Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Time Warner Cable New York slots Fox Business Network as CNBC, Bloomberg TV ramp up

Here is a case where distribution is key. Time Warner Cable in New York City is making changes to its line-up. Fox Business News Channel, a brand new entrant to the cable line-up, has found key positioning on the basic channel line-up, channel 44 for its service, channel 45 for Fox News. CNBC doesn't hurt in this deal, they are on channel 15 with MSNBC next door at channel 14.
And where is 109.

That must have been one heck of a negotiation to get such prime space when most new entrants are lucky today to get VOD, let alone digital carriage. And where are the channels that used to occupy that space ending up.

In this case, distribution is power.

Amazon's Unbox to Sell NBC Shows

As the relationship with Apple and iTunes quickly unravels, another begins, the Amazon unbox store. But what of the user. As the Apple iPod owns the vast majority of portable devices, this new relationship immediately drops all those potential users as well as those that own a mac. What is next in store for NBC to regain those users. As Hulu is not set to release till October, where does the user go to watch NBC shows on their mac and iPod devices. Perhaps that will be NBC's next announcement. As both a mac and iPod user, I am concerned. The one bright spot is the relationship of Amazon with Tivo to watch these shows.

What is missing from all this hoopla is that NBC was also using iTunes to promote its new Fall series with free downloads of its new shows. That marketing strategy appears to be missing from the Apple Unbox announcement. Building loyalty to new series seems key to the rebound of NBC in the ratings race. New shows need to find an audience and this strategy of free downloads helped to build the word of mouth and interest in becoming a regular viewer.