for what they do. It is not temporary or lustful but the kind of love that becomes a complementary part of who they are. Ad sales, like any field requires a great commitment to realize excellence and consistent results. Do not confuse my comments with obsessive behavior.  My view always considers that balance is important. My father often spoke about moderation and he was a wise man.  Read more about Ad Sales Excellence Means Fundamentals First

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Even With New Technology…You Still Need A Great Commercial

If you were clicking through cable TV channels on your Comcast remote in areas like the New Jersey shore communities, Delaware County, Pennsylvania or other cities across the country over the past several months, you might have noticed something completely different when you were watching a typical commercial.

Saluting Cable’s Outstanding Women Leaders

One of the highlights of the year in the cable industry is the annual Wonder Women luncheon, when Multichannel News and WICT New York honor a group of extraordinary women for their leadership and achievements.  Selected by the Multichannel News editors, there are 12 “Wonder Women,” representing some of the most accomplished women in cable, and 12 “Women to Watch,” selected for all that they’ve achieved and the important role they’ll continue to have in the years ahead. Read more about Saluting Cable’s Outstanding Women Leaders

Finding Out What Customers Think of Interactive TV

Comcast has invested heavily over the past year to make TV more interactive.  These capabilities will give consumers the ability to interactive with the shows that they like, through voting and polling applications, and with the brands they buy, through “request more information” capabilities.  With this technology deployed to over 10 million homes across Comcast’s footprint, innovative advertisers who are seeking consumer engagement are moving beyond testing to larger and larger programs. Read more about Finding Out What Customers Think of Interactive TV

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