What we love about site design

Lost Remote has tips on what viewers love about their local TV websites (tongue in cheek, but oh so believable). For example:

“My friends are forever asking “What do you suppose that anchor is doing in the community?” I’m glad I can find that.”

“Please tell me more about your weekend, overnight photog and how wacky he is. I want to see bios for everyone at your station!”

“This website would be better if it helped service the station’s brand more.”

And there are many more.

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Rogers picks up former CHUM TV stations from CTVglobemedia


Canadian broadcaster/publisher/telco and video shop operator (etc.) Rogers Communications is buying ten television stations from CTVglobemedia. The C$137.5 million deal comprises:

  • the A Channel group of six over-the-air stations
  • CKX-Television, an over-the-air conventional CBC affiliate in Brandon, Manitoba
  • ACCESS Alberta, the designated provincial educational television broadcaster for Alberta, available over-the-air and via cable, satellite and telco distributors
  • CLT (Canadian Learning Television), Canada’s only national educational television specialty service, available via cable, satellite and telco distributors
  • SexTV: The Channel, an English language digital service, available across Canada via cable, satellite and telco distributors.

The channels were owned by CHUM Limited, which was purchased by CTVgm last year.

The transaction is subject to Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and Competition Bureau approval. It is also subject to CRTC approval of CTVgm’s acquisition of CHUM, which included a commitment to divest these assets.

Rogers Media press release

Read More reveals most-popular stories

The CBC website this week added a list of its most-viewed stories, sortable according to popularity over the previous 24 hours or previous seven days.

This is a good service (although not nearly as data-rich as the BBC’s) but it’s not easy to find. You need to be looking at the news front page (not the site front page) and, even then, the link is hard to spot as light grey text in a tab above the headlines list.

I’ve added a link direct to the CBC top stories list in the blog sidebar, where it joins the BBC and nzherald.

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Copper thieves take CFUN off air

A Vancouver radio station was knocked off the air when thieves stole parts of its transmitter yesterday.

CFUN, an AM talk station, was reduced to broadcasting via the web for about four hours after the break-in at its transmitter site.

Station programme director Stu Ferguson told Canadian Press the thieves were probably after copper wiring. They must have known what they were doing, in order to get the wiring without getting electrocuted.

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Activists sue Viacom over removal of YouTube video

It must be a wonderful time to be a copyright lawyer.

Just a week after Viacom began suing YouTube and its parent Google, alleging copyright infringment, two activist groups have launched a suit against Viacom, claiming that the cable network had no right to ask YouTube to remove a parody video which used portions of Viacom’s Colbert Report.

The activists say their use of Colbert was permitted under “fair use” provisions of copyright legislation. Viacom says it did not request removal of the video from YouTube and has no problem with it staying on YouTube.

It’s unclear whether the video was, in fact, ever removed from YouTube. It’s on the site now.

I can’t quite figure out its purpose though. The Colbert Report is already a parody. It’s sharp, funny and it’s a hit. The activists’ video, by comparision, just makes them look like they don’t get the joke.

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Ganging up against YouTube

NBC and News Corp say they’ll supply video content, with commercials, to be distributed by MySpace, Yahoo, MSN and AOL. The new service is to be launched in a few months.

Apparently people will prefer this to watching the same content, without commercials, on YouTube. Or, if Viacom succeeds in its lawsuit, YouTube will be prevented from carrying the networks’ content.

Wendy Davis at MediaPost reports:

…shows that will be available via the joint venture include “Heroes,” “24,” “House,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “The Simpsons.” Movies slated for free distribution include “Borat,” “Little Miss Sunshine” and “The Devil Wears Prada.” Cadbury Schweppes, Cisco, Esurance, Intel Corporation and General Motors have signed on as charter advertisers.

Could this be an attractive alternative to YouTube for the consumer? I think so. There’s certainly room to improve the user experience on YouTube, e.g. in terms of picture size, and searchability.

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Television considers the pop-up ad

The ABC television network is proposing to position commercials “seamlessly” within programmes in a manner that takes product placement to a new level.

As reported by Wayne Friedman on MediaPost, ABC unveiled the idea at a program development meeting with media buyers in Los Angeles  yesterday:

For example, in According to Jim, a real commercial would appear in the living room TV of Jim and Cheryl’s suburban home. That real commercial would then run full-screen.

To those who attended, ABC used 10 examples – all comedies, such as Ugly Betty – where commercials would pop up out of media props such as TV, cell phones, and print ads in magazines. It used marketing messages of automotive, beverage, and sinus remedy brands for its sample reel.

Will TV producers go along with the idea? One person at the meeting told Friedman: “I  imagine more powerful producers would say, ‘no way, Jose’.”

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Taking live vlogging to the street

Click to view clip on

Online videocaster is transmitting live from the streets of Toronto using its high-profile Hummer.

This morning the Hummer was parked right in front of the prominent street-front studios of City TV on Queen St West, no doubt borrowing a little attention. City TV is, of course, part of the Chum Group recently acquired by CTVglobemedia, while Blog TV is owned by Alliance Atlantis which is in the process of being acquired by CanWest.

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Viacom sues YouTube and Google for US$1 billion

Just six weeks after it demanded that Google remove all Viacom content from its YouTube video sharing site, Viacom has decided to take the dispute to court.

The company behind such hit TV shows as The Colbert Report and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has filed a lawsuit against YouTube and Google, alleging deliberate copyright infringement and seeking US$1 billion in compensation.

Last Saturday, Variety published an interesting look at the disconnect within Hollywood between marketers who promote their shows using YouTube and their studio legal departments who try to get content removed from the site.

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Radio ratings out

Share of commercial radio listening, ages 10+, national
National audience share. Source: The Radio Bureau

The twice yearly radio ratings have been released, and all the details are available on The Radio Bureau website, including the following summary of national listening:

  • Overall, the number of listeners of Commercial Radio has gone up by 8,600 listeners nationally (All 10+). Cume Audiences for Main HHS has gone up by 39,000 listeners nationally while for AP 25-54, 13,800 new listeners are tuning in over the course of the week.
  • The introduction of “The Breeze” into Auckland has led to a huge increase in its national audience, a growth of 93,300 listeners and 1.8% market share growth among AP 10+.
  • Classic Hits has increased its cume audience by 3,800 listeners (AP 25-54), further consolidating its position as the No.1 station among this target.
  • The Rock has increased its cume audience among AP 10+ by 22,500 listeners. Among AP 18-34, it has retained its position as the top ranked station.
  • The Coast has had an increase of 17,800 listeners among AP 10+, helping it increase its share from 5% to 5.4% nationally.
  • Radio Live has increased its cume audience by 13,300 among All People 25-54, thus increasing its market share from 1.5% to 2.1%.
  • Nui FM has had an increase of 13,500 listeners among all listeners 10+.
  • ZM has increased its audience base amongst AP 10+ by 9,500 listeners.
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