Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Viacom Reveals Its Stupidity, Sues Google / YouTube For $1 Billion

Viacom's suing Google / YouTube for copyright infringement, and for $1 billion in damages. An act that should make some on the East Coast happy. Now, before i get to that, I want to explain just why Viacom's being stupid and will end of with egg on their face in this lawsuit.

First, Viacom should be suing the people who copy their programs and upload them to YouTube, if they want to go after anyone at all. There are 77 video-distribution companies like YouTube and any one of them can be a target for uploading Viacom's programming excerpts. Viacom's claim that YouTube has uploaded their material shows how little they understand about the market -- video makers were solely responsible for those uploads. YouTube was just a vessel, albeit a popular one.

Second, Viacom has not taken steps to "mark" the copyright of its programming in such a way as to discourage those who clip parts of the program. What Viacom fails to understand is that people don't upload the entire program, but a part they think is funny.

By contrast, Viacom has the entire program on its Comedy Channel site and forces one to wade through their entire episode just to get to a funny part. People aren't going to do that in huge numbers over time because of the fact that the clip does not indentify something newsworthy, like Stephen Colbert ranting about President Bush. Viacom doesn't understand the dynamics of the problem.

Third, Viacom's actually benefiting from YouTube uploads, as the ratings for the shows "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" have increased by seven percent over YouTube's life as the evidence in article two below shows. How can Viacom claim $1 billion in damages in the past, when it never had a YouTube-like system to begin with, let alone a business model? They can't.

That's why -- including the other reasons I gave -- Viacom will be embarassed in court. They're just trying to clear a path for the control of video based on its shows. But that very act of economic restriction shows just how stupid Viacom's lawsuit really is. It's better to have video clips out there with ads at the back of them. What Viacom should do is this: when people upload material on Google / YouTube, have YouTube set up a Revver-like ad system and split the ad revenue for those videos that feature Viacom material. In this way, the video clip is economized and Viacom makes money from it without restricting its distribution.

That's the best way. But absent that, Viacom's Old School approach is about to get clobbered. It's going to be fun to watch.


Evidence One: Nielsen Ratings Count College Students:

The Nielsen ratings go to college

By Louise Story
Published: January 29, 2007

NEW YORK: For decades, Nielsen Media Research has affixed the same value to every student watching television while away at school: zero.

As a result, industry executives have complained for years that shows appealing to a younger audience have been underrated.

But, starting now, students on campuses count.

Shows like "America's Next Top Model" and "Family Guy" were expected to see their ratings surge this week as Nielsen Media Research, a unit of Nielsen Co., included the viewing habits of students living away from home in its surveys for the first time.

A jump in Nielsen ratings often means more advertiser spending, so the adjusted ratings are good news for networks with high student viewership like ESPN, Fox and CW.

Today in Technology & Media

AT&T expands wireless stores

Viacom sues Google over YouTube video clips

Study says computers give big lift to productivity

Adult Swim, a block of adult programming on the Cartoon Network that expects its 18-to-24-year-old audience to jump by 35 percent with the new ratings, is so excited about the change that it ran an ad telling viewers about it back in mid-October.

"It's going to validate what advertisers have always assumed, which is that college students are watching our programming," said Jeff Lucas, a senior vice president at Comedy Central. Lucas said that the network's own research showed that "South Park," "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" and "The Colbert Report" have a large student audience.

It's too early to know how much more advertisers will pay for shows that show larger audiences because of the decision to count student viewers. Network executives, of course, said they expected to be paid for the higher ratings. And if advertisers decide to spend more on shows that are popular with students, television networks may decide to dedicate more of their programming to the young audience.

The student surveys are the first of two major changes in the way U.S. viewing habits are rated. In May, Nielsen will start releasing figures on the number of people who actually watch commercials, separating them from viewers who walk away or switch channels when the ads come on. The potential impact of ad ratings on network revenue has not been calculated.

Nielsen's move into university campuses is its first step in an ambitious plan to track television viewing wherever and whenever it takes place. Long focused only on viewing of home television sets, Nielsen is building portable meters to track when people are watching, and what, in bars, restaurants, gyms, stores and other places outside the home. And within two to three years, Nielsen plans to merge data from its online unit with its television unit to calculate total viewing on all media.

"The holy grail here is how to measure consumers as they go from TV to iPod to cellphone and back," said Alan Wurtzel, president of research for NBC Universal.

But the first step — measuring students' viewing of television — comes with its own pitfalls. Students watch a significant amount of television, spending three and a half hours a day tuned in on average, though that's about an hour less than the average for the overall population, according to Nielsen. And students are not watching only television. They are among the most likely consumers to be browsing the Internet, watching streaming video, text messaging on their cellphones and playing video games — sometimes all at once.

"College students have the television on in the background at the same time they undoubtedly have their computers on," said Matt Britton, chief of brand development for Mr. Youth, a marketing firm based in New York. "They're online — searching Facebook, doing research, shopping."

Their media habits make them targets for marketers, but the question of just how attentive they are while watching television may give advertisers pause.

"The people meter just measures if the set is on and what they're watching. But are they doing their homework, are they talking to friends; what else are they doing while the ad is showing?" said Brad Adgate, senior vice president for research at Horizon Media, an ad- buying agency.

Still, Adgate said, advertisers may increase their payments to networks with large student audiences because of the perceived lifetime value of that market. "If you can get them using your product at age 20, they could be using it for the next 60 years," he said.

Until now, the 18-to-24-year-olds counted by Nielsen were mainly those who did not attend school or attended part time or still lived at home. During holidays and summer breaks, of course, many students are home and have been counted by Nielsen at those times on their parents' set-top boxes. There are 10,000 households with Nielsen boxes tracking their viewing, and from those households, Nielsen extrapolates national viewing estimates.

Evidence Two - Both Viacom Shows Have Increased Ratings Turing YouTube

Less Snooze, More News

Viewers Turn Away From Leno and Letterman in Favor of News, Fake and Real

TV hosts Stephen Colbert, left, and Jon Stewart, winner of the award for Outstanding Directing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Program for "The Daily Show," attend the Comedy Central Emmy party, Aug. 27, 2006, in Hollywood, Calif. (Bryan


Dec. 6, 2006 — When Stephen Colbert was a guest on "Late Night with David Letterman" in October, he tweaked the show's host.

"We're on right now, we're opposite you right now," said Colbert, whose "Colbert Report" on Comedy Central airs at the same time as Letterman's show. "I'm actually telling my audience to watch me on this show."

Letterman responded, "I appreciate it. [We'll] take all the help we can get."

Maybe the longtime late-night host, who just signed a $35 million-a-year deal to stay on the air until 2010, was reading the tea leaves when it comes to his own ratings.

Letterman's audience, along with that of rival "Tonight Show with Jay Leno," has declined, as the Nielsen ratings for both shows slipped 6 percent compared with a year ago, according to Media Life trade magazine.

And Colbert has every reason to feel generous about his audience. The number of households watching "The Colbert Report" and John Stewart's "Daily Show," the news block of Comedy Central's late-night lineup, have increased almost 7 percent compared with a year ago, according to Nielsen.

And it's not just fake news that's attracting viewers. "Nightline," which is devoted to serious reportage, also added viewers, as ratings grew 4 percent compared with last year.

Overall, the audiences for the late-night legends still dwarf the news programs. At 4.4 million, Leno attracts almost four times as many viewers as Stewart.

But expect the current trends to continue. "You have a new generation of viewers looking for alternatives," says Marc Berman, senior editor at MediaWeek.

"Leno's been on for over a decade, and people are getting to a point where they're tired. It will continue to decline. The erosion for Leno and Letterman will continue since their audience is aging."

Current events are also driving more viewers to tune in to news, both fake and real. "It's an election year, and the war in Iraq is dominating headlines, so it's natural that you have people tuning in to news," says Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

Droughns ready to fit in

Droughns Ready to Fit in With Giants-See my comment below
AP Sports Writer

NEWARK, N.J. -- The New York Giants plan to replace the retired Tiki Barber with two running backs.

At least that's what they have told newcomer Reuben Droughns, who was acquired last week in a trade with Cleveland for receiver Tim Carter.

"They said it's definitely going to be a 1-2 punch," Droughns said in a conference call on Monday, shortly after he passed a physical and officially joined the Giants, where he will pair up with Brandon Jacobs.

"Brandon and me will be kind of a pound-it-out running style, so we'll try to wear down the defenses and work together," Droughns said.

The two Super Bowl teams both alternated halfbacks last season. Indianapolis used Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai, while Chicago used Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson.

With Jacobs and Droughns, coach Tom Coughlin is going to have a pair of big bodies to run behind fullback Jim Finn. Droughns is 5-foot-11 and 220, small compared to Jacobs, 6-4 and 264.

The two met for the first time on Monday and Droughns, who rushed for more than 1,200 yards in both 2004 and 2005 and 750 last season, was impressed.

"Oh, yeah. He's a big young fella," the seven-year veteran said.

Droughns took the blame for his drop in production last season, but he noted that the Browns' offensive line was ravaged by injuries. Coming to the Giants, he said was a fresh start.

It's so new, it was obvious that he did not want to create waves with Jacobs, the third-year running back who rushed 96 times for 423 yards (4.4 yard average) and nine touchdowns.

"It's not my job," Droughns said when asked if he considered the starting halfback job open. "It's Brandon's, because he was the guy who's here. Brandon's next in line. It's his job to lose, but I'm sure he doesn't want to lose it. It's going to be a good competition in training camp."

There wasn't going to be a competition for the Browns' starting job this season. Droughns realized that last week after former Baltimore Raven Jamal Lewis to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with the Browns.

"I knew my role was slimming down," Droughns said. "Our union had basically fallen apart. They were either going to release me or trade me."

That's just the kind of Rushing game the Giants want to run. It's the same kind of game they had in 2000 with Tiki and Ron Dayne(thunder and lightning) except i don't know if Ruben is "Lightning" fast. But he's surely smaller then Jacobs!

Emmitt Smith Hired By ESPN

Emmitt Smith to Join ESPN As Analyst-My comment below end of story..
By Associated Press

BRISTOL, Conn. -- Former Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith has been hired by ESPN as a studio analyst for its NFL pregame coverage.

Smith, the National Football League's all-time leading rusher, will appear on the network's NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown shows. He will also appear as an analyst on ESPN Radio and ESPN.com, the network announced Monday.

"I am looking forward to sharing my knowledge and insight of football with the fans of the NFL," Smith said in a statement released by the network. "I am excited to be joining the ESPN family, particularly the highly respected Countdown crews."

Smith will join Chris Berman, analysts Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Ron Jaworski, and reporter Chris Mortensen on NFL countdown. He, Berman, Jackson, Mortensen and analyst Steve Young will do the Monday Night Countdown show each week from the site of the Monday Night Football game.

This could be one of the smartest moves ESPN could make regarding their Football coverage. Emmitt's personality is so much different then his predecessor and former teammate. Irvin was at times, to argumentative with his elders, and i'm sorry, as skilled as Irvin was on the field, he was not always well spoken off it, he also clashed with the styles of Ditka and Tom Jackson. Smith Knows how to play nice......

Senator Hillary Clinton Thinks She's JFK! - Trying To Steal Barack Obama's Style Not Likely To Work

I just saw this article in the New York Post where Senator and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's comparing herself to John F. Kennedy, apparently hoping to both fire up her supporters and take some of the "Kennedy" tag off Senator Barack Obama.

Well, one thing I've learn is to let others call you JFK and not yourself. Remember Dan Quale? Recall the debate with the now Late Senator Lloyd Bentson, where he says to Quale, "I knew John F. Kennedy, and you're no JFK!"

Seems Hillary just set herself up for the punchline.

CAA Taking A Bath On Sports Division? - Buying Matt Leinart, Tom Condon, and IMG

Someone -- perhaps Leigh Steinberg -- is reading this with glee. But if Hollywood Reporter Nikki Finke's any indication,
Creative Artists Agency , the super-firm of talent agents started by Ron Meyer and Mike Ovitz in 1975, and recently the epicenter of Hollywood's move into athletic talent mining starting with players like Arizona Cardinals QB Matt Leinart, may be losing money in its sports division.

To understand, read this post from Nikki's blog:

If CAA agents this week are looking inconsolable, it's because they now have to give up flying first class. (Those conversations you're trying to overhear at lunch in Century City are the CAA tenpercenters kvetching about it.) So what happened? My sources tell me that CAA called a big all-agents meeting and read the riot act to its spendthrift tenpercenters. To cut expenses by a whopping 20%. To start flying just business class instead of first class. And to take to heart this warning: If you want to get paid, then get your clients jobs.

I hear the motion picture agents are the most upset about the new edicts because they live the high life more and so got hit harder. Look, I've been saying this for a while now: CAA can't keep spending like drunken sailors without having cash flow issues: buying a bevy of agents from other shops and wooing clients by the hundreds, and moving into swank new headquarters while still paying rent back at the I.M. Pei building, and starting a money pit of a sports division where most of the endorsement deal money will be heading back to IMG for years, etc. Now CAA is having the same woes every other agency in town has been having: for instance, William Morris last year asked its departments to slash spending by 20%. What's next? Richard Lovett on Avenue Of The Stars with a metal detector looking for loose change and lost jewelry?

If it's true that CAA's gotten into a deal where it's giving most of its' cash from sponsorship deals back to IMG, then it's officially taking a bath in its sports division. Everyone in the sports business knows its the sponsorship deals that drive the industry, and this is especially true for NFL agents, which are limited to 3 percent takes of an athlete's contract.

By contrast, CAA comes from the world of the 20 percent deal, where they can get as much as that for an actor or actress. So they're giving up 17 percent of a deal, plus a big chunk of endorsement money? Wow. All that plus the fact that CAA and the other Hollywood agencies aren't savvy enough in new media to promote their talents to such an extent they make up for this. One firm I will not name has an extensive website, but you can't find it on Google! (They need to use SBS-ON!)

At first, I thought CAA's foray into sports would restructure the industry and cause a shakeout of some of the small-time -- at least in behavior -- agents. But given the appearance of their business model, I remain skeptical. It's now logical to me why IMG would give up its NFL operation to CAA without the appearance of a fight; they're getting paid! Moreover, it seems everyone, from Leigh Steinberg to Matt Leinart's trainer Steve Clarkson of Air 7 (which has a better website now), to IMG, and Tom Condon (who was lured from IMG to CAA) has been paid by CAA just so it could leap -- head first -- into the sports business without a battle.

In other words, CAA really did create a money pit!

Let's give it five years, and then review. Unless CAA starts making a ton of sports movies with Matt Leinart and Paris Hilton as the stars, they may see the NFL and sports as a waste of money. It's not, really. It's just that they don't really understand what they've gotten themselves into.

Presidential Candidate Rudy Giuliani's Abortion Flip-Flop

Presidential Candidate Rudy Giuliani's Abortion Flip-Flop -- all in caps -- is all over YouTube. There are two video clips that show the former New York Mayor and 9-11 hero making statements both for and against abortion. In the first one, he's running for mayor of New York City and said that he favored public funding for abortions for poor people -- an admirable stance.

Now, he states that he's against abotion. But what's more unfortunate is he stated that he never ran in support of abortion. Check them out here:

Rudy for abortion...

Rudy against abortion...

A person's entitled to change their mind, but he should be up front about why he did so.