Perspectives

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From category archives: Blog

All things sports from PGA to Super Bowl

TV Sportscasts: Barrier to Viewing or Reason to Keep Watching?

TV Sportscasts: Barrier to Viewing or Reason to Keep Watching?

Sportscasts inside local TV newscast face an uncertain future. As is the case with Weather & News, Sports consumption in the digital space has a direct impact on why/if viewers want information in a TV newscast. It has to pass the same Immediacy/Impact test as the rest of the content.

Unique to sports versus weather or news is the audience composition. Pretty much everybody watching a local TV newscast is inclined to be interested in News & Weather content but with traditional sports….the audience composition is much different.

Every viewer in all local television markets can generally be put into one of the following three groups as it relates to their interest in sports:

1. Sports Fanatics
- Crazy about sports
- Consume a lot of sports scores/news online
- Active on Social Media

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Super Bowl 2017 Coverage Strategies for Non-Game Carrying Stations

Super Bowl 2017 Coverage Strategies for Non-Game Carrying Stations

If you don’t have the Super Bowl, what options do you have against such a ratings juggernaut?  You can attack the day by being fully aware of the opportunities that the game gives any content creator.

Ignore or Attack
Your team can decide if you are simply going to ignore this planned breaking news event that is of such a magnitude, it changes the spending patterns and the waistlines of many of your viewers, or you can decide how to be part of the coverage and conversations and attack across all screens.  There are three phases that your team can compete around.  

Obviously, if your team is in the Super Bowl your planning will operate on a magnitude not spoken to in this document.  For ideas on how to cover your local NFL team if you are not carrying the game, speak to your SmithGeiger consultant. 

Before The Game
The lead up to the game is a weeklong plus set of breaking news stories.  You can use them to enhance the reputation of your station for owning breaking news and for your sports talent being the leading sports voices in your region.  You can also position yourself as the local breaking news leader in general and in particular with weather should that be a factor in your area in the hours leading up to the game.   If there is any weather in the region, be aware of the opportunities to do a live news cut in on air and on social/digital since the station carrying the pre-game will be reluctant to break in all day due to the advertising dollars that could be lost.  Attack by staffing so that you can do extended local news cut-ins if local breaking news or weather merits it.

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Super Bowl 2017 Coverate Strategies for FOX Affiliates

Super Bowl 2017 Coverate Strategies for FOX Affiliates

For Fox stations, the Super Bowl is a rare opportunity to create an a multiple day broadcast event.  Instead of thinking of the game as a several hours of programming from Fox on their air, leading Fox stations take the opportunity to create an experience that demands viewers watch and participate in the days leading up to and during the game an event that feels very much like the station is presenting the Super Bowl.

Super Reach
Think of the game as a chance to have a Super Reach of your station on all platforms over the course of a week.  Having the digital and social team join the conversation now can make sure that they have an hour by hour and minute by minute schedule for the game on all platforms.  We can grow your ratings but also your reach on social media and the reach of your website and apps if they are fully integrated into the experience we are offering the viewers.

Super Engagement
We should never assume that people will watch the game.  If the season so far has demonstrated one concern, it is that even live NFL games increasingly have to compete against other media on other platforms.  To have full engagement with the broadcast and tune in by even the most casual fan, we need to speak to three phases of engagement that we would like to create:

Anticipation:  Content on all screens that builds up interest in the teams, the players, the coaches and the cities involved in the big game.

Participation:  Content that is built in advance but is flexible enough to be posted as the national anthem is sung, as the fly over occurs,  game begins, during key plays, big scores, half time, trending topics, and the game ending.

Congratulation:  Content that is ready to go for the winning team, coach, MVP and others who had success during this game.  Your station can be part of the happy feelings of those whose favorite team won the game.

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Digital Coverage Strategies For Football Season

Digital Coverage Strategies For Football Season

With football season here, it's time for your sports department to consider how it's providing coverage not just during sportscasts but also on digital and social media.

Consider this: Twitter will stream Thursday night NFL games on Periscope. Snapchat signed a content deal to show highlights from the Rio Olympics. Twitter will stream a weekly NBA pre-game show and another secondary show.

Sports fans expect content on social media. Your sports department is in an outstanding position to be a leader in your market to leverage content that provides unique insight, exclusive coverage, engaging pre-game, in-game and post-game experiences on both digital and social media.

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Olympic Strategy: Top 10 for NBC Stations

Olympic Strategy: Top 10 for NBC Stations

As an NBC station the Road to Rio will provide great opportunities with double digit ratings heading into your late newscast- even if it is getting displaced later than usual. Unlike the two most recent Olympics in Sochi and London many of these events will be live as Rio is just one hour ahead of EDT. The exposure your station will get in all day parts with different audiences means in addition to your loyalists plenty of roving loyalists and switchables will be in play.

Coming off the acrimony of the presidential campaign the Olympics can be a time to bring people together- a little patriotism can go a long way especially given that Rio (Aug 5-21) comes right after the GOP and Democratic conventions in July. Rio is also taking place as many communities start up the new school year too- offering a great platform to image your brand. Certainly a BIG, bold, patriotic feel in your promotions and social posts makes good sense to bolster your image in these fractured times. To help you capitalize on the event on all platforms here are 10 opportunities to consider:

1. Late newscasts- Stick with the key focus areas and make sure it is urgent and quick paced to help them forget about the close finish in the USA basketball game. Accentuating your commitment to NEW, NOW and NEXT is more important than your strategy of potentially including TSRs. Some nights that might include a highly produced cold open that hooks viewers to watch multiple stories and others you will want to jump right into the Big Story as quickly as possible.

2. AM News- The Olympics provides a gold mine for our morning news with enhanced sampling from people who may never see your mornings but left the station on NBC after the night before. Consider a separate look or area to present this information each morning to help set up my day to sample Olympics on every platform. Be my Olympics companion in the morning.

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Olympics Strategy: Top 10 for Non-NBC Stations

Olympics Strategy: Top 10 for Non-NBC Stations

It's the middle of summer. Vacation-season is in full swing. And now the Olympics are back - but not on my station. Time to raise the white flag? Absolutely not!

In fact, it's a great opportunity to make some headway on your NBC foe in the market, reminding consumers that you - as the news leader - will never compromise live coverage of breaking news and weather for the gold medal round of... handball (we actually like handball, but like disruptive weather better).

Our team at SmithGeiger has compiled a Top 10 list of tactical and strategic initiatives for non-NBC stations during the Summer Games:

  1. Own News When They Can't: the Games will pre-empt most 4pm, 10pm, and 11pm newscasts on NBC stations. (See the NBC Coverage Plan here). If there's breaking news or weather, go all-in during these newscasts. See bullets 4, 5, and 6 below for digital ideas on how to remind consumers a station in the market won't make you wait for news.
  2. Be Better Competitively: in the AM and Early Evening time periods, we'll still be head-to-head with the local NBC station, but while they're caught-up in long live shots, talk-backs, feature profiles, and highlights from Rio, let's hammer-home the news of the day. Be sure we're loaded with live reporters, breaking news, and a constant promise of weather coverage, especially in those A-blocks.
  3. Hold Our Morning Ground: we always hear notions of an "Olympics halo" that helps an NBC-station the next morning. Not true, at least not consistently during the 2014 Games. Make the AM newscast your priority during the Olympics, as it likely is every single day, and simply put: plan on winning with great, consistent coverage.

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Winning Super Bowl 50 On All Screens

Winning Super Bowl 50 On All Screens
Winning Super Bowl 50 On All Screens

“We are putting the full weight of the company behind everything surrounding the game” Les Moonves

With the Super Bowl returning to CBS, as Mr. Moonves indicated in the above quote, a full team effort is underway. Starting Monday February 1st, CBS has announced it will have around the clock coverage of the Super Bowl on all CBS platforms from on air radio and TV to cable and digital.

The Super Bowl can also be an important opportunity for CBS stations to grow their audiences during this same time period and beyond.

There are three ambitions that a concrete three screen Super Bowl plan can help a station achieve:

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March Madness: 16 Sweet Ideas

March Madness: 16 Sweet Ideas

When we think March Madness, we almost instantly envision filling-out a bracket sheet (or maybe 3). But the NCAA tournement also provides good sampling opportunities for CBS and non-CBS stations alike. Here are 16 "Sweet" ideas to consider...

1. Stream: if you're a CBS station locked into covering a hoops game, and breaking news or weather strikes (but doesn't quite meet the threshold of cutting-in to the tourney), have a quick-turn plan in place to go live on the website and mobile device.

2. Push: use mobile push notifications to alert people to any streaming news or weather coverage you might be providing during games

3. Non-CBS Advantage: knowing your competition is "stuck" in a game, don't hesitate to go all-in on breaking or weather coverage

4. Men: yep, more of them will be flowing in and out of your CBS station sample during the tournement; don't over-produce for them, but certainly push pace, highly-visual stories, etc.


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Super, Even Without the Super Bowl

The teams are ready. Patriots vs. Seahawks in an east vs. west coast contest. The Super Bowl has a gravitational field unequaled in TV. It pulls in people who usually do not watch local TV and even draws in those who have no interest in sports. You can choose to ignore the Super Bowl if it is not on your air, even take the night out of the book…or you can see if some of that massive audience can be brought to your station during this important sweeps period.

BIG AUDIENCE WATCHING TV

Since many people will have their TV on for many hours, a strong TV station will explore how can their team can get a share of that massive audience to leave the NBC station and come to their station. The audience may be exposed to NBC promos but still seek out their favorite TV newscast team if given a reason to.

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Super Bowl Three-Screen Checklist - NBC Stations

Super Bowl Three-Screen Checklist - NBC Stations
NBC stations this year can realize the potential of the Super Bowl as a multiple day event that will take place on all screens. There are limits on the ways a station can use the logo of the NFL, Super Bowl and the teams but that doesn’t mean an aggressive NBC station can’t turn a game into a five day win for the station starting on the Thursday before the game begins. This three-screen checklist can remind us of the stories we can tell across multiple platforms with the goal of raising the station’s reputation for big story ownership, connecting with hard-to-reach men, giving a push to a station priority (using the biggest audience of the year), and the chance to bring people to our newscasts each day including the Monday after the big game.

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