NBC is feeling the cash crunch

by Paul William Tenny

The studio and network bigwigs tried selling the tale about a month ago that they didn't care if the strike put a premature end to the fall television season - in fact they seemed downright relieved not to have to deal with the consequences of green lighting a large crop of mostly bad shows. Nobody really believed that particular piece of fiction, at least nobody that could do the math:

Fourth-ranked broadcaster NBC has quietly begun reimbursing advertisers an average of $500,000 each for failing to reach guaranteed ratings levels, the first time a network has taken such a step in years, media buyers said.

NBC was the first because they've had the worst ratings and the biggest cash crunch of any of the networks, but that doesn't mean the others aren't going to have to do precisely the same thing soon. Oh, and that little bit about reality coming in to save the day? According to the advertisers who apparently have a certain disdain for reality: not so much.
in Business


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