Sunday, September 30, 2012

Nickelodeon UK To Premiere More Brand New Episodes Of The Hit Nickelodeon Show "SpongeBob SquarePants" As Part Of Nickelodeon UK's Autumn/Winter 2012 Highlights!

Nickelodeon UK has announced the Nickelodeon UK News that Nickelodeon UK is planning to premiere and show more brand new episodes of Nickelodeon's hugely popular original animated series ("NickToon") "SpongeBob SquarePants", including the brand new "SpongeBob SquarePants" episodes "Bubble Troubles", "Bubble Buddy Returns", "The Way of the Sponge", "The Krabby Patty That Ate Bikini Bottom", and "Fiasco!" on Nickelodeon UK and Ireland and Nickelodeon HD UK between October 2012 and December 2012, as part of Nickelodeon UK's Autumn/Winter 2012 highlights!

Nickelodeon's "SpongeBob SquarePants" (often referred to simply as "SpongeBob") is an North American animated television series, created by animator Stephen Hillenburg ("Rocko's Modern Life"). Much of the series centers on the exploits and adventures of the title character, SpongeBob SquarePants (voiced by Tom Kenny), and his various friends, including Gary the Snail (voiced by Tom Kenny), Patrick Star (voiced by Bill Fagerbakke), Mr. Krabs (voiced by Clancy Brown), Sandy Cheeks (voiced by Carolyn Lawrence), Squidward Tentacles (voiced by Rodger Bumpass), and Plankton (voiced by Mr. Lawrence), who live in Bikini Bottom, a underwater city located at the bottom of the sea, below its signature island, Bikini Atoll.

In the brand new episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants" called "Bubble Trouble", after making bubbles with hot sauce, SpongeBob and Patrick destroy Sandy's air supply and have to help her find more oxygen.

In the all-new episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants" titled "Bubble Buddy Returns", Bubble Buddy's son, Shiny, is visiting and SpongeBob tries desperately to keep him out of trouble and away from sharp edges!

In the brand new episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants" called "The Way of the Sponge", SpongeBob wants to earn his belt from karate master Fuzzy Acorns with Sandy's help. Nickelodeon Fact: Footage from this episode was used in a Nickelodeon network ID [ident] featuring SpongeBob and Master Po from "Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness".

In the all-new episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants" titled "The Krabby Patty That Ate Bikini Bottom", Mr. Krabs uses Sandy's experimental growth formula on a Krabby Patty with disastrous results.

In the brand new episode of "SpongeBob SquarePants" called "Fiasco!", Plankton thinks he's stolen a Krabby Patty from the Krusty Krab, but he's really stolen an art piece by the famous artist Fiasco. Nickelodeon UK is also expected to air the brand new "SpongeBob SquarePants" episode segment that goes along with the above new "SpongeBob SquarePants" episode titled "Restraining SpongeBob", where a fed-up Squidward resorts to legal action to keep SpongeBob away. Note: In this episode, it is revealed that Squidward is allergic to seaberries.

Nickelodeon UK has also announced the Nickelodeon UK News that Nickelodeon UK is planning to premiere and show Nickelodeon's first full-length stop-motion animated special "It's A SpongeBob Christmas!" on Nickelodeon UK and Ireland and Nickelodeon HD UK in December 2012, as part of Nickelodeon UK's Autumn/Winter 2012 line-up and "Christmas on Nickelodeon UK 2012"!

Reviews About Nickelodeon's Brand New "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" Animated Television Series

Below is a selection of reviews about Nickelodeon's brand new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" animated television series, which premiered on Nickelodeon USA and YTV in Canada on Saturday 29th September 2012 and will premiere on Nickelodeon UK and Ireland and Nickelodeon HD UK on Monday 1st October 2012 at 5pm. I'll be posting more reviews as I find them. Feel free to let NickALive! know what you think of Nickelodeon's brand new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" series on Twitter at @DailyNickNews!

Please Note - This NickALive! blog post featuring reviews about Nickelodeon's brand new "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" animated TV show contains spoilers which some NickALive! readers may wish to avoid. Please scroll down the page if you wish to continue.



NickALive!'s "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Reviews" blogpost starts with a review from the animation news website Toonzone:
Review: “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”: Back Again To Raise Some Shell

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a property I have definite nostalgia for. In nursery and into my formative years of school I have strong memories of watching the original animated series on afternoon kids TV, Christmases where my mother had tracked down such treasures as the Turtle Blimp and Party Wagon toys, and even sampling oddities such as the cylinder shaped Turtle Shell bread loaves. This of course means that I’ll view newer incarnations of the brand more intently then some. It’s been a mixed ride, with the likes of the live action movies and their comedic ‘Next Mutation’ TV spin off, and most recently a series by 4Kids that stuck closer to the original Mirage comic books. We’re now on the eve of a brand new revival of the four brothers, helmed by Nickelodeon.

At its core, this is the Turtle story that many will be familiar with. In the sewers of New York a mysterious mutagen transforms four baby turtles into anthropomorphised mutants and likewise turns their human care-giver into a mutant rat. Hiding under the city streets, the rat (who assumes the name Splinter) trains his adopted sons in the ninja tradition of his homeland of Japan. On their fifteenth birthday the brothers request to be allowed to finally visit the surface at night, which Splinter begrudgingly allows. Once there, it doesn’t take long for trouble to find them.

One of the most striking factors of this new series is the focus on character and humour. We’re first introduced to the Turtles as they engage in one-on-one sparring matches, each showing clear personality and quirks. It’d be a lie to say different personalities hadn’t existed in previous incarnations, but I feel they've never been this intentionally pronounced. A perfect example of this is the conflict between Leonardo and Raphael, something that has played out in many past Turtles stories. Many of these opted to make Leo clearly superior, with Raph blinded by his anger and ego. Here, although they still butt heads, they seem to be on more equal footing, and it suggests we might get some interesting exploration of who is truly fit to lead. Indeed, Leo nurses some bad ideas himself about the role of a leader.

The comedy is equally distinctive. The patron saint of this element is Michelangelo. It's pretty common to depict Mikey as the most light hearted of the brothers, but here he’s really carrying a lot of the gags due to having a boundless energy. Although sometimes this makes him come off as an idiot (he needs certain things explained to him that are obvious to the other three), it’s usually the result of his sheer enthusiasm or a well-timed comment that had me laughing. For instance when Raph complains he’s tired of them sitting around 'with our thumbs up our noses', Mikey's response is to compare digit to nostril and comment “I don’t think they’ll fit”.
 Most uniquely, the comedy duties are not left solely to Mikey. The producers have commented they were inspired by the sight gags of the Teen Titans animated series, and this means everyone gets in on the action to some degree. One memorable sequence involves the brothers' first tasting of 'pizah' [pizza] after decades of sewer algae.
I can also see this version of Splinter going memetic enough to compete with the My Little Pony fan’s 'Trollestia'.

One plotline that crosses both characterisation and comedic is Donatello's smitten affection for April. Falling for her instantly, he becomes desperate to protect and impress her as her family becomes a target for the forces of darkness. April herself doesn't really get much to do in this opener. The decision to make her a teenage girl instead of a 20-something has raised a few eyebrows, and admittedly we don’t see too much here to make her a unique character. Independent young girls in 'boys' action shows seem to be on the rise, and hopefully April will go on to be vindicated as a strong and enjoyable character rather then an executive misstep (I'm looking at you, Miko Nakadai).
 It's fun to see Donny swoon over her (we’ve all done it to someone) but it’s the story opportunities offered that most intrigue me.

This first episode clearly acts as the opener for an ongoing story, with situations left unresolved and the clear promise of even more exciting ones to come. I’ve seen plenty of action cartoon pilots which use all their most thrilling ideas in the first episode and then get bogged down in filler until the season finale, but the new TMNT looks to be offering a more structured pacing. There’s enough going on here to draw viewers in but not too much to be daunting.

Most importantly, I think this is a show that kids will love. TMNT has often gone out its way to acknowledge the now twenty- to thirty-year-old fans who remember it from their childhood. While the new series remains aware of this loyalty, it’s primarily and correctly putting a new generation of fans first. In the last decade there have been numerous attempts to reboot 80s animation icons, and I think many of them failed because they targeted too much the imaginations of older fans. Nickelodeon's TMNT is going for an approach that respects the history but is trying to make these characters relevant to kids today. They’re fun and engaging in all the ways a show for the next generation should be.
 One of the most obvious signs of development to come is that the turtles aren’t yet amazing fighters. Many adaptations opt to have their public debut be a showcase for how skilled they are, but here the brothers completely fail to work as a team, colliding with one another as they attempt to rescue April. We do of course get to see some great action later, but the show appears to be making good on the producer’s claims that the initial story arc will be about the Turtles' journey to becoming heroes.

The voice acting is another sai in the show's belt. When I first heard that so many big names had been cast I was doubtful they’d work in the roles but everyone shines. Legend Rob Paulsen will likely receive a lot of attention for having been one of the stars of the original show, switching out Raph for Don. I'm perhaps too male to use the phrase 'adorkable' but if anyone could make the team nerd into this it's Paulsen. Greg Cipes delivers a brilliantly frantic performance as Mikey, a welcome return to the likes of Beast Boy as opposed to Kevin Levin from the melodramatic Ben 10 sequels. After getting used to his Samwise in The Lord of the Rings I was really surprised how well Sean Astin embodied Raph, portraying everyone's favourite hot-headed proud New Yorker with just a bit less of the antisocial rage seen in the movie adaptations. Jason Biggs manages to imbue Leo with the presence of someone who might just be a leader once he resolves his aspirations with reality.

Although I enjoyed this premiere, not everything sat well with me. There are some parts of both the writing and animation that felt poor and sometimes overlapped.
The show’s animation brings to mind two of the network’s other shows: Kung-Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness and Fanboy & Chum Chum, using a mix of CGI and 2D animation for flashbacks. The Turtles themselves are well done and beautifully expressive, both when being comedic and when fighting (in a wonderful touch, their eyes go pure white like the old Playmates toys during their most badass fights). However, human characters come off as noticeably less impressive in a way that crosses into issues I’ve discussed with titles such as Transformers: Prime and Planzet. Maybe this can be excused as intentional for the robo-human bodies of the Kraang, but characters such as April’s father look really dated and awkward. The CGI issues extend to locales. New York is surprisingly empty for such a bustling city and the Kraang’s base has a bold metallic sheen to it that makes it look like an unfinished render. 
The overlap occurs when one locale is suspiciously arranged so that an element is noticeably present in a distracting way and is ultimately only there to allow for one character’s fate. The resulting situation does later allow for some wonderful meta humour at the expense of the audience, but the prior staging seems very uninspired, especially for a professionally made CGI show in 2012.

Along the same lines, this version of the mutagen accident that creates the main cast might be the most awkward I’ve heard, with the writers seemingly settling on ‘It has to happen somehow, doesn’t really matter much’.
 It’s also worth noting that the Kraang’s speech style is a joke that stops being funny after its first use. They have a drawn out and redundant speech pattern which makes Mojo Jojo seem brisk. I’m sure kids will have great fun mimicking it but it’s more annoying then amusing.

An audio treat however is the new theme tune. Much like likewise legacy property Power Rangers Samurai, the show opts to make the theme tune an updating of the original. It's not quite as catchy but it’s great to hear ‘Heroes in a half shell!’ back on the box.

So, is it worth a watch? I’d say so. There are some missteps, but I think much like the Turtles themselves are shown here it’s early days and as this incarnation builds up steam it’ll only get better. It’s not taking itself far too seriously and the characters are key. I’m looking forward to this becoming one of the most entertaining and developed incarnations. After all, teenagers mature.

Yahoo! TV UK Interviews Kevin Eastman, Co-Creator Of The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", And Rich Magallanes, Senior Vice President Of Nickelodeon Animation, About Nickelodeon's Brand New Animated "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" Television Series

From Yahoo! TV UK:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Exclusive interview

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back in a frantic new animated series on Nickelodeon, starting on Monday 1 October at 5pm.

A new take on the near three-decade old series, it sports some impressive design work and top voice acting talent including film stars Jason Biggs and Sean Astin.

We caught up with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman ahead of the launch of the new series on Nickelodeon...

Turtle power: The classic series has been rebooted for a new generation (Credit: Nickelodeon)

We sat down with Kevin Eastman (KE), the original co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Rich Magallanes (RM), Senior Vice President at Nickelodeon Animation, to talk about the series.

Why are you bringing the Turtles back?

KE: “Money! It’s all about money. No, it’s erm, well I’ll let Rich answer that one...”

RM: “We’re bringing back the Turtles because it’s a perfect fit for Nickelodeon, it really is."

KE: “What’s amazing is that even after 30 years there’s an opportunity to bring it back at all! When Peter Laird and I made the first comic book in 1984 we didn’t think it would sell copy number one. Then when we worked on the first animated series we thought, ‘Who’s going to watch this?’.

“We had such fun and we loved the process of doing it but we didn’t think it would actually resonate and work. The fact it worked initially and as an animated series, then as a movie, then it came back in the early 2000s as a Fox series and now here we are again developing a whole new series for a whole new audience. It’s a dream come true on many levels.“

How did you come up with the original idea?

KE: “One night I drew a picture of a ninja turtle standing upright with a mask on and nunchucks strapped to his arm, slapped it on the desk of Peter Laird [the other co-creator] and said this is going to be the next big thing. Tomfoolery and one-upmanship led us to making a picture of the four of them with the title Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

“So the next day we came up with a story for these characters. We basically wrote it for ourselves, played on a lot of parodies and made one issue with a beginning, middle and end because we never thought there’d be a second issue.”

Did you ever expect the turtles to rocket in popularity like they did?

KE: “Just no. Absolutely, hands-down, no. When we were approached originally the comic was working as a comic book, by issue two we were actually making a living, which was where for both Peter and I the dream came true.

“Agents approached saying ‘We think this could work as toys and other things’ and we couldn’t see anything other than the comic book. As we developed it and worked through the process of making toys or doing animation we never really thought it’d work, but we threw ourselves into it with all our heart and soul.”

Is there anything you’d like to change about how the franchise has been portrayed? Any movies or series you wish weren’t made?

KE: “Of all the things we did it was the Turtles pork rinds that p**sed me off the most.... nah I'm kidding! There was actual licensing though. There was a scene in the first movie where Michelangelo and Donatello are in the kitchen. One of them is eating pork rinds and the other goes, 'Pork rinds?' This guy who worked for a pork rind company came to us saying his daughter was a huge fan of the Turtles and she'd love him forever if he could get the rights for his pork rinds. We actually allowed that to happen.”

Have you ever thought about shaking up the basic premise of the series?

KE: “What’s great about the original inspiration for the Turtles, and this goes back to what we did initially and some guest spots, it keeps changing through the animation and films. The heart and soul is always the humour and the characters though and that’s what’s always there. “

Do you understand the fan backlash about the story that Michael Bay is toying with the concept and turning them into aliens?

KE: “What's fantastic is that we even have fans to give a backlash! It's an honour. Michael Bay said the turtles would be aliens, the point he was working from was that the mutagen that mutated the Turtles going back to issue one is alien nature. Which may be a point being played up in the movie. So when the backlash happened we had to say, ‘Go back and look at the issue, its right there!’”

The new show seems to blend the look of the TMNT CG movie with more classic cartoon design, was it a conscious decision to meld the old and the new?

RM: “Absolutely. We were inspired by the comic books, the series, the movies and everything. We literally studied everything and wanted to blend those while at the same time hitting the reset button and taking it to the next level.

“It needed to be influenced by what had come before but still different and its own thing. I’m sure it’ll look like nothing else on television right now, because of the different mediums that influenced it.”

Was it nice to go back to Ninja Turtles rather than Hero Turtles? How did you feel about that controversy at the time?

KE: “One of the first times I came to the UK was to promote the first Turtles movie and by then the title of the series and movie had been changed and we were like, ‘Why?’. There were issues with the throwing stars, nunchucks etc and we were respectful but it’s certainly cool to able to go back to Ninja Turtles.”

RM: “And we’ve been eager to incorporate a lot of Ninja mythology into the new show as well, into the weapons and mindsets of each character. We had a sensei who we hired to come onto the show as a consultant - so our animation team would get demonstrations of ninja techniques, take notes and try to use that in their work, making it as authentic as possible. We still want to be fantastical but we also want to get the hand holds right, the footing and you'll see that in the show sometimes.”

KE: “When we were first successful we were contacted by gyms around the country who had been overrun with requests for karate and judo lessons. Since then I always tried to read up as much as I can and make things realistic, because the hardcore fans who are clued up need that to be realistic and not just made up on the spot.”

Watch the brand new series of 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles', Mondays from 1st October at 5pm on Nickelodeon - turtles.nick.co.uk

Nickelodeon UK Announces The Programming Line-Up For The First Week Of "Make My Monday" On Monday 8th October 2012 - New "iCarly", New "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" And New "SpongeBob SquarePants"!

Nickelodeon UK has announced the line-up for the first week of Nickelodeon UK and Ireland's brand new programming block and stunt "Make My Monday", which Nickelodeon UK will show on Nickelodeon UK and Ireland and Nickelodeon HD UK on Monday 8th October 2012 to Make YOUR Monday as part of "October on Nickelodeon UK"!

According to the "What's On" schedule section on the official Nickelodeon UK and Ireland website, Nick.co.uk, as part of the first week of "Make My Mondays", Nickelodeon UK and Ireland and Nickelodeon HD UK are planning to premiere and show the brand new "SpongeBob SquarePants" episode segments "Bubble Trouble" and "The Way Of The Sponge" at 4.30pm (repeated from 5.30pm on Nick UK's plus one (+1) timeshift channel, Nick Replay UK), the brand new episode of Nickelodeon's brand new action-packed CGI-animated "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" television series "Turtle Temper" at 5.00pm (repeated at 6.00pm on Nick Replay) and the brand new episode of Nickelodeon's hit original comedy show "iCarly" called "iApril Fools" at 5.30pm (repeated at 6.30pm on Niok Replay UK) on on Monday 8th October 2012!

Below is the Nick UK & Eire's full schedule line-up to celebrate the first week of Nickelodeon UK and Ireland's brand new programming block and stunt "Make My Monday" on Monday 8th October 2012:
4:30pm SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob BrandNewPants would be a better description of this, because it's all brand new! Don't miss your first chance to see 'Bubble Trouble' and 'The Way Of The Sponge', right here!

5:00pm Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Turtle Temper: Raphael loses his temper, blowing a mission and getting the team caught on video. Raphael must learn to control his rage and retrieve the video before it falls into the wrong hands.

5:30pm iCarly - iApril Fools: Carly and Spencer are being evicted from their apartment, and the gang reminisces about their time in Bushwell Plaza. Although, their memories may not be quite how we remember them.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Nickelodeon UK Schedules To Show The Brand New Special Episode Of "Victorious" Called "Tori Goes Platinum" In October 2012

Nickelodeon UK and Ireland have announced in their brand new "Don't miss Tori Goes Platinum" ECP [End Credits Promotion] teaser trailer/promo (below with transcript) that Nickelodeon UK will be premiering the brand new special episode of "Victorious" called "Tori Goes Platinum" on Nickelodeon UK and Ireland and Nickelodeon HD UK during October 2012 as part of "October on Nickelodeon UK"!. Nickelodeon UK fanblog NickUKHub are reporting that Nickelodeon UK and Ireland and Nickelodeon HD UK are planning to premiere the brand new double-episode "Victorious" special "Tori Goes Platinum" on Friday 19th October 2012 (transmission (TX) time to be confirmed by Nick UK)!



In a brand new Victorious special, will Tori Vega become Tori Diva?

[Tori Vega (portrayed by Nickelodeon Star Victoria Justice): It's just...
Rex Powers (Robbie Shapiro's (Matt Bennett) puppet physically portrayed by a ventriloquist dummy named Christopher Cane): Just what?
Tori: ...complicated]

Could this be the end of the Tori we know?

Don't miss Tori Goes Platinum, coming this October, only on Nickelodeon!

Nickelodeon's "Monkey Quest" MMO Welcomes The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles To Ook!

Nickelodeon's "Monkey Quest" MMO (massively multiplayer online game) virtual world has announced on the 'News' area of the official "Monkey Quest" website, MonkeyQuest.com, that, to celebrate Nickelodeon USA starting to premiere and show Nickelodeon's brand new CGI-animated "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" television series from Saturday, September 29, 2012, players of Nickelodeon's "Monkey Quest" can unlock great exclusive limited time only "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" in-game content as part of the online video games' latest update (9/26)!:
9/26 Game Update! Battle Pets, Turtles & Dailies

September 27th 2012

This update is so exciting we're not sure what to share first! This update included:

NEW!

[...]

Limited Time Only! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Daily Monument in Crossroads Path

[...]
And:
Great New Reasons to Log In Every Day!

September 27th 2012

New in Ook

This month's game update has tons of new reasons to come back every day! Here are the highlights:

[...]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are Surfacing
Visit the Turtle Power Monument in Crossroads Path three days in a row to get special limited time only TMNT Gear! Don't miss out.

[...]
Extra tags: Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, Michelangelo

Nickelodeon Star And Actress Daniella Monet Reveals That She Was A Nickelodeon Kid While Growing Up

Below is a Nickelodeon News article about the Nickelodeon Star and Actress Daniella Monet, who plays 'Trina Vega' in the hit Nickelodeon comedy sitcom "Victorious", 'Bertha' in the popular Nickelodeon comedy series "Fred: The Show", and the live-action version of 'Tootie' in "The Fairly OddParents" movie "A Fairly Odd Christmas", from the 'Nickelodeon Celebrities' section of the (geo-locked) official Nickelodeon USA website, Nick.com:
Daniella Monet Was A Nick Kid!

Every artist has their muse. And for actress Daniella Monet, inspiration comes in the form of gooey green slime! Daniella grew up as a Nick kid, tuning in to the likes of Hey Arnold and All That. And it was while watching those hilarious throwback shows that she found her true love for acting!

She told PIX 11, "...It was an obsession of mine actually, I would come home from school and that was what we did, we watched Nickelodeon. I could actually probably remember the places where I watched Nickelodeon, it was usually at my grandparents house, of course my house...And, you know, it's funny to actually be in this place now 'cause I have to pinch myself at least once in a while. It's a dream come true." From fan to fame, this gal was destined from the start!

And Daniella carried out her destiny early on! "I became an actress at the young age of about 8 years old actually," she said. "I had a lot of energy growing up and my parents were like, 'Well what do we do with her?' So I started doing commercials and such after school and then kinda evolved in my teenage years into doing more theatricals and television spots. And here I am!"

When you're born with a natural knack for show biz, it's never to early to start! And getting bit by the Nick bug sure helped to give her that little extra push! ;)

The Official Nickelodeon USA Website, Nick.com, Unveils Sneak Peek Video Of The Brand New "Victorious" Episode "The Hambone King"

To celebrate Nickelodeon USA premiering and showing the brand new episode of the popular Nickelodeon comedy series "Victorious" called "The Hambone King" on Saturday 29th September 2012 (repeated on Sunday 30th September 2012), the Nickelodeon Video Clips section of Nickelodeon USA's official "VicTORIous" website has unveiled a special new online streaming video clip featuring a sneak peek at this weeks brand new episode of "Victorious", "The Hambone King", titled "New Talents", which North American visitors to Nick USA's (geo-locked) official website can watch here on Nick.com!

In the brand new episode of the hit Nickelodeon teen sitcom "Victorious" called "The Hambone King", Hollywood Arts High School student Robbie Shapiro (played by Nickelodeon Star Matt Bennett) posts a video online spotlighting his rhythmic talent of hamboning, and then he must face off against a challenger who claims to be better than him.

Kids Foot Locker Celebrates Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day Of Play

Below is a Kids Foot Locker Press Release featuring Nickelodeon News from PRNewswire:
Kids Foot Locker Celebrates Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day Of Play

Get Your Gear and Get Active!

NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Kids Foot Locker partners with Nickelodeon for its ninth annual Worldwide Day of Play, held on Saturday, October 6, 2012. From 12-3PM ET/PT, Nickelodeon and its channels will go off-air and offline to inspire kids to get up and get active. Starting today, children and their parents are encouraged to sign Kids Foot Locker's "Get Active" Pledge to turn off their televisions and play. For one-day only, customers who bring the signed pledge to any Kids Foot Locker store nationwide on Sunday, September 30, 2012, will receive a 15% discount off their purchase to "gear up" for the Worldwide Day of Play. Customers making online purchases on September 30th can enter a special code provided once the pledge is signed.

(Download image - Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120927/NY81998); Kids Foot Locker Celebrates Nickelodeon's Worldwide Day Of Play. (PRNewsFoto/Kids Foot Locker)

"We believe it is important that kids be active and healthy by participating in physical activities," said Jed Berger, Vice President of Brand Marketing, Kids Foot Locker. "We are excited to help make this possible by partnering with Nickelodeon to get children and their families off the couch and outside, whether it's in their local park or backyard, and get active."

"Over the past nine years, Worldwide Day of Play has motivated kids and families around the world to get up and get active," said Sharon Cohen, Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing, Nickelodeon Group. "This year, we are excited to partner with Kids Foot Locker to help extend that positive health and wellness message to even more families."

Kids Foot Locker will continue to distribute information to parents to promote children's wellness and good health to its VIP loyalty program members and Facebook fans, along with "fit tips" as part of its ongoing fit and health initiative.

About Kids Foot Locker:

Kids Foot Locker is part of Foot Locker, Inc., a specialty athletic retailer that operates approximately 3,350 stores in 23 countries in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Through its Foot Locker, Footaction, Lady Foot Locker, Kids Foot Locker, Champs Sports, and CCS retail stores, as well as its direct-to-customer channels, including footlocker.com/Eastbay/ CCS, the Company is the leading provider of athletic footwear and apparel. www.kidsfootlocker.com.

About Nickelodeon and Worldwide Day of Play:

Worldwide Day of Play (WWDoP) began in 2004 as a part of Nickelodeon's The Big Help initiative, a kid-led movement for positive change that focuses on issues that are important to kids, including health and wellness, the environment, education, and community service. Through The Big Help health and wellness component, kids are encouraged to be more active for and adopt healthier lifestyles. On Saturday, October 6, kids in every state across the U.S. and in countries around the world will participate in Nickelodeon's WWDoP celebration at the more than 4,000 expected local events. For more information about Nickelodeon's WWDoP, visit www.thebighelp.com. Click on resources for WWDoP event planning materials.

Nickelodeon, now in its 33rd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon's U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 17 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B).

SOURCE Kids Foot Locker

RELATED LINKS
http://www.kidsfootlocker.com.

Viacom Inc. To Report Quarterly And Fiscal Year 2012 Financial Results On Thursday 15th November 2012

Below is a Viacom Inc. Press Release from PRNewswire:
Viacom Inc. to Report Quarterly and Fiscal Year 2012 Financial Results on November 15, 2012

NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 2012 /Viacom Inc. Press Release via PRNewswire/ -- Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIAB and VIA) announced today that on Thursday, November 15, 2012, it will issue financial results for the quarter and fiscal year ending September 30, 2012. The Company will conduct a teleconference call at 8:30 a.m. (ET), following the release of its earnings announcement. The call is open to the general public.

(Download image - Viacom Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110811/NY51392LOGO )

A live audio webcast of the call will be available on the home page of Viacom's website, www.viacom.com, beginning at 8:30 a.m. (ET) on November 15. The conference call can also be accessed by dialing (888) 713-3589 (domestic) or (913) 312-1491 (international). Please call five minutes in advance to ensure that you are connected prior to the call.

The audio webcast replay will be available beginning at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on November 15 in the events/webcasts section of Viacom's website. A replay of the call will also be available beginning at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on November 15 at (888) 566-0808 (domestic) or (402) 220-9387 (international).

The earnings release and any other information related to the call will be accessible from the home page of Viacom's website.

About Viacom

Viacom is home to the world's premier entertainment brands that connect with audiences through compelling content across television, motion picture, online and mobile platforms in over 160 countries and territories. With more than 160 media networks reaching approximately 700 million global subscribers, Viacom's leading brands include MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, BET, CENTRIC, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., TeenNick, Nicktoons, Nick at Nite, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV Land, SPIKE and Tr3s. Paramount Pictures, celebrating its 100th year in 2012 and creator of many of the most beloved motion pictures, continues today as a major global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. Viacom operates a large portfolio of branded digital media experiences, including many of the world's most popular properties for entertainment, community and casual online gaming.

For more information about Viacom and its businesses, visit www.viacom.com. Keep up with Viacom news by following Viacom's blog at blog.viacom.com and Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/Viacom.

SOURCE Viacom Inc.

RELATED LINKS
http://www.viacom.com.

Roster For Class XII Of The NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program Announced; Includes Nickelodeon And Viacom Staff Members

Below is a NAMIC Press Release from PRNewswire:
Roster For Class XII Of The NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program Announced

NEW YORK, Sept. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) today announced the roster for Class XII of its Executive Leadership Development Program (ELDP). The 2012-2013 class marks the official launch of NAMIC's new academic partnership with the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. Presented over a seven-month period, Class XII sessions will be as follows: October 9-12, 2012; December 5-7, 2012; February 20-22, 2013; April 23-26, 2013.

(Download Image - NAMIC Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20060705/NYW092LOGO )

Graduating a total of 390 executives of color since the program's inception, NAMIC's ELDP targets mid to upper-mid-level (experienced directors and above) executives of color. The program's central goal is to develop business leaders of color who will be well prepared to assume the top roles within the communications industry. The new ELDP curriculum is the culmination of a rigorous needs assessment and evaluation conducted by the Darden design team, whose goal was to leverage the very best of the program's decade of success while bringing the content in alignment with the current state of the industry, coupled with the very latest research-based pedagogy focused on executive development.

"A pillar of the NAMIC mission is to guarantee that the leadership bench-strength is as diverse as the increasingly rich mosaic of the industry's consumers," said James C. Jones, vice president, Education Programs, NAMIC. "While the program definitely addresses the unique challenges faced by executives of color, ELDP places a strong emphasis on the essential business competencies that all executives must master in order to deliver strong results."

The members of ELDP Class XII are: Audrey Adlam, vice president, Public Relations and Talent Development, HGTV/Scripps Networks Interactive; Damien Alexander, vice president and associate general counsel, BET; Angel Arocho, director, Strategic Services, Comcast; Joe Bernard, vice president, Advertising Sales, NBC Universal; LeVoyd Carter, senior counsel, Cox Communications; Juan Ignacio Cebellos, coordinating producer, ESPN; Dennis Chang, vice president, National Sales manager, Turner; Miranda Chattam, coordinating producer, ESPN; Clement Cheng, vice president, Human Resources, Comcast Spotlight; Sean Coar, group vice president, Strategy and Business Decisions, Time Warner Cable; William Cossey, executive director, Supply Chain, Cox Communications; Samson Desta, senior director, Coverage, Turner; Kyle Dixon, vice president, Public Policy, Time Warner, Inc.; Cheryl Dorsey, vice president, Affiliate Sales, The Africa Channel; Pamela Dover, senior director, Business Development, Comcast; Pamela Ford, director, Communications, NCTA; Jacqueline Gagne, director, Multicultural and College Marketing, HBO; Enoch Glover, senior director, Sustained Engineering and Operations, Time Warner Cable; Lennies Gutierrez, director, Government Affairs, Comcast; Phillip Hayes, engagement executive director, Comcast Assurance and Advisory Teams, Comcast; Michael Hewitt, vice president, Technical Operations, Comcast; Kimberly Hulsey, vice president, Legal Counsel, Scripps Networks Interactive; Eric Jones, executive producer, Spike TV; Navin Kamath, director, Domestic Digital Networks Distribution, HBO; Linda Lee, director, Publishing, Nickelodeon; Adrienne Loung, director, Partner Marketing, Viacom; Derek Low, vice president, Product Management, Scripps; Cherita McIntye, director, Executive Learning, ESPN; Sonya Middleton, deputy assistant general counsel, Cox Communications; Carla Moore, vice president, Domestic Network Distribution, HBO; Sudhir Muralidhar, director, Audience Management, Comcast; Alex Okosi, senior vice president & MD, Viacom International Media Networks; Alessandra Otero-Reiss, vice president, Multicultural Marketing, Time Warner Cable; Sweta Patel, director, Marketing Analysis, Cox Communications; Stephanie Phelps, director, Global Inclusion Strategy, Viacom; David Porter, executive director, The Walter Kaitz Foundation; Gavino Ramos, senior director, Communications, Time Warner Cable; Christopher Rose, senior director, Program Scheduling and Strategy, BET Networks; S. Brinkley Ruffin, senior director, Human Resources, Bright House Networks; Kannan Subramaniam, executive director, Comcast Enterprise Technology, Comcast; Claudia Marcela Tabares, vice president, Strategic Insights, A+E Networks; Jason T. Williams, director, Global Consumer Products and Business Ops, Viacom; Cheryl Wingate, vice president, Talent Acquisition and Movement, Time Warner Cable; and Alex Wong, executive director, Engineering Operations, Comcast.

"NAMIC proudly announces the new cohort for our signature executive leadership program," said Dr. Nicol Turner-Lee, president and CEO, NAMIC. "Our new partnership with the Darden School is guaranteed to strengthen the critical business competencies that all senior leaders must command to be successful in our evolving business."
To broaden the reach of ELDP, The Walter Kaitz Foundation has provided a fellowship for eligible executives from smaller industry companies to participate in the program. This year's Kaitz funded fellowship has been granted to Cheryl Dorsey, vice president, Affiliate Sales, The Africa Channel.

For more information on the NAMIC Executive Leadership Development Program or other NAMIC education initiatives, visit www.namic.com.

ABOUT NAMIC

NAMIC (National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications) is the premier organization focusing on multi-ethnic diversity in the communications industry. Founded in 1980 as a non-profit trade association, today NAMIC comprises over 2,700 professionals belonging to a network of 16 chapters nationwide. Through initiatives that focus on education, advocacy and empowerment, NAMIC champions equity and inclusion in the workforce, with special attention given to ensuring that the leadership cadres of our nation's communications industry giants reflect the multi-ethnic richness of the populations they serve. For more information, please visit www.namic.com and stay connected to NAMIC on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and DiversityLive: The Business > Social NAMIC Network.
SOURCE NAMIC

RELATED LINKS
http://www.namic.com.

Nickelodeon USA's Television Channels Go Dark For Ninth Annual Worldwide Day Of Day On Saturday 6th October 2012

Below is a Nickelodeon Press Release with Nickelodeon News about Worldwide Day of Play 2012 from Nickelodeon USA's "Nickelodeon Kids And Family" press website, NickPress.com:
NICKELODEON'S TV CHANNELS AND WEBSITES GO DARK FOR NINTH ANNUAL WORLDWIDE DAY OF PLAY ON SATURDAY, OCT. 6

Network to Air "I Play Because" Special in Celebration of Active Play, Featuring Appearances by First Lady Michelle Obama, David Beckham, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Nastia Liukin and Apolo Ohno, Jennette McCurdy, the Cast of Victorious, Lucas Cruikshank and Performances by The Wanted and Rachel Crow

NEW YORK–Sept. TK, 2012 – For the ninth consecutive year, Nickelodeon is empowering kids to get up and get active when its TV channels and websites go off-air and offline for its annual Worldwide Day of Play (WWDoP) on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 12 to 3 p.m. (all times ET/PT). The network's channels – Nicktoons, Nick Jr. and TeenNick – and their companion sites – Nick.com, NickJr.com, Nicktoons.com and TeenNick.com will also participate in the network's commemoration of play. At 5 p.m., Nick will premiere “I Play Because,” an action-packed special highlighting how kids around the world celebrated WWDoP. The half-hour special will be hosted by Nickelodeon stars and will feature appearances by First Lady Michelle Obama, David Beckham, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalists Nastia Liukin and Apolo Ohno, among others and musical performances by The Wanted and Rachel Crow.

"Through our ninth annual Worldwide Day of Play we are building upon our ongoing health and wellness messaging to encourage millions of kids around the world to embrace an active and healthy lifestyle,” said Marva Smalls, Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, Nickelodeon Kids and Family Group. "This year, we're championing real kids with a global celebration that kicked off in July with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move London! and will culminate with thousands of events taking place in commemoration of Worldwide Day of Play."

Nickelodeon kicked off its health and wellness messaging with the “Road to Worldwide Day of Play” onair campaign, featuring spots encouraging kids and organizations across the country to get up and get active on Oct. 6. The network also launched the "I Wanna Play" sweepstakes on www.thebighelp.com, giving kids an opportunity to submit what their schools or community organizations are doing to celebrate play for a chance to win a grand prize $100,000 custom Nickelodeon playground. Nickelodeon will award secondary prizing of five $10,000 grants to local organizations across the country working to promote active play. The grand prize winner of the “I Wanna Play” sweepstake will be announced on the “I Play Because” special, airing on Nickelodeon on Oct. 6, at 5 p.m.

At 9 a.m., on Oct. 6, Nickelodeon will kick start its on-air celebration with Jeff Sutphen, host of Nickelodeon's hit game show Figure It Out, from the Big Brothers Big Sisters Race for the Kids in New York City. At 12 p.m. (ET/PT), the channel will be “turned off” by Sutphen, encouraging kids and families to get outside and get active. When the network goes dark, a message encouraging viewers to go play will appear on a loop.

At 3 p.m., Nickelodeon will "turn" the network back on, followed by the premiere of "I Play Because" at 5 p.m. The half-hour special will showcase how kids across the country and around the world celebrated Worldwide Day of Play. In addition to First Lady Michelle Obama, David Beckham, Apolo Ohno and Nastia Liukin, the special will also feature a roster of Nickelodeon stars, including Jennette McCurdy, Ariana Grande, Daniella Monet, Leon Thomas III, Matt Bennett, Lucas Cruikshank, Halston Sage, Gracie Dzienny and Jeff Sutphen. Nick stars will check in from several events taking place around the world, including Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York's Race for the Kids, Let’s Move London!, a United States Tennis Association (USTA) event for kids, a health and wellness event hosted by NFL's Play 60 and Rob Dyrdek’s Street League Skate Championship. “I Play Because” will also include special musical performances from international sensations, The Wanted and rising star, Rachel Crow of X Factor fame.

Nickelodeon and a roster of more than 25 partner organizations will encourage their locals affiliates to host events in markets across the country leading up to and on Worldwide Day of Play (Oct. 6).

Organizations participating this year include Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Let's Move!, Kiwanis-Key Club, National Environmental Education Foundation, NFL Play 60, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition, National Park Foundation, National Park Service, Ability Path/Best Buddies, ASPCA, Association of Children's Museums, National Association for Sports and Physical Education, National PTA, National Wildlife Federation, Outdoor Foundation, Paralympics, Playward, Special Olympics, UN Foundation/Girl Up, YMCA of Greater New York, Youth Service America, US Youth Soccer, Natural Resources Defense Council, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, The First Tee and JAM School Program.

In conjunction with Nickelodeon's WWDoP, the USTA is encouraging tennis clubs, tennis facilities, schools, parks and recreational organizations throughout the country to host USTA Free Tennis Play Days. The USTA Free Tennis Play Days began September 1 and will run through October 6, and are open to the public. During these events, kids will have the opportunity to play tennis as well as participate in a variety of tennis skill and game challenges that can be done individually or in teams. To date, more than 1,000 events have been scheduled across the country. For more information on local USTA Free Tennis Play Days visit www.youthtennis.com.

Additionally, Kids Foot Locker is partnering with Nickelodeon by encouraging parents to sign the “Get Active” pledge in celebration of Worldwide Day of Play. Customers who bring their signed pledge to any Kids Foot Locker store nationwide on Sunday, September 30th will receive a 15% discount to gear up for WWDoP. Kids Foot Locker outreach will include in-store signage and messaging on their social media platforms. Starting September 24th, go to www.kidsfootlocker.com/WWDOP to download the pledge

WWDoP began in 2004 as a part of Nickelodeon's The Big Help initiative, a kid-led movement for positive change that focuses on issues that are important to kids, including health and wellness, the environment, education, and community service. Through the Big Help health and wellness component, kids are encouraged to be more active for healthier lifestyles. On October 6, kids in every state across the U.S. and worldwide are expected to participate in Nickelodeon's WWDOP at the more than 4,000 expected local events.

For more information about Nickelodeon’s WWDoP, visit www.thebighelp.com. Click on resources for WWDoP event planning materials.

Nickelodeon, now in its 33rd year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in almost 100 million households
and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 17 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIA.B).

###

Contacts:

Thamar Romero
thamar.romero@nick.com

Tori Fernandes
tori.fernandes@nick.com.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dish Reportedly To Be In Talks With Viacom About Internet TV

From IP&TV News:
Dish in OTT talks with Viacom?

New reports are coming in that US satellite TV giant Dish Network is planning to launch an over-the-top (OTT) video service similar to BSkyB’s ‘Now TV’ in the UK, with Bloomberg now reporting that Dish is in talks with studios including Viacom, Univision and Scripps Networks Interactive.

Citing two executives “familiar with the situation”, the reports state that Viacom is looking to sell smaller bundles of its networks (which include MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central) at a higher rate per-channel, and that Dish’s putative new OTT service is shaping up to be the perfect home for them.

However, sports rights may be a thorny issue here: the new service may struggle if it lacks popular sports programming such as from ESPN. Also, the omission of online video from Nielsen ratings may prove problematic in discussions with ad agencies.

These rumours follow speculation from investment research house Zacks last week which suggested that major satellite TV operator DISH Network (the second-largest pay-TV operator in the US) is planning to launch an over-the-top (OTT) video service targeting younger viewers.

UK satellite operator BSkyB launched a service earlier this year called ‘Now TV’ which will eventually offer pay-as-you-go access to a vast selection of its linear content (including premium sports, drama and movies), whilst avoiding the need for a satellite dish (and lengthy contract).

DISH already operates an OTT service in other parts of the world called DISHWorld, which launched last May on the Roku streaming player.

Via Bloomberg.
Also, from Bloomberg:
Dish Said to Be in Talks With Viacom About Internet TV

Dish Network Corp. (DISH) is talking to networks such as Viacom (VIAB) Inc.’s MTV about offering their channels over the Internet, a service that could shift the economics of the pay-TV industry, five people familiar with the plan said.

In addition to Viacom, the negotiations involve the Spanish-language broadcaster Univision Communications Inc. and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (SNI), owner of the Food Network and HGTV, said the people, who asked not to be named because the talks are private. The companies would offer an online product known as an over-the-top service, charging a lower price for a smaller bundle of channels viewable on a computer or tablet.

Dish’s service would change the dynamics of the pay- television business, breaking up the bundles that force customers to pay for channels they don’t watch. It also gives Dish a way to avoid its biggest programming expense: sports. Walt Disney Co. (DIS)’s ESPN gets as much as $5.13 each month for every cable and satellite subscriber, compared with the industry’s average of 26 cents, according to SNL Kagan.
“That’s when you could start seeing a few cracks in the ecosystem,” said Alan Gould, a media analyst at Evercore Partners LLC in New York. “The addition of an over-the-top service would be significant.”

Live Television

The effort would mark the biggest attempt to create an online service with live cable channels, a break from the approach taken by Netflix (NFLX) Inc. and Hulu LLC. For Dish, the move would decrease its reliance on its satellite-TV service, which ranks second to DirecTV (DTV) in U.S. customers. It also gives it a way to undercut pay-TV competitors on price.

Dish rose 1.8 percent to $30.97 at the close in New York. The shares have gained 8.7 percent this year.

Cable networks, meanwhile, have been reluctant to break up their suite of channels and sell them a la carte because it would lower the amount of available advertising inventory. Viacom and other cable networks typically sell ads at a lower rate than the big broadcast networks such as CBS Corp. (CBS), so they rely on volume.
Viacom would be willing to sell smaller bundles of its networks, which also include Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, at a higher rate per channel than it does for its full complement of programming, according to two executives familiar with the situation.

Bob Toevs, a spokesman for Englewood, Colorado-based Dish, declined to comment. Mark Jafar, a spokesman for New York-based Viacom, also declined to comment, as did Mark Kroeger at Scripps and Matt Biscuiti at Univision.

Unwanted Option?

A central question is whether consumers want smaller bundles that lack sports programming. Several pay-TV operators, including Dish and Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC), already offer cheaper packages that don’t include sports. Those offerings aren’t very popular, said Amy Phillips, a spokeswoman for ESPN, the biggest cable sports network. “History shows that very few households subscribe,” she said.
Dish offers a $20-per-month satellite package without ESPN, though it also lacks other top channels such as MTV and HGTV. Cable and satellite companies have agreements with ESPN that require the video distributors to include the sports network in their most popular tier of TV service.

Charging Less

Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen, who co-founded the company, has said there will be a day when a pay-TV operator chooses not to include sports in order to charge $10 to $20 per month less than competitors.

“My mom doesn’t watch sports,” Ergen said during a conference call last month. “I’ve got neighbors who don’t want sports. I’ve got friends who go to the bars or the neighbors’ house to watch sports.”

Dish’s plan would go beyond the constraints of the so- called TV Everywhere initiative, already adopted by most of the major networks. Programmers such as CNN and HBO, both owned by Time Warner Inc. (TWX), offer the option to people who already pay for television, letting them watch those same channels on their phones, tablets and personal computers.

Time Warner Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes has said it wouldn’t make sense to sell HBO directly to the 6 percent of homes in the U.S. who don’t have cable or satellite service.

“There are some of those people that if you sign them up, they would die the next day -- these are people that are old,” he said at an investor conference last week.

Cord Cutters

Still, some younger people are abandoning conventional cable TV in favor of Internet services. Dish wants to reach consumers around 18 to 28 who would rather pay $20 a month for a smaller package of channels to watch on computers or mobile devices, CEO Joseph Clayton said in an interview this month.

The challenge is getting a “critical mass” of companies to give online rights to live shows, Clayton said. Negotiations bog down because programmers aren’t willing to sell Dish the rights for a low enough price to make a service viable, he said. Dish’s satellite customers paid an average of about $78 a month in the second quarter.

Netflix and Hulu, two of the biggest providers of TV and movie content over the Internet, don’t carry live programming, which is considered valuable to advertisers because viewers are less likely to skip commercials.

One hurdle to an Internet-only service, according to programmers: Nielsen doesn’t measure online video the same way it does with television. That makes it harder to track how many people are watching and sell advertising based on that audience.

Online Audiences

Nielsen can measure online viewing audiences provided that programmers broadcast the same ads online as they do on television, said Brian Fuhrer, a senior vice president at the ratings company. Websites such as Hulu, which sells different ads during the shows it streams, would require special coding for Nielsen to count.

Dish would be competing with Aereo Inc., a startup backed by Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI) that lets users watch some live television over the Internet for a fixed monthly fee.

The broadcast networks, including News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox and CBS, sued the company in March for what they consider the illegal retransmissions of their broadcast signals. The networks normally receive fees from television distributors such as Dish. New York-area cable provider Cablevision Systems Corp. filed a brief in support of the broadcasters last week.

Broadcast Networks

Dish and Aereo don’t expect to get separate Internet rights from the major broadcast channels -- Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC -- according to two people familiar with the negotiations. Fox, CBS and NBC also are suing Dish over its AutoHop Ad-Skipper, which allows Dish customers to instantly bypass commercials for network shows the day after they’re first aired. Dish has filed its own lawsuit against all four networks.

Aereo, based in New York, is in talks with a number of cable networks, including Viacom, to get rights to an older library of shows, similar to what’s available on Netflix, according to two executives with knowledge of the discussions. Aereo would pay for that content, unlike what it does with the broadcast channels’ programming, according to the people.

Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia said at an investor conference last week that additional content would be packaged a la carte or in “micropackages” for an additional $2 or $4 a month. The company plans to pair the broadcast networks with independent cable channels and new Internet-only products from network companies to give customers streaming movies, news and sports.

Aereo charges $8 a month plus tax for its standard service, which is only available in New York City. Kanojia said he plans to expand Aereo to as many as 15 markets before the end of 2013.

Dish already delivers an online service called DishWorld to overseas audiences, who watch it using set-top boxes from Roku Inc. Anthony Wood, CEO of Saratoga, California-based Roku, said he has been approached by several media companies looking to offer over-the-top services and expects to see some blossom in the U.S. soon.
“We will see that in the next year,” he said.
Also, from World Internet TV on PC (blog):
Dish Plan Potential Streaming Deal With Viacom

American satellite TV provider Dish Network are rumoured to be moving into the world of online streaming, after it was revealed that they have been in talks with a number of media companies in the country, in particular Viacom, over plans for an Internet-delivered live TV service.

It is claimed that the Dish-Viacom discussions have been ongoing for around a year, although a formal deal is not yet on the radar due to the satellite provider’s holding of ‘expensive sports rights’ which they feel would deter a large proportion of audiences from using a streaming service which packages all Dish channels in together.

While Dish Network does already hold an interest in online streaming through their Blockbuster brand, they have so far only focused on on-demand movies rather than live TV, and make it only available to their satellite subscribers, and as a result seem to be looking for partners to help them provide a service for non-subscribers in a similar way to how English satellite company BSkyB have launched ‘NOW TV’ for the UK market.

A source close to the process said of the problems: “Dish is approaching all programmers with this and some folks are still hearing them out. Another reason why other programmers may have definitively turned this down is that they program live sports, so this model is a non-starter for them.”

While Viacom (owners of channels including MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and Spike) seem to remain the long-running targets for Dish Network’s planned service, they are also said to have been attempting collaborations with Scripps Networks Interactive (Food Network and HGTV), along with Spanish-language service Univision.

The service from Dish Network (which no representatives of the ‘approached’ media companies have commented on) is said to be proposed with the idea of ‘shaking up’ the pay-TV industry in the country, by doing away with the traditional methods of having to pay high costs for the rights to a ‘network bundle’, with Dish chairman Charlie Ergen particularly critical of the expensive cost to licence a show which is readily available on an alternative service such as Netflix or iTunes.

While it is unclear what a Dish Network streaming service would exactly consist of, or when it will arrive, will it be as revolutionary and cost-effective as it claims it would be?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Nickelodeon Hopes For Ratings Rescue By The "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

From Los Angeles Times:
Nickelodeon hopes for rescue by 'Ninja Turtles'

A newer, hipper version of the '80s and '90s cartoon franchise is the latest effort by the children's network to combat a ratings plunge.

A hipper version of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” a hugely popular cartoon franchise in the ’80s and ’90s, is the latest effort by Nickelodeon to combat a ratings plunge. (Nickelodeon / July 24, 2012)

The turtles are being unleashed in the nick of time.

On Saturday morning, Nickelodeon will take the lid off a slicker, hipper version of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles." The armed reptiles, a hugely popular cartoon franchise in the '80s and '90s, are the latest effort by the children's network to combat a dramatic ratings plunge.

Over the past year, Nickelodeon has lost 28% of its young audience, according to ratings firm Nielsen. The network's signature programming, "SpongeBob SquarePants" and tween sensation "iCarly," have lost cache with kids who are turning to other channels and other entertainment such as video games.

That has provided an opening for competing networks to make gains. Arch rival Disney Channel last year surpassed Nickelodeon among its target audience of viewers aged 2 to 11, shattering Nick's 16-year streak of ratings victories.

"I can't think of another instance in television history in which a network that has been so dominant for so long has fallen so far and so fast," said Todd Juenger, media analyst with investment firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

Nickelodeon's ratings stumbles have captured the attention of Wall Street because the network is a crucial profit center for parent company Viacom Inc. The Nickelodeon networks, which include Nick Jr. and TeenNick, last year generated $2.5 billion in revenue for the company — and more than 37% of Viacom's cash flow, according to consulting firm SNL Kagan.

Although Viacom's stock has not suffered because of the market's general enthusiasm for media stocks, analysts nevertheless have become increasingly concerned about the youth defection.

With so much at stake, Viacom has thrown tens of millions of dollars into development of new programs for Nickelodeon, including the latest reboot of the masked marauders from the sewers of New York who first towered over the cartoon landscape in the 1980s.

Viacom acquired the rights to "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" three years ago for $60 million and has given them an updated, computer-generated look and more contemporary cronies. For example, April O'Neil, originally a grown-up TV reporter, is now a spunky, pony-tailed 16-year-old girl.

The network has ordered 26 new episodes of the turtles. And more new shows are on the way.

Last week, Viacom's chief executive told investors that Nickelodeon stepped up its production pipeline, and would run 70% more original programming during the fourth quarter than it did in the year-earlier period. Nickelodeon said that it plans to launch four new series, including "See Dad Run" with '80s heartthrob Scott Baio.

Last year, Nickelodeon spent nearly $400 million on programming, according to SNL Kagan.

The network desperately needs new animated hits that will delight young children and send them and their parents to stores to buy action figure toys, T-shirts, backpacks and DVDs.

"Content, and the creation of great content, drives everything," Viacom Chief Executive Philippe Dauman said last week during an investor conference. The company was particularly excited by the turtles' revenue prospects, he said. "We are already selling out the merchandise we are putting out there," Dauman said.

Even muscle-bound reptiles won't be enough to fend off challenges from competitors Disney Channel, Disney XD, Cartoon Network, PBS Sprout and the Hub, a 2-year-old channel owned by Discovery Communications and toy company Hasbro Corp.

Walt Disney Co.'s Disney Channel has been notching gains after overhauling its animated division in recent years. The company brought in Eric Coleman to lead Disney Television Animation four years ago. Coleman spent 15 years at Nickelodeon, where he championed such shows as "SpongeBob SquarePants."

Disney's revitalized cartoon studio produced the TV network's first $1-billion animated franchise, the abstractly drawn series "Phineas and Ferb." The show, about two step-brothers who create fanciful machines, rolled out in 2007.

While competitors ramped up, Nickelodeon continued to rely on old stalwarts, including its famous squid, sponge and starfish.

"More than 40% of Nickelodeon's schedule has been 'SpongeBob,' " said Brian Wieser, senior analyst at Pivotal Research Group, an equity research firm. "A workhorse would be a charitable definition of the situation, but we would call it dependency."

Three years ago, "SpongeBob" attracted 2.8 million viewers an episode during its daytime runs, including nearly 1.5 million children in Nickelodeon's target audience of children aged 2 to 11, according to Nielsen. This year, the "SpongeBob" audience had fallen to 2.1 million viewers in daytime, including 1.1 million in the 11 and under set.

Declines for "SpongeBob" in the evening, when more adults were watching, were even greater. Two years ago, "SpongeBob" episodes attracted 3.5 million viewers in the Nick-at-Nite programming block. By this year, 1.75 million viewers were tuning in at night.

Some analysts worry that Nickelodeon's declines signal a fundamental shift in viewing behavior. Many young viewers are as likely to watch streamed episodes of cartoons on their game consoles, smart phones and tablets as they are on cable TV channels. Currently, the industry's profitability depends on cable subscription revenue, a source that is threatened by the incursion of online video services such as Netflix and Hulu.

Juenger, the Bernstein analyst, made waves earlier this year when he suggested that Nickelodeon's ratings erosion was caused, in large part, by more children watching "SpongeBob" reruns on Netflix.

He and his colleagues began scrutinizing children's networks because their ratings declines were more pronounced than for channels targeting broader audiences.

Young viewers are a bellwether of future trends.

Viacom and others disagreed with Juenger's conclusions, saying he relied on too narrow a data sample.

Wieser, of Pivotal Research, doesn't buy into the "Netflix effect" as the primary cause for the network's troubles.

"It's the programming. Nickelodeon's programming just hasn't produced the ratings," said Wieser. "They have been overly reliant on just a few hits. 'SpongeBob' and 'iCarly' have gotten a bit stale and now the issue becomes whether this is a fixable problem."

Zodiak Kids' And Anchor Bay Entertainment Join Forces For The UK And North American Home Entertainment Release Of The Hit Nick Jr. Preschool Show "Tickety Toc"

Below is a Anchor Bay Entertainment Press Release from the official Anchor Bay Entertainment website, AnchorBayEntertainment.com:
Zodiak Kids’ and Anchor Bay Entertainment Join Forces for the Home Entertainment Release of the Hit Preschool Show Tickety Toc

Zodiak Kids is delighted to announce that they have secured a North American & U.K. home entertainment partner for the hit preschool show Tickety Toc (52 x11') produced by The Foundation, part of Zodiak Kids, and Korea-based FunnyFlux Entertainment. Anchor Bay Entertainment has picked-up the North American and U.K. home entertainment rights to the series. They will launch in fall 2013, at the same time as U.S. & U.K. master toy partners Just Play LLC & Vivid Imaginations. Zodiak Kids has also secured deals with several other broadcasters internationally including: PTS (Taiwan) and ATV (Turkey).

Karen Vermeulen, SVP Global Sales and Coproduction, Zodiak Kids, comments: “We are delighted Tickety Toc will be joining the brilliant Anchor Bay stable which includes preschool favourites such as Chuggington in the U.S. It's also great to be able to follow the U.S. broadcast with the announcement of more free to air TV partners set to broadcast the series later this year.”

"Anchor Bay has consistently been home to quality preschool programming," stated Bill Clark, president of Anchor Bay Entertainment. "We're excited to offer Tickety Toc as well and look forward to working with Zodiak Kids."

Tickety Toc is a colourful CGI animated series which follows the fast-paced, energetic, comedic adventures of twins, Tommy and Tallulah and their remarkable friends as they race against time to keep the clock ticking and chime in the time. Through Tommy and Tallulah’s madcap adventures, Tickety Toc explores concepts of teamwork, social responsibility and problem solving in a fun and engaging way.

Tickety Toc launched on Nick Jr. in the U.K. this April as its number one show for that month* and on Nickelodeon® U.S. and France 5 earlier this month. Tickety Toc is originated and directed by FunnyFlux Entertainment founder and president, Gil Hoon Jung. Executive producers are Nigel Pickard and Vanessa Hill for The Foundation and the Series Producer is Karina Stanford-Smith.

Tickety Toc was an enhanced acquisition deal with Nickelodeon® channels around the world. Zodiak Kids has previously announced free TV sales of the 52 x 11’ series to Channel 5/Milkshake! (UK); France 5 (France); Disney Junior (Canada); TG4 (Gaelic-language terrestrial channel in Ireland); Pop TV (Slovenia); NRK Super (Norway) and YLE (Finland).

Zodiak Kids control all worldwide rights for Tickety Toc except in Korea and Japan.

About Zodiak Kids

Zodiak Kids is the global independent leader in kids’ entertainment, combining Zodiak Media Group's dedicated kids’ Production Companies, Consumer Products and Sales Division. Zodiak Kids represents a yearly output of over 350 episodes of new programming produced by prominent producers: The Foundation (UK); Marathon Media (France) and Tele Images Productions (France).

Sales for Zodiak kids are handled by a dedicated team within Zodiak Rights, one of the leading international distributors in the industry.

Zodiak Kids boasts one of the largest, high-quality kids catalogues in the world, which includes Totally Spies!, the international hit animation series; Waybuloo, the CBeebies pre-school hit; Redakai, a brand new series on Cartoon Network US; Mister Maker, the ultimate arts and craft show; Gormiti, based on the extraordinarily successful figurine range that sold over 100 million pieces; Street Football, one of the top rated animated shows in France and Italy.

About Anchor Bay Entertainment

Anchor Bay Entertainment is the home entertainment division of Starz Media, LLC. It includes the Anchor Bay Films and Manga Entertainment brands. It distributes feature films, children’s entertainment, fitness, TV series, documentaries, anime and other filmed entertainment on Blu-ray™ and DVD formats. Headquartered in Beverly Hills, CA, Anchor Bay Entertainment has offices in Troy, MI, as well as Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Starz Media is an operating unit of Starz, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Liberty Media Corporation.

*Source: BARB, C&S homes, K4-15, Nick Jr., April 2012, July 2012.

-Ends-
Also, from Home Media Magazine:
Anchor Bay Picks Up Rights to ‘Tickety Toc’

Anchor Bay Entertainment has nailed down the North American and U.K. rights to preschool show “Tickety Toc,” with plans for a multiplatform release in late 2013.

Toy companies Just Play and Vivid Imaginations will partner on merchandising timed with the release, while show owner Zodiak Kids will have the show broadcast on Taiwan’s PTS and Turkey’s ATV channels.

“Anchor Bay has consistently been home to quality preschool programming,” said Bill Clark, president of Anchor Bay Entertainment. “We’re excited to offer ‘Tickety Toc’ as well and look forward to working with Zodiak Kids.”

Karen Vermeulen, SVP of global sales and coproduction for Zodiak Kids, added: “We are delighted ‘Tickety Toc’ will be joining the brilliant Anchor Bay stable which includes preschool favorites such as ‘Chuggington’ in the U.S. It’s also great to be able to follow the U.S. broadcast with the announcement of more free to air TV partners set to broadcast the series later this year.”

The CGI animated series follows the adventures of two twins and their friends, and launched on Nick Jr. in the U.K. in April, and on Nickelodeon in the United States and France earlier in September.

Nickelodeon UK Unveils Extensive "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" Launch Promotion

From The Drum:
Nickelodeon undertakes one of its biggest programme launches with the return of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Children's entertainment channel, Nickelodeon, is embarking on one of the biggest UK programme launches in its history as it promotes the return of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, premiering Monday 1 October at 5pm.

The 3D art installation at Riverside Walkway

Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo will emerge onto the streets on London’s Southbank this morning through a specially commissioned 3D art installation at Riverside Walkway by St Gabriel’s Wharf. On top of this Nickelodeon has already commissioned promotional spots, phone boxes, ring tones, and taxis to support the launch.

“The marketing campaign is inspired by the show itself, with the Turtles emerging from the sewers onto the city streets, first with the phone boxes that has each one of our heroes in situ and now with a literal unveiling of the lair below our feet,” said Alison Bakunowich, VP Director of Marketing and Communications, Nickelodeon UK. “Nickelodeon has a fantastic history in creating iconic animation that captures the imaginations of audiences and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an awesome addition to the canon. I cannot wait for audiences to see it.”

[Nickelodeon UK's "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" telephone box promotion, featuring Leonardo (also known as Leo)]

On air, 60 and 30-second promotional spots, created by the Nickelodeon creative team, are currently airing across Nickelodeon and Nicktoons, in addition to other kids' networks and ITV and Channel 5. Across the UK, 2500 phone boxes have been adorned with Turtles with each box featuring a QR code that gives fans access to a free download of the show's opening theme.

A comprehensive online campaign, including site takeovers, is currently running across selected kid-focussed sites, and 50 digital screens across two Westfield retail locations feature a ten-second reel for the show. Future roll outs include a fleet of 37 Turtles-branded taxis to appear nationwide from Tuesday 16 October. All media for the campaign was planned and booked by UM London.

The all-new CG-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will air on Nickelodeon just two days after the U.S. premiere. Considered to be one of the most popular kids' television programmes of the 1980s, the re-working, featuring the voices of American Pie’s Jason Biggs (Leonardo) and Lord of the Rings’ Sean Astin (Raphael), hopes to bring the show to a new generation.



Extra tags: Advertising Design Entertainment Marketing Public Relations UK Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Nickelodeon UK Unveils 3D "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" Art Installation On London's Southbank!

Nickelodeon UK and Ireland has unveiled their very special "Top Secret Super Special Plan" which Nick UK and Eire hinted at earlier this week: Nickelodeon UK has commissioned a very special three-dimensional (3D) art work installation featuring a sewer scene from Nickelodeon's brand new CGI-animated "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" television series on London's Southbank which was unveiled today (Thursday 27th September 2012) to celebrate and promote Nickelodeon UK premiering and showing Nickelodeon's brand new CGI-animated "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" television series from Monday 1st October 2012 at 5.00pm (BST (GMT+1)), starting with a very special one-hour television event! Tweeted (posted) by Nickelodeon UK and Ireland on their official Twitter profile page (@NickelodeonUK):
AWESOME art for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - watch 5pm Monday!! #nickturtlesuk pic.twitter.com/Z6gbudGu

Also:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles artwork is at Southbank, London. Head there and show me your pics! I'll RT some! :) #nickturtlesuk.
And:
More cool Turtles art from fans! RT if you like ! :) #nickturtlesuk pic.twitter.com/wGhqjJrc

Also, from Licensing.biz:
NCP reveals Turtles 3D art installation on London's Southbank

Stunt is latest part of nationwide promotional campaign to launch new Ninja Turtles series.

A specially commissioned 3D art installation featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles can be seen on London's Southbank today.

The piece, which can be viewed until 5pm today (Thursday September 27th), is the latest part of Nickelodeon's nationwide promotional blitz to launch the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.

It is due to premiere on Monday October 1st at 5pm.

The campaign is set to be one of the largest UK launches in Nickelodeon's history and includes promotional spots, phone boxes, ring tones and taxis.

On air, 60 and 30-second spots have been created to air across Nickelodeon and Nicktoon, in addition to other kids networks, ITV and Channel 5. An online campaign includes site takeovers, while 2,500 phones boxes across the country have been adorned with Leo, Donnie, Raph or Mikey.

"The marketing campaign is inspired by the show itself, with the Turtles emerging from the sewers onto the city streets, first with the phone boxes that has each one of our heroes in situ and now with a literal unveiling of the lair below our feet," explained Alison Bakunowich, VP director of marketing and communications at Nickelodeon UK.

"Nickelodeon has a fantastic history in creating iconic animation that captures the imaginations of audiences and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an awesome addition to the canon."
Also, from Digital Spy:
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles erupt onto the Southbank - pictures

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles celebrate their return to television.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have erupted onto the street of London's Southbank to mark their return to television.

In an artwork created by British artists 3D Joe and Max, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael burst out onto the streets of the capital.

> 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' returns - preview

The show returns this month with Jason Biggs as Leonardo, Rob Paulsen as Donatello, Sean Astin as Raphael and Greg Cipes as Michelangelo.

All new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles premieres on October 1 at 5pm on Nickelodeon with a one-hour special.

There have been two previous animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.

The first began in 1987, spawning ten seasons and 193 episodes. This was followed by a new series in 2003, consisting of seven seasons and 156 episodes.