NBCU Launches Linear Programmatic Sales

NBCU Launches Linear Programmatic Sales

NBCUniversal said it is adding linear broadcast and cable inventory to its programmatic ad sales offering.

Beginning this fall advertisers will be able to use data to plan and buy media plans targeting specific audiences via automated systems. The expanded NBCUx will be a part of NBCU’s upfront sales.

NBCU will make its inventory and pricing information available to select advertisers via certain demand-side platforms. Over the past two years, NBCU has made programmatic buying available to advertising clients for digital video and display inventory.

“Our goal is to give our advertisers as many ways to access the high-value target audiences they want to reach within our premium content,” said Dan Lovinger, executive VP entertainment advertising sales group, NBCUniversal. “Our NBCUx digital programmatic offering was a key component to our clients’ success last year and we expect that by adding premium TV inventory to the mix, it will greatly enhance their efforts. The launch of NBCUx for linear TV is another example of our commitment to innovation on behalf of our clients.”

Read more at broadcastingcable.com.

AMC Orders ‘Geeking Out’ Late Night Talk Show


AMC will add a late night talk show starring Kevin Smith to its original programming portfolio.

The series, Geeking Out, will be hosted by Smith (Comic Book Men) and Greg Grunberg (Heroes), and will take a timely look at pop culture through a “fanboy” lens, said network officials.

The eight-episode series, which is projected to launch in July around Comic-Con International: San Diego, will be produced by Matador Content and The Weinstein Company in association with Bandwagon Media.

“Kevin and Greg are both true fans of this content, and share a deep passion for talking about it, and engaging other fans about it. But it is their natural chemistry as hosts that really brings this idea together,” said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and SundanceTV. “As part of our growing non-fiction slate, we wanted to create a broadly entertaining venue for hardcore fans and general viewers where we can break down all things fanboy on a weekly basis; and we wanted to bring those fans great interviews and exclusive looks into the world of fanboy culture. We look forward to sharing this highly entertaining duo with our viewers.”

History To Launch ‘Roots’ On Memorial Day

History To Launch ‘Roots’ On Memorial Day

History will premiere its reboot of the classic 1970’s miniseries Roots this Memorial Day.

The four-night, eight-hour series will debut May 30 on History, A&E and Lifetime, said the network. The series, a remake of the 1970’s ABC miniseries Roots based on Alex Haley’s best selling novel about the journey of an African-American family through slavery, is executive produced by Will Packer, Marc Toberoff, Mark Wolper, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal and Barry Jossen.

Original Roots star LeVar Burton and Korin D. Huggins will serve as co-executive producers.

“Roots will allow new audiences to experience this epic family saga with a new vision that is both inspiring and tremendously entertaining,” said Paul Buccieri, President of A&E and History. “We are proud that History will be able to bring new life to this powerful story that remains as important today as it did when the original ‘Roots’ first premiered.”

Roots is the latest History miniseries to launch during the Memorial Day holiday. Most notable was the 2012 premiere of Hatfields & McCoys, which averaged a cable record 13 million viewers over three nights.

The Roots cast includes Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin Laurence Fishburne Jonathan Rhys Meyers Anika Noni Rose and Tip “T.I.” Harris.

Google Building Next-Gen VR Headsets: Report

Google Building Next-Gen VR Headsets: ReportMore than 5 million Google Cardboard viewers have been shipped

Apparently happy with the consumer response to its inexpensive Cardboard virtual reality viewer and pursuing the next leg in its VR strategy, Google is reportedly pushing ahead with a next-gen, self-contained VR headset that won’t require users to pair it to a smartphone, game console, or a high-octane PC.

Google, which recently tapped company vet Clay Bavor to head up its VR team, is also preparing to release a more advanced version of its entry-level Cardboard viewer later this year that will be made of plastic, but will still need to be paired to a smartphone, according to The Wall Street Journal. That offering, The Financial Times reported earlier, will be similar to the Oculus-powered Samsung Gear VR headset, which is compatible with certain Samsung smartphone models (here’s our review of that platform).

But Google’s purported plans for a self-contained offering would seemingly take aim at high-end VR platforms such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, which will be required to be linked to powerful PCs. An Oculus Rift bundle is available for preorder starting at $599 and will start shipping in the spring; preorders for the HTC Vive are expected to begin on February 29. Sony, meanwhile, is expected to launch the PlayStation VR, a headset that will work in tandem with the popular PlayStation 4 gaming console, later this year.

Google hasn’t announced plans for what’s coming after Cardboard. Word of those plans could come at its I/O developer’s conference in May. The WSJ said the timing of the release of Google’s new self-contained VR headset isn’t clear, but that Google could use I/O to unveil its more advanced smartphone-based VR viewer.

Speaking on the company’s earnings call earlier this month, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said Cardboard “is just the first step,” in its VR strategy, noting that more than 5 million of the inexpensive viewers had been shipped so far.

Showtime Gives Dice Clay Series April 10 Premiere

Showtime Gives Dice Clay Series April 10 Premiere

Dice, the Showtime series starring Andrew Dice Clay, debuts April 10 at 9:30 p.m., the network said.

The scripted, semi-autobiographical show follows the life of the comedian, “chronicling the stops and starts of his career resurgence in his transplanted home base of Las Vegas,” according to Showtime.

The series also stars Kevin Corrigan, with Lorraine Bracco, Wayne Newton and Adrien Brody among the guest stars.

Dice is produced by Fox 21 Television Studios and created by Scot Armstrong (Old School, The Hangover Part II).

Read more at broadcastingcable.com.

Hulu Acquires Streaming Rights To Syfy’s ’12 Monkeys’

Hulu Acquires Streaming Rights To Syfy's '12 Monkeys'

Hulu will stream episodes of Syfy series 12 Monkeys and Battlestar Galactica as part of a wide-ranging deal with Syfy parent NBCUniversal.

The OTT streaming service will offer the freshman season of 12 Monkeys in its entirety beginning Feb. 24, according to network officials. The time-travel series will launch its second season April 18.

Also included in the deal is Syfy’s classic hit series Battlestar Galactica as well as 1980s comedy series Saved By The Bell. In addition, Hulu subscribers will have access to kids-targeted programs Bob the Builder, Thomas and Friends and Barney.

Sling TV Bundles Cinemax for $10/Month

Sling TV Bundles Cinemax for $10/MonthClive Owen stars as Dr. John Thackery in ‘The Knick’

Sling TV, Dish Network’s OTT-TV service for cord-cutters, is broadening its premium slate with the addition of Cinemax.

Sling TV subs can get a single stream of Cinemax for $10 per month, on top of the service’s core “Best of Live TV” package, which runs $20 per month. Sling TV’s Cinemax offering includes the network’s live linear feed, plus a library of more than 500 VOD titles, including originals such as The Knick, Banshee, Strike Back, as well as upcoming series such as Quarry and Outcast. Sling TV noted that its Cinemax VOD vault will offer the same titles that are available via Max Go, the premium programmer’s authenticated TV Everywhere app.

Sling TV is extending access to Cinemax about 10 months after it began to bundle in HBO, for an additional $15 per month. Sling TV also offers EPIX in its $5 per month Hollywood Extra add-on package.

“Sling TV is the first live standalone Internet TV service to deliver Cinemax to an audience of cord-cutters and cord-nevers,” said Roger Lynch, CEO of Sling TV, in a statement. “This announcement comes only days after we celebrated Sling TV’s one-year anniversary. Over the past year, we’ve established a history of industry firsts, and the addition of Cinemax is evidence of our intent to uphold this swift innovative pace.”