New HDTV For 2011 Super Bowl: Now Is The Time
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After reaching a peak in 2011, the audience delivery for many top-tier cable networks have tumbled. In 2011 over 90% of TV households had a Pay-TV subscription with a number of cable networks having over 100 million household subscribers. At that time many top-tier cable networks were televising original programs attracting millions of viewers each night. As a result, in 2011, there were 19 cable networks that averaged over one million primetime viewers. Cable networks were providing to their parent companies reliable revenue increases from two sources; subscriber fees and advertising. Wall Street is now looking for revenue growth from streaming video.
Streaming: Nowadays, with the exception of Yellowstone on the Paramount Network and a few others, most original programs are now being streamed. According to Ampere Analytics, programming investment for OTT reached nearly $50 billion in 2021 with continued growth anticipated. Among the streaming providers that have ramped up their programming budget in 2021 were Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock and Paramount+, the parent companies of these streaming providers also own a number of cable networks. In addition, besides investing in content, media companies are more likely to promote their streaming services and their programs rather than cable. Not surprisingly, many top-tier cable networks have reported double-digit declines in primetime audience delivery since 2011. As a result, in 2021 the number of cable networks averaging over one million viewers in primetime dropped to nine, with three of them news channels.
In 2011, ABC Family Channel (now Freeform) programming, had been anchored by Pretty Little Liars and averaged 1.46 million primetime viewers. The audience delivery has since dropped by 71% and averaged 423,000 viewers in 2021.
Comcast: For years USA Network was the top-rated cable network on television with a number of popular scripted original series. In June 2011, USA debuted Suits, with Meghan Markle to join Royal Pains, Psych, Burn Notice, Covert Affairs among several other original scripted dramas. With such a strong programming lineup, USA averaged 3.17 million primetime viewers in 2011. Fast forward ten years and the average audience delivery of USA in 2021 totaled 848,000 viewers, a decline of 73%. With NBCSN shelved, USA Network will be adding more live sports to its network including the Olympics, English Premier League, NASCAR and the newly relaunched USFL. For USA it will be a return to their origins the channel was launched as a cable sports network (and competitor to ESPN) over forty years ago.
ViacomCBS: In 2011, MTV was benefiting from the popularity of Jersey Shore and Teen Mom had averaged 1.19 million primetime viewers in 2011. Over the past ten years the audience delivery tumbled by 66% and averaged 399,000 primetime viewers. Comedy Central, reported a similar falloff. In 2011 the network averaged 1.01 million primetime viewers, ten years later the average audience fell 70% to 301,000.
Discovery, Inc.: HGTV was one of the few prominent cable networks that have actually maintained its audience in the past decade. In 2011 HGTV averaged 1.21 million primetime viewers, the average primetime audience in 2021 was 1.24 million (+3%). Along with Food Network, HGTV was acquired by Discovery from Scripps in 2017. Ten years ago, Food Network averaged 1.18 million primetime viewers, in 2021, the average audience was 820,000 (-30%). In 2011, The Discovery Channel averaged 1.29 million primetime viewers and dropped 29% to 906,000 in 2021. Also, since 2011, TLC has emerged as a top-tier cable network audience averaging 1.03 million primetime viewers in 2021, an increase from 2011.
A + E Networks: In 2011 The History Channel averaged 1.98 million primetime viewers with such unscripted shows as Pawn Stars and American Pickers. Ten years later the average audience dropped by 53% to average 925,000 viewers. Sister network A&E had an even sharper decline. In 2011, A&E averaged 1.56 million viewers, the figure dropped to 560,000 (-64%) ten years later.
News: Cable news networks are one genre that has reported an increase in viewing. For example, in 2011, Fox News had averaged 1.88 million viewers in primetime. The news network has since become the top-rated cable network on television. In 2021, an off-year for political news there was a notable year-over-year decline of 34% in viewership. Nonetheless, in 2021, Fox News still averaged 2.39 million primetime viewers, an increase of 27% from 2011.
Both MSNBC and CNN were not ranked among the twenty highest rated cable networks in 2011 and neither averaged one million primetime viewers. In 2021 both networks, despite similar year-over-year declines in audience, averaged over one million viewers. MSNBC ranked third (behind Fox News and ESPN) with 1.54 million primetime viewers and CNN averaging 1.11 million primetime viewers ranked sixth.
The Super Bowl has become much more than a sporting event and the culmination of the NFL season. It's become a cultural phenomenon, a pop culture bellwether that more than 111 million Americans watched in 2011[source: Klayman]. That's more than one third of all the people living in the U.S. at the time. If you have a message you want to get across to America, there's no bigger stage. Run your commercial during the big game and you'll access not only all the sets of eyes watching, but all the Monday morning water cooler (or YouTube) talk that a creative ad can generate. Ask a non-football fan how they'll be spending Super Bowl Sunday and you're likely to hear, "I'll be watching it for the commercials."
How did this happen? How did commercials, relegated 364 days of the year to mere irritants, excuses to head for the kitchen and make a snack or fast-forward the DVR, transform into must-see-TV? That's what we're going to explore in this article. In 1967, the first Super Bowl commercials cost $40,000 for a 30-second spot. That's about $261,000 when adjusted for inflation [source: Baumer]. 2011's ads cost roughly $3 million each -- and that's just the cost of the ad time itself. Add in the cost of the advertising agency and the production cost of filming the commercial, plus the overall advertising campaign (which might include magazine ads, billboards, or other commercials run before or after the Super Bowl), and you're looking at one very expensive message.
However, that average price isn't what everyone pays for their 30 seconds in the spotlight. Ads in the fourth quarter of the game tend to be less expensive than those in the first quarter. Anheuser-Busch likely pays less due to a volume discount -- after all, they buy as many as 10 commercials in a single Super Bowl. Sometimes, Super Bowl ads are tied into other advertising purchases with the network, which may bring a discount as well. Finally, not all commercials are 30 seconds long. A lot of the most famous ones are a full minute or more. In 2011, Chrysler ran a two-minute ad about the resurgence of the Detroit auto industry, featuring the music of rapper Eminem. It was the longest Super Bowl commercial ever run, and required special permission from the NFL, because it exceeded the usual 1:30 time allotted for a commercial break [source: Steinberg].
The legendary musician David Crosby has died at the age of 81. In 2011 Crosby came into our studio with longtime collaborator Graham Nash shortly after they performed at Occupy Wall Street in New York. 2b1af7f3a8