The TV ad market is on the mend after getting hit by a broader pandemic ad slowdown. But with Covid-19 cases on the rise, some networks are cautious about the coming quarters, even with a big boost from political ads this quarter. In recent days and weeks, media companies including ABC and ESPN parent Disney, Fox, AMC Networks, NBCUniversal parent Comcast, WarnerMedia parent AT&T, ViacomCBS, and Discovery reported earnings that showed the TV ad market warming up after hitting a pandemic-related trough in the second quarter. The record-breaking year for political advertising will give companies a boost in the fourth quarter, some companies warned that macroeconomic factors as the pandemic rages on could impact ad spend again. And it’s all happening as TV is enduring a long-term overall slowdown. – Advertisement – David ZaslavAnjali Sundaram | CNBC “In terms of commercial success, behind the firming advertising marketplace around the globe, we have posted healthy sequential improvement, again, in our advertising revenue growth, which, while still negative year-over-year, is showing demonstrable improvement around the world,” Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav said on its earnings call. “We have seen advertising partners resurface around the globe.”At Comcast, ad revenue increased 12% year-over-year because of political ad revenue, which was up 70% over what it generated during the 2016 election. But the company said core advertising, excluding political, was down 6.8% year-over-year. That’s still a “significant improvement” relative to last quarter. Fox Corp also saw advertising momentum, attributed to strong ratings at Fox News and political advertising. The company’s leadership said that in the quarter ended June 30, which is its fiscal fourth quarter, its local stations were experiencing a year-over-year decrease of about 40% in its base ad market (that is, minus political ads and other non-recurring events). CEO Lachlan Murdoch said on Fox’s call that the equivalent drop in the quarter ended Sept. 30 was only 20%. “Including the benefit of political and station acquisitions, we are now pacing ahead of the same time last year. Looking at it slightly differently, at the beginning of Covid our stations were pacing down nearly 50% compared to the prior year. Today, they are pacing ahead.”ViacomCBS said its advertising revenue also improved dramatically, declining only 6% from a year ago, versus the 27% decline it saw in the second quarter.“We’ve also seen certain COVID impacted industries like auto and retail gradually return, which reflects improvement in the economy and the significant value our portfolio brings to advertisers to drive their own business recovery,” ViacomCBS’ president and CEO Bob Bakish said on its earnings call. “Overall, we’re encouraged by what we’re seeing and big picture advertising is certainly moving in the right direction.” Disney said for its broadcasting unit, ad revenue was comparable year-over-year as lower average network viewership was offset by the benefit of an additional week in the current quarter, higher network rates, and an increase in political advertising at its owned TV stations.Uncertain times ahead after political ad boomDiscovery noted visibility is low following the U.S. election, which helped business in the third quarter, and because of rising Covid cases. The company said its U.S. advertising was flat in October year-over-year, while international advertising was down slightly. “This may not be a trend we would necessarily extrapolate, however, for the full quarter, given, number one, some tailwinds from political advertising in the U.S. in October; and number two, risks from rising Covid case numbers globally and beginning government countermeasures, especially in Europe, which pose risks at the back end of the current quarter,” Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels said on its call. “That said, we are confident to see sequential improvement in the fourth quarter versus Q3 again.” At AT&T, CEO John Stankey said the sports calendar ahead still has a lot of questions. “Clearly, we’ve seen the leagues demonstrate that they can, in fact, put games on, and they can carry them through. The timing of those and how many there are and exactly what transpires in ’21 and where it falls in the calendar is still a little bit uncertain,” he said on the company’s October call. “And until we have a little better visibility on that, it’s hard to, you know, give you exact views of what first, second, third, fourth quarter looks like next year.”ViacomCBS’ leadership said the return of a stable fall schedule at CBS, along with sports, a “successful” upfront and “hot political category” should help in the fourth quarter. AMC Networks said though the ad market is improving sequentially, results in the fourth quarter will be impacted by timing of its shows, including a delay in the airing of “The Walking Dead.” It said its year-over-year decrease in the fourth quarter ad revenue should be in-line with the third quarter.Content production is ramping upMedia companies largely said they had ramped up production again, after pandemic-related restrictions caused severe disruptions earlier this year. Discovery said its content production was nearly back to normal, with only 10% of the company’s production still paused mostly because of travel and local restrictions. Over at AT&T, Stankey said the company had 180 productions underway in February before the pandemic started. As of October, he said the company had about 130 productions up and running. Meanwhile at Viacom, the company said it estimates production levels are at about 95% of last year’s levels at Viacom Media Network, while CBS “essentially has all of the full network series currently in production” and Showtime is producing “almost all” of its series. At AMC Networks, executives said the company is resuming production activity on a number of its shows, including “The Walking Dead” at its studio in Georgia, “Fear the Walking Dead” in Texas, and a new series called “Kevin Can F*** Himself” in Boston. Fox said all of its Fox Entertainment returning shows are back in production, with scheduled return dates in early January.Disney CEO Bob Chapek said although many of its production teams needed to shut down because of Covid in the beginning of March, its animation teams were able to work remotely and continue production “uninterrupted during the pandemic.” He said on the TV side the company has more than 100 live-action scripted and unscripted projects in active production, with dozens more in other stages of pre- or post-production. Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC. – Advertisement – – Advertisement – Here are some of the big-picture trends the networks shared in their earnings: Better than when the pandemic startedTV advertising last quarter showed the market is in a better place than the earlier days of the pandemic.At Discovery, third-quarter ad revenue still declined 7.7% from the previous year, but that was an improvement from the 14% decline in the second quarter.- Advertisement –
The CPL point standings: Trinbago Knight Riders Jamaica Tallawahs6420008-0.17 Guyana Amazon Warriors8350006-0.064 St Lucia Stars8070011-1.799 871000141.372 … Guptill returns home, Ronchi called upFOLLOWING a much-needed day off on Wednesday after their four home games of the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 tournament ended on Tuesday evening, an upbeat Guyana Amazon Warriors unit resumed training yesterday at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.The Warriors, with two key round-robin encounters remaining, has for the first time in CPL history found themselves in such a complicated position, and theirMartin Guptillgames against Barbados Tridents on Tuesday (August 29), and Jamaica Tallawhas on Friday (September 1), are must-win games if they stand a chance of qualifying for the playoffs.A loss for Warriors on Tuesday will make the final league match merely an academic affair.The Warriors have blown hot and cold throughout the tournament, and haven’t looked sharp, at least for the first six games. They however, rebounded nicely, winning their last two encounters at home by commanding margins. The two hammerings – one against Tridents on Sunday evening, and the other against St Lucia Stars on Tuesday evening – boosted the Warriors’ morale, heading into their final two games. However, with the playoffs on the line, the Warriors must be at their best in all three departments of the game, since playing their oppositions in their own backyard would not be an easy task.The Warriors’ batting was a huge let-down for the first six games, but judging from their last two performances, the batting seems to be hitting peak form at the right time.The options they have in the bowling department are their greatest strength so once the batting can complement that top-class bowling department then positive results are predictable in the remaining two games. Trinbago Knight Riders and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots have already confirmed for the playoffs, which means the battle for the other two places will come from the Warriors, Tridents and the Tallawahs. Both the Tridents and the Tallawahs have four remaining games. Meanwhile, the Guyana Amazon Warriors have replaced their captain and opening batsman, Martin Guptill, with fellow New Zealander wicketkeeper/batsman Luke Ronchi for the remainder of the tournament.Unfortunately Guptill has to return to New Zealand because of an important family health matter and as such the Warriors team will be without their appointed captain for the rest of the 2017 Hero CPL.Ronchi has just completed his stint in the NatWest T20 Blast in England where he played with Leicestershire and is currently one of the top tenLuke Ronchiscorers in the League with 429 runs at a strike rate of 180.25.Omar Khan, Operations Manager of the Guyana Amazon Warriors, said: “It’s unfortunate and hugely disappointing to lose Martin at this stage of the tournament, but we empathise with his situation and he has our full support as he returns home to his family. We welcome Luke to the Guyana Amazon Warriors family and his wealth of experience and explosive batting in this format will certainly be an asset to our team.”Guptill scored 142 runs from seven innings and was in his fourth year with the Guyana Amazon Warriors. TEAMMPMWMLMTMDN/RPTNRR Barbados Tridents6240004-0.125 St Kitts and Nevis Patriots852001110.74
The “A” national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina will play a semi-final EURO 2020 play-off match with Northern Ireland at the Bilino Polje Stadium in Zenica on 26th March at 20:45 h.The FF BH timely began organizational preparations for the play-off matches that included a sales plan and a ticket distribution.The individual ticket prices are: “West” 30 BAM, “East” 20 BAM, “North” and “South” 10 BAM, and the sale will be conducted in accordance with the relevant and prescribed standards of FIFA and UEFA as follows:Ticket sales at the offices of the authorized partner agency “Centrotrans”According to the established rules, in order to enable as many of our fans as possible to watch the upcoming matches and prevent any ticket manipulation in advance, the FF BH has established the principles that will be applied when selling tickets, as following:One person can buy 2 (two) tickets for the match, with the presentation of an identification document (ID);Tickets for minors and people without an ID will not be allowed;A person already identified as a ticket buyer at the same or another point of sale will not be allowed to re-purchase the tickets;Tickets will be on sale at the “Centrotrans” points of sale, you can download the list of points of sale HERE;The FF BH will have the ability to electronically monitor ticket sales to take necessary action in disputed cases.The FF BH has made the purchase of tickets available to all its loyal fans in the offices of the authorized partner agency “Centrotrans”.Ticket sales for the semi-final play-off match against Northern Ireland will begin on WEDNESDAY, 11.03.2020 at 09:00 h.Sale of pre-booked tickets for the needs of the following categories: “A” national team players, “A” national team technical staff, organized and registered fan groups, technical staffs of all other national teams, cantonal and regional federations through entity federations, clubs of the “BH Telecom” Premier League of B&H, members of the organs and bodies of the FF BH, deserving football workers and former BH national team players, sponsors and partners of the FF BH, state and entity level bodies and institutions, employees of the FF BH, will be made through direct sale at the reception of the FF BH office building (Bulevar Meše Selimovica Street, No. 95) since 11.03.2020 from 11:00 to 15:00 h.Special note:We ask our loyal fans, supporters and friends of the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina to strictly adhere to the instructions for using the designated entrance to the stand, row and number of the seat in a specific sector when entering the stadium. The locations are indicated on the ticket, and it is necessary to respect that.The FF BH has, in accordance with current FIFA/UEFA standards, installed new electronic turnstiles with ticket readers at the entrances of the Bilino Polje Stadium in Zenica, and any failure to comply with these instructions could cause unnecessary crowds and additional procedures when entering a certain stand.In case of qualification of the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the finals of the play-offs, ticket sales for that match will start the day after the semi-final match, that is on FRIDAY, 27.03.2020 starting at 09:00 h.