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Adweek : Television


Why Some Broadcast Shows Are Getting Smaller, Cable-Sized Season Orders

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:20:35 +0000

It was no surprise that NBC gave This Is Us a full-season pickup on Tuesday—after all, the series had the highest-rated 18-49 debut of any new series last week: a 2.8 rating, which soared to a 4.2 in live-plus-3 numbers. But what was a bit unexpected, however, was the length of that full-season order: 18 episodes, instead of the standard 22-episode season for broadcast shows. This Is Us' 18-episode order was music to the ears of its creator Dan Fogelman, who told Adweek that the 22-episode format isn't ideal for either that show or his other new fall drama, Fox's Pitch. "At the end of the day, it's NBC's and Fox's call, and you do as many as they want," said Fogelman. "But it's hard, and it's not just about the difficulty of executing it and executing it well, it's also the schedule and the timing. In these particular shows, you want the show to feel big, and have big moments and big reveals. But it's hard to create that many of them, and you don't want the show to feel disappointing." Fogelman is far from the only creator who feels that way. While sitcoms and procedurals are still routinely receiving 22-episode seasons (in some cases, even more episodes than that), increasingly, producers of serialized broadcast dramas are pushing for smaller-cable sized season orders, and their networks are happily complying. "I cannot tell you how much the world has changed in the last decade as far as that goes," said Gary Newman, Fox Television Studios co-CEO and co-chairman. "I think the root of it is, more and more for studios, the back-end is SVOD [services like Netflix and Amazon], not syndication. So you no longer need a certain number of episodes [to hit the threshold for syndication]. You want as many as possible, but you don't need them the way you used to." In a world where as many as 450 scripted series will air this year, "We're no longer competing with just the other broadcast networks. We're competing with OTT services and cable networks, and I think you have to be respectful of the consumers' time and interest," said Newman. That means realizing that "sometimes with these more intense, serialized shows, trying to maintain that intensity over 22 episodes—or as we discovered years ago with 24, 24 episodes—is very difficult," said Newman. "I think if we were to be honest about 24, as great as it was, you would see a lot of dipping, particularly in the middle of the season." 24's 12-episode limited series revival, 2014's 24: Live Another Day, "was a far more successful version. We were able to keep up the intensity throughout the 12 episodes," Newman added. That's one of the reasons why Fox's upcoming 24 reboot, 24: Legacy, which will launch Feb. 5 after the Super Bowl, will have a 12-episode first season, not 24 episodes. But in future seasons, "if our showrunners came back and said, 'we think we've got a story that sustains for more than 12 episodes,' we would do that." Ad buyers also agree that these days, quality is more important than quantity when it comes to broadcast season lengths. "Given the world we live in, it's just, find the best way to get people to engage, if that's six episodes, 10 or 20," said Maureen Bosetti, chief investment officer at Initiative. "I'd rather have 12 episodes of a really good show than 22 low-rated ones." No more "running in place" Even some broadcast comedies are starting to advocate for shorter seasons. NBC's new comedy The Good Place had a strong debut last week, but no matter how successful the rest of the season is, its order will remain capped at 13 episodes. That's due to the show's serialized structure, in which nearly every episode ends with a twist or cliffhanger. "The idea is so high concept that I felt, at a gut level, that's what it should be. Because it's so serialized, it's not a show that[...]

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Ad of the Day: South Park Drove These Mobile Billboards to Places They Weren't Wanted

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 15:26:03 +0000

We will never be able to forgive South Park—or thank it enough—for that one time it utterly decimated native advertising in a story arc. But to promote its 20th season, the show briefly took its gaze off current events and launched its own version of a stroll down memory lane.  People got pissed. (Or so Comedy Central claims. Wait a sec—is this an ad, too?!)  Mobile billboards have been placed in various strategic locations around the country. Each plays on its environment, depicting a moment in the show that took place wherever the billboards are parked, and ends with the tagline, "We've been there."  It's a cute gag, but some locations didn't take it so well—like the White House, the Church of Scientology and the Lincoln Memorial.  "In some cases, the locals were not pleased to have us outside their locations and asked us to leave, but that was all expected, and we completely understand why," Comedy Central's chief marketing officer, Walter Levitt, tells the Hollywood Reporter.  The Scientology billboard, shown above, comes from "Trapped in the Closet," a Season 9 episode. In it, Stan joins Scientology and is discovered to be church founder L. Ron Hubbard's reincarnation. Scientologist Tom Cruise asks Stan (er, Hubbard) whether he likes his acting, and after Stan's lukewarm response, locks himself in Stan's closet.  The episode caused a fracas when it aired: The real Tom Cruise threatened to back out of promoting Mission: Impossible III if Viacom—which owns Comedy Central, as well as Paramount, which released the film—permitted the episode to be rebroadcast. (It's been re-aired multiple times since, in case you wondered.)  The White House billboard, shown below, pretty tamely depicts President Obama and the First Lady: Obama appeared in a Season 12 episode called "About Last Night...", which fictionalized the events following his presidential win against John McCain. The town Democrats believe Obama is the Messiah and start a drunken riot; the Republicans are convinced the apocalypse is coming. The episode later reveals that Obama, McCain and their campaign staffers are actually a gang of jewel thieves.  The last drama-generating billboard appeared in front of the Lincoln Memorial: In this particularly weird episode, "Super Best Friends" from Season 5, the kids from South Park decide to join the Blaintologists, magician David Blaine's fictional cult (and incidentally another Scientology jab). Stan realizes they've been brainwashed and teams up with Jesus to activate the Super Best Friends (a play on the Super Friends). Blaine animates the Lincoln Memorial statue and orders it to kill the superhero squad, but stone Lincoln is ultimately killed by a statue of John Wilkes Booth (awkward).  "We did this stunt because we thought it was a great way to remind South Park fans of all the amazing moments of the past 19 seasons, and truly a perfect way to celebrate the 20th season," Levitt says of the mobile billboards.  Suffice it to say it's definitely brought back memories. And while they're all perhaps equally offensive to somebody, the one that truly stays with us doesn't come from an episode at all. It comes from that time South Park promoted a video game with a heinous unit called the Nosulus Rift—a VR device for smelling the superfarts that power the game's main character. More of the billboards below.  [...]

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National Amusements Officially Asks CBS and Viacom to Consider Merging

Thu, 29 Sep 2016 14:12:55 +0000


The rumors floating around all year that CBS Corp. and Viacom might recombine 10 years after they split apart are no longer just rumors: National Amusements has sent a letter to both boards, asking them to consider a merger in what would be an all-stock deal.

National Amusements, which owns 80 percent of the voting shares of both Viacom and CBS, also said it won't accept or support a third party acquiring either company, nor any deal under which it would not control the merged company.

"We believe that a combination of CBS and Viacom might offer substantial synergies that would allow the combined company to respond even more aggressively and effectively to the challenges of the changing entertainment and media landscape," said the letter from National Amusements CEO Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari, who is president.

"As a result, we would like both companies' boards to consider a potential combination of the companies. Our tentative view is that the optimal structure would be an all-stock transaction in which the stockholders of each company would receive shares in the combined company of the same class as they currently hold."

The letter continued, "We believe that any transaction should be the result of full and fair deliberation and negotiation, and that any transaction would proceed only if it is approved by each board. None of Sumner M. Redstone, Shari E. Redstone or David R. Andelman will vote as directors on the consideration of this matter by either company's board, and none will participate in any of the related deliberations."

Today's move has been expected since Redstone prevailed over former Viacom president and CEO Philippe Dauman, after months of fighting over the future of Viacom. That battle began in February, when Dauman was named executive chairman of Viacom, over the objections of Shari. The parties settled their differences in August, and Dauman agreed to depart as president and CEO of Viacom.

The 93-year-old Redstone remained with Viacom as chairman emeritus, while his daughter Shari Redstone stayed on as nonexecutive vice chair. COO Tom Dooley was named acting president and CEO of Viacom at the time, but last week he announced that he'll depart the company after Nov. 15.

Ten years ago, Viacom and CBS Corp. split into separate companies. Many analysts and investors have said this year that the beleaguered Viacom's best path to success lies in merging once again with CBS. CBS Corp. chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves, who has had smooth sailing at CBS, is expected to run both companies, though The Wall Street Journal reported this summer that at the time, he was not interested in that role.

At an investor conference two weeks ago, Moonves said there were no active talks between the two companies. "We are a standalone public company," Moonves said. "We're really happy with the hand we are playing."

But if National Amusements get its way, the deck is about to be reshuffled.

Media Files:

The NFL and Fox Hope to Score With Their New 'Football Families' Initiative

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 22:53:12 +0000


Fox Sports broadcaster Joe Buck moderated a Fox NFL town hall for Advertising Week today with panelists that included executives from Fox Networks Group and the NFL along with a certain Hall of Famer and current Fox NFL Sunday analyst. The panel discussed how the NFL and Fox can engage the sport's passionate fan base across both linear and digital platforms.

"Millennials are a two-screen generation," said Dawn Hudson, evp and chief marketing officer for the NFL. "They'll watch the game on the big screen, but they also follow the action on another screen. And it's important that advertisers are aware of that. American fans also view advertising as part of the game."

Fox Networks Group president Randy Freer and FNG Advance Advertising Products president Joe Marchese touted America's Game of the Week as the most-watched and highest-rated show on TV. The network's first nationally televised game of the season, the New York Giants vs. the Dallas Cowboys, drew 27.5 million total viewers and had a 9.4 rating in the key 18-49 demographic. 

Hudson and Freer brought up the increase in female viewers in recent years—the average TV audience for an NFL game broadcast is 45 percent female—as well as a greater focus on family and communal viewing. 

That includes a joint initiative between Fox and the NFL called "Football Families." Beginning in Week 6 of the season, the network and league will send a family to their first NFL game. Fox will continue the promotion for nine NFL Sundays during the regular season, with each winning family getting featured on their local Fox affiliate and Fox's national broadcast.

But the man of the hour was Michael Strahan, a legendary New York Giant who's perhaps better known these days for being TV's busiest man. He's currently a co-host of Good Morning America and an Emmy-nominated analyst for the Fox NFL Sunday pregame show. Strahan talked about how he was able to parlay his success in the NFL to television.

"It really started during my playing days," he said. "I learned how to work the system. I made clear to the writers and reporters that hounded me every day that I primarily wanted to talk about things outside of football. I know I gave them unique and unpredictable answers, not bland ones that many other players provide them with. That's sort of how I built my reputation with the media. Playing in New York didn't hurt either."

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AT&T and Hulu Share More Details About Their Upcoming Skinny Bundle Streaming Offerings

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 21:51:06 +0000

Over the next several months, viewers are going to be more tempted than ever to cut the cord, thanks to a pair of anticipated new over-the-top (OTT), skinny bundle offerings from AT&T and Hulu. Those two companies shared more details today about their upcoming services, targeting cord-cutters and cord-nevers, during an Advertising Week panel today about the future of OTT, moderated by Adweek TV and media editor Chris Ariens. "The way people are watching, a la carte and on demand, is the way of the future," said Peter Naylor, Hulu's svp of advertising sales. AT&T will launch its DirecTV-branded offering, DirecTV Now, later this year, as it tries to entice the 20 million households without a pay TV subscription. Subscribers will be able to stream more than 100 channels, without a long-term contract or any hardware like a set-top box, through their phones, tablets and connected TV devices like Roku. "We had the opportunity to deliver this premium experience with a greater choice in flexibility," said Brad Bentley, evp of marketing, AT&T. "We have a chance to really customize and personalize the experience using data." Given that AT&T already aggressively uses its set-top box data from cable and DirecTV for targeted advertising and to improve ROI for clients, the company is looking forward to the "individual addressability" opportunities that will be offered by DirecTV Now. Hulu is also preparing its own skinny bundle of cable and network channels, which it will sell directly to consumers next year. "We're trying to take the best of what we like, and a generous dose of reinvention," said Naylor, adding that if the major content providers license their networks to most or all of these skinny bundle offerings,  audiences will gravitate to the service with the best "user experience." One of the newest OTT offerings is Time Inc.'s ad-supported People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN), which launched two weeks ago. Response so far has been "fantastic," said Bruce Gersh, svp, strategy and business development for Time Inc. "Our advertising partners have really responded well." Last week, when People rushed to put out a second issue after news broke of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's split, PEN fast-tracked an 18-minute video about the couple that launched last Friday, the same day the Jolie-Pitt issue hit stands. "It just shows that there's excitement about the brand and the access we have," said Gersh. One draw of OTT offerings like Hulu is that they offer a reduced ad load vs. linear. "You can't mirror the ad load of a conventional TV experience and expect people to watch," said Naylor. And one year after Hulu launched an ad-free tier, priced at $11.99 per month, Naylor reiterated that "the majority" of new Hulu subscribers continue to opt for the $7.99 per month option, with ads. "We had the single biggest year in advertising the same year we introduced an ad-free service," he said. "But people want to be able to get what they want." Time Inc.'s service also has a reduced ad load, with one 60-second ad pod every 60 minutes. "Consumers are responding really well to that," said Gersh. "They're staying and they're watching." With all those new and upcoming OTT options, breaking through the clutter is harder than ever before. Content is "a real differentiator when you're trying to turn the heads of viewers," said Naylor. "We're all looking for that piece of content" to draw audiences, like HBO's Game of Thrones or Netflix's House of Cards. Agreed Gersh, "we believe at the end of the day, great content and well-known brands are going to win." Content is king, but being able to monetize that content is just as important. Nielsen's total audience[...]

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Google Says It's Continuing to Close the Gap Between YouTube and TV

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 19:13:38 +0000


In its continued battle to prove it can compete—and beat—with the broadcasting behemoths, YouTube says adults are five times as likely to watch video online than they are through linear.

After surveying around 6,300 adults about their video viewing habits, Google and Ipsos Connect found that 92 percent of YouTube viewers watch the video platform on a mobile device while at home. Mobile also had a stronghold even during traditional TV viewing times—about two-thirds of respondents said they pick up their phone during a TV ad break.

Brand lift was also higher, with purchase intent being 150 percent higher from paid YouTube TrueView ads than from TV ads. Google's survey found that nearly 50 percent of internet users looked for product- or service-related videos before going to an actual store.

The results will be touted this afternoon during an Advertising Week discussion with Tara Walpert Levy, Google's vp of agency and media. Levy, in prepared remarks provided to Adweek ahead of the talk, said the average mobile viewing session on YouTube is 40 minutes—slightly longer than even a 30-minute TV show. She said the results highlight how TV and YouTube can work in tandem when it comes to media buying. (The results come on the heals of another study last month conducted with Nielsen, which found that a TV show's reach drives YouTube engagement.)

"They reinforce that instead of sequencing our buying and planning separately, first by TV, then by online video, we should look at the video opportunity bottoms up and treat the entire video ecosystem as one," she said.

Here are the results of the study:



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Here's What We Learned From the First Week of the New TV Season

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 13:00:02 +0000

The first week of the 2016-17 television season is in the books, and it's been a mixed bag for the broadcast networks so far. While a few shows had big launches—This Is Us, which Tuesday night became the first freshman series to be picked up for a full season, and Designated Survivor are shaping up to be the freshman hits buyers were hoping they would be—there's already one out-and-out disaster, and two networks already seem to be in free fall. Here are some early observations from the first week of ratings. (The CW, which doesn't launch its new shows until next week, is excluded from this look.) Scheduling still rules For the first three days of the season, every new show rated at least a 2.0 in the all-important 18-49 demo. That's because the networks gave those series the very best chance to succeed, airing them either before or after their biggest shows like NBC's The Voice (which launched both The Good Place to a 2.3 rating and This Is Us to a 2.8, highest of all new shows, which prompted NBC's quick order for an full, 18-episode season); CBS' NCIS (Bull, 2.2) and The Big Bang Theory (Kevin Can Wait, 2.6); ABC's Modern Family (Speechless, 2.0) and Black-ish (Designated Survivor 2.2); and Fox's Empire (Lethal Weapon, 2.2). "We're back to protected time slots," said Sam Armando, lead investment director at Mediavest | Spark. "The network made it a point for the shows they're high on to really protect it with something." That success validates the point broadcast schedulers made in our April feature—that even as viewing habits shift, the best way to get a new show sampled is to put it before or after a current hit. Scheduling is more important than ever. And when live-plus-3 ratings were factored in, This is Us and Designated Survivor pulled away from the freshman pack. This Is Us had a 1.4 bump (more than some new shows managed in live-plus-same day), jumping up to 4.2, and Designated Survivor added 1.5 to end up at 3.7. Shows without big lead-ins, meanwhile, withered on the vine. Fox's superb Pitch came in at a 1.1, which still managed to improve on its anemic Rosewood lead-in (0.7). And The Exorcist could only scare up a 1.0 on Friday. But Shonda trumps scheduling One glaring exception to the week's scheduling success was ABC's drama Notorious, which was given the cushy Scandal time slot (that show is delayed until January to accommodate Kerry Washington's pregnancy), sandwiched between Grey's Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder. But the TGIT audience, used to watching Shonda Rhimes-produced shows then, completely rejected Notorious, which didn't come from Rhimes and also happens to be one of fall's worst new shows. Notorious shed 56 percent of its Grey's lead-in, dropping from a 2.5 to a 1.1, which is just one-third of what Scandal did there last fall. It also brought down How to Get Away With Murder, which could only manage a 1.4 (even with its finale, but down almost 50 percent from its 2.6 last fall). That abysmal performance should trigger fall's first schedule change, as ABC will need to stop the hemorrhaging by shifting Notorious to another night if not cancelling it outright. CBS' conservative strategy is paying off Earlier this month, I wrote of CBS' new shows: "I can't remember another freshman fall lineup in which all shows were likely to be so warmly embraced by that network's core audience while being completely rejected by everyone else." And that's what has happened. CBS' doggedly on-brand new shows racked up scathing reviews but drew the CBS audience the network was counting on. Even MacGyver managed a 1.7 rating on Friday, CBS' best demo rating of the night. ABC and Fox are in trouble, but CBS and NBC aren't out of the woods The heads of al[...]

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Here's How 'Younger' Star Sutton Foster Likes to Chill Out

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:25:39 +0000

Specs Age 41 Claim to fame TV Land's Younger (Season 3 premieres Sept. 28); Netflix's Gilmore Girls reboot; Tony Award winner. Base New York Instagram @suttonlenore What's the first information you consume in the morning? I guess it's always my phone. I check my email, texts, and then Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It's horrible. I look at all of those things before I get out of bed. And then I switch over to The New York Times app and I read the morning briefing, so I can at least know what's going on in the world. What's your go-to social platform? I guess the one that I actually use the most is Instagram. I'm not much of a political activist or someone who uses Twitter as a platform. If anything, I'll use it to share videos of puppies and kittens [laughs]. I find that Instagram is more my speed. Who do you follow on Instagram? I just started following Black Jaguar-White Tiger. I love the Instagram pets—Marnie, Toast Meets World [laughs]. My little dream world that I've created in my head is full of puppy dogs and rainbows and people skipping around. And especially in a climate like we're in right now with so much shit going down, that's my escape. The number of kitten and puppy videos I torture my husband with is endless. I take great pride in what I post, too. That's what I love about Instagram—it's about putting something really beautiful out there for people to see. I saw that you have an Instagram account for your own dog, @mabelthedorkie. Oh yeah, I do. It's because somebody actually created a fake account for her on Twitter or something, and I was like, "You can't do that! It's my dog!" So I made one. She's so frickin' cute. I want her to be a famous dog in her own right because she's so adorable! So I really need to work on her social media and her PR. She definitely needs a publicist and a book deal. What TV shows do you watch? My husband and I watched Stranger Things on Netflix because everyone was talking about it. We're big fans of Game of Thrones. Now we're on a search for a new program, so I think we might try Happy Valley or Peaky Blinders. And I've also been re-watching Gilmore Girls on my own. It makes me so happy. It's like hanging out with an old friend. Do you listen to any podcasts? I love Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, and Mystery Show is one of my favorites. It's this really quirky little podcast, and the girl who hosts it has this great sense of humor and really great demeanor. She does these mini mysteries—she's like Nancy Drew—and it's her commentary that makes it so entertaining. It's not big mysteries or anything like that—one of them might be about someone who found a belt buckle with someone's initials on it and she tries to find the story behind it. What's on your reading list? I've got a few books on my nightstand. One is called Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead. I'm kind of in a self-help book phase. I've been reading about opening up, letting go, all that stuff. [Laughs] It's horrible and wonderful at the same time! This story first appeared in the September 26, 2016 issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe. [...]

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Demographics or Data: Which One Will Dominate Future Ratings Measurement?

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 19:09:19 +0000

Nielsen is rolling out its total audience measurement tool by next March, and the company is already looking ahead to how it—and the industry—will measure viewing habits into the next decade. Speaking at a New York Advertising Week panel about ratings measurement in 2025, Megan Clarken, Nielsen's president of product leadership, talked about the company's launch of digital content ratings on Friday, a story Adweek broke this morning. "It's very exciting for us," Clarken said. "It was only dreamed about eight years ago, and here it is." Over the next eight or so years, Nielsen is looking to attribute devices to people and provide better targeting capabilities. The company is rolling out a new meter across its various panels. (Earlier this month, it said it will finally phase out paper TV ratings diaries, which are still used in 140 local markets, "in early 2018.") The new nanometers are twice the size of a mobile phone, and one-fourth the size of the current meters, said Clarken. The company is also working on revamping the people meters and is testing having its panelists wear Fitbit-like devices "to complement and eventually replace the device they use today." The company will be keeping an eye on the behavior of millennials and whether their viewing habits change as they get older. Clarken said millennials will be more likely to watch more live TV as they get older, follow trends, watch more VOD than their 35-49 counterparts and use more connected TV devices. They'll play less video games but will participate in more augmented reality like Pokemon Go. During her talk, Clarken discussed the future of brand advertising and targeted, or addressable, advertising, and said Nielsen believes age and gender demographics will continue to be the core base for both. Age and gender is the only demographic break with "a known universe," said Clarken. "We know the size of it, so we can report on market share." However, she said, representative panels (i.e., exactly what Nielsen does) will be necessary to take the biases out of "big data" like Facebook, which doesn't provide info for users under 13 or account for shared devices. "Because of fragmentation and this proliferation of channels and platforms, we will always need big data to come in and help with the measurement, but it will always need to be weighted and balanced by a representative sample," Clarken said. But some of the panelists who spoke after Clarken's presentation disagreed. "It scares me to think about the year 2025, and we're still transacting TV using age/sex demographics," said Howard Shimmel, chief research officer for Turner Broadcasting. "If we do this, we're going to leave lots of ROI for [advertisers] untapped because we're not doing things like targeting." Instead, he said, foundational metrics should take a backseat to driving the most ROI. Lyle Schwartz, managing partner for GroupM, said that's already how he and his clients operate. "We don't plan on demographics," he said, noting that he focuses on underlying data like ROI, which GroupM's research team generates in-house. "That's the information I have to negotiate off of," said Schwartz, adding that "if the industry can't agree on metrics, fine—we will do it ourselves." Schwartz argued that "you can't lose the dynamic of each medium," even with apples-to-apples metrics because radio, TV and magazines each bring something different and valuable to the type for clients. "We work with our clients to make sure that we're putting their money in the right place at the right time, with the right message, which ironically was somethin[...]

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Live Video Is Breathing New Life Into Twitter as It Aims for Broader Success

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:21:19 +0000


Just as acquisition speculation is heating up, Twitter has gotten a bit of its mojo back. It can largely thank a few weeks of livestreaming high-interest events, namely the NFL's Thursday Night Football and Monday night's presidential debate.

"It's an extension of what we've always been doing," said Adam Bain, Twitter COO, speaking in front of a few hundred people at IAB Mixx in New York Tuesday morning. "You should view it as we are just getting started in the live [space]."

In recent months, Twitter has been busy inking deals with the NFL, MLB, the NHL, the NBA, the NCAA's Pac-12 Conference, Bloomberg Media, CBS News and Cheddar. The moves are designed to make Twitter both an alternative to linear TV and a complementary feature to it. 

"TV is still absolute king," Bain said. But his platform is there, he said, for "people cutting or shaving the cord."

The company's NFL deal provides plenty of hope. Twitter said there were 2.4 million viewers for its Thursday Night Football livestream on Sept. 22 compared to 2.3 million the first time it aired a week earlier. Whether Twitter can regularly attract major eyeballs for non-NFL content—or for events other than those that only take place every four years like the election—remains to be seen. 

A key move toward attracting a bigger audience, Bain suggested, was making the logged-out experience on Twitter "nearly identical" to logged-in viewing. Everyone sees the content and real-time tweets about the action, which, for Twitter's sake, hopefully will draw more viewers to the platform who are not part of its 310 million monthly users. 

Meanwhile, Monday night's debate was buzzy this morning nearly everywhere online and offline—from the halls of the IAB event at Times Square's Crowne Plaza Hotel to the controversial #TrumpWon hashtag on Twitter. During the 89-minute debate, the social chatter was palpable. According to SocialFlow, there were more than 3 million mentions of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton during the debate on Twitter, with the Democratic nominee generating 233,000 more mentions. 

"It was the most-tweeted debate ever," Bain said. "It was probably our biggest livestream."

Twitter hadn't released viewer numbers at press time.

But a Twitter acquisition may be looming, with Disney, Salesforce and Google reportedly making bids to acquire the company. Bain, who was interviewed at IAB Mixx by Bloomberg tech reporter Sarah Frier, didn't directly comment on that. The independent event typically coincides with Advertising Week, which runs through Thursday.

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