New York,28Feb, 2017: The New York Times will air its first TV ad in seven years on Sunday’s broadcast of the Academy Awards on ABC, as the 166-year old newspaper looks to highlight independent journalism amid U.S. President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media as “fake news.”
The Oscars are among the pricier ad buys on television, with 30-second commercials going for between $1.9 and $2 million, according to ad-tracking firm Kantar Media. While ABC, owned by Walt Disney, does not comment on how much it receives from advertisers, a source with knowledge of negotiations said the Times’ ad buy was in that range.
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The Oscars is traditionally the most-watched non-sports event broadcast in the United States.
Since Trump’s November 8 election victory, the Times has seen an uptick in digital subscribers and revenue even as its business on the print side declines. During the Times’ most recent quarter, the paper added 276,000 digital subscribers and grew digital ad revenue by nearly 11 percent, accounting for more than 40 percent of its overall ad revenues.
People ride the subway as they read newspapers as the train pulls into the Times Square in Manhattan, New York, Feb. 17, 2017.
Building online readership
The New York Times, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and Gannett are building on the online readership they gained during the 2016 presidential election by marketing unbiased reporting as a sales strategy.
Trump has repeatedly bashed the press. In a tweet last week citing The New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN, he said the media was “the enemy of the American People!”
Last year’s Oscars broadcast attracted 34.4 million viewers, making it the third-lowest-rated Oscars since 1974. Still, only National Football League games and Fox’s airing of the final game of last fall’s World Series drew more viewers in 2016.
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Ad a response to ‘fake news’
The New York Times commercial is part of a broader brand campaign, the paper’s first in a decade, that aims to position the newspaper as a reliable outlet in the face of the rise of the “fake news” epidemic.
The company’s 30-second commercial repeats the words “The Truth Is” on screen, with voices in background getting increasingly louder, with different endings including “our nation is more divided than ever” and “alternative facts are lies.”
The ad ends with: “The Truth is more important now than ever.”(VOA)
The New York Times has devoted its entire front page to the names of 1,000 of the COVID-19 victims as the US approaches nearly 100,000 virus deaths, the current highest in the world as suggested by COVID-19 Information & Resources.
The Sunday edition’s front page comprises a simple list of names and personal details taken from obituaries around the US, the BBC reported.
The headline is “US deaths near 100,000, an incalculable loss”, with a sub-heading that reads: “They were not simply names on a list. They were us.”
New York state, the epicentre of the US coronavirus pandemic, has recorded 385,000 confirmed cases, with 23,195 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.
Coronavirus cases are spiking from India to South Africa and Mexico in a clear indication the pandemic is far from over, while Russia and Brazil now sit behind only the United States in the number of reported infections, according to COVID-19 Information & Resources.
The surges come as much of Asia, Europe and scores of U.S. states have been easing lockdowns to restart their economies as new infections wane. U.S. autoworkers, French teachers and Thai mall workers are among hundreds of thousands of employees back at work with new safety precautions.
Russia reported a steady rise in new infections Tuesday, and new hot spots have emerged across the nation of about 147 million. Russia registered nearly 9,300 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to almost 300,000 infections, about half of them in Moscow. Authorities say over 2,800 people with COVID-19 have died in Russia, a figure some say is surely higher.
Some experts argue Russian authorities have been listing chronic illnesses as the cause of death for many who tested positive for the virus. Officials angrily deny manipulating statistics, saying Russia’s low death toll reflects early preventive measures and broad screening. Nearly 7.4 million tests have been conducted.
In Russia’s second-largest city of St. Petersburg, a virus hot spot, all burials now must be with closed coffins as a precaution, irrespective of the cause of death. Previously the measure applied only to COVID-19 deaths.
Russia’s caseload is second only to that of the U.S., which has seen 1.5 million infections and over 90,000 deaths. The country’s prime minister, Mikhail Mishustin, resumed work Tuesday after a bout of coronavirus.
Cases are still rising across Africa, where all 54 nations have seen confirmed infections for a total of over 88,000 cases and 2,800 deaths, according to the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
South Africa has the highest number of cases at over 16,400 and nearly 290 deaths. Infections have increased dramatically in Cape Town and the surrounding Western Cape province, which now accounts for 61% of South Africa’s total.
Latin America has seen more than 480,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and about 31,000 dead. The highest number of cases is in Brazil, which became the world’s third worst-hit county Monday with more than 250,000 infections despite limited testing. Hospital officials reported that more than 85% of intensive care beds are occupied in the states of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
Some countries have seen encouraging signs reverse: Iran reported a steady drop in new infections through April, only to see them rise again in May.
But there is new hope after an experimental vaccine against the coronavirus yielded encouraging results, though in a small and extremely early test. Stocks rallied Monday on the news.
In a surprise announcement, President Donald Trump said he has been taking the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to protect against the virus even though scientists say there is no evidence of its effectiveness against the disease and his own administration has warned it should be administered only in a hospital or research setting because of potentially fatal side effects.
In Russia, President Vladimir Putin has declared that a partial economic shutdown imposed in late March helped slow the outbreak and prevented the nation’s health care system from being overwhelmed. A week ago, he ended the nationwide lockdown.
He has given Russia’s 85 regions a free hand to determine how they will ease their own lockdowns, but some have been struggling. The mostly Muslim southern province of Dagestan has reported a spike in infections that left its hospitals overflowing.
In India, coronavirus cases surged past 100,000, and infections are rising in the home states of migrant workers who fled cities and towns during a nationwide lockdown when they lost their jobs.
India is now seeing more than 4,000 new cases daily. States including West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Gujarat, the major contributors of India’s migrant labor, are showing major spikes in infections as the country’s lockdown rules have eased. More than 3,100 with COVID-19 have died, according to India’s Health Ministry.
And in densely populated Bangladesh, where authorities reported a record number of new positive tests at over 1,600, thousands of cars were on the streets of the capital, Dhaka, despite a lockdown. Authorities have relaxed some rules and allowed shops to open ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
In Latin America, intensive care units in the Chilean capital of Santiago have been beyond 90% capacity for days, and officials warned that intensive care staff members are reaching their limits.
“They can’t keep going forever, no matter how many beds or ventilators there are,” said Claudio Castillo, a professor of public policy and health at the University of Santiago.
Infections are also increasing in poor areas of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, where authorities relaxed strict lockdown measures last week, allowing some businesses to open and children to walk outside on weekends.
Colombia struggled with an outbreak in Leticia, a city on the border with Brazil, where hospitals were overwhelmed and patients were being sent to commandeered hotels. Colombia has recorded about 16,300 confirmed cases and close to 600 dead.
In Europe and in the United States, which has seen 36 million Americans file for unemployment, economic concerns dominated the political landscape.
Unemployment claims in Britain jumped 69% in April, the government reported Tuesday. European car sales collapsed by an unprecedented 76% last month.
An experimental vaccine by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna Inc. triggered hoped-for immune responses in eight healthy, middle-aged volunteers. They were found to have antibodies similar to those seen in people who have recovered from COVID-19.
Much bigger studies on the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness are planned. Worldwide, about a dozen vaccine candidates are in or near the first stages of testing.
More than 4.8 million people worldwide have been infected and over 318,000 deaths have been recorded, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University that experts believe is too low for several reasons. (VOA)
It is quite some time before people start flocking to cinema halls or other entertainment events. For now, they will stick to their stay-at-home lifestyle even after the lockdown is lifted and even after the coronavirus crisis is over. And that’s expected to have a ripple effect on the television industry with the trend of long format making a comeback on the small screen post-pandemic.
Signalling gloomy days for film business and live entertainment gigs, the COVID-19 pandemic has turned out to be a major inflection point for changing the way people consume entertainment content, registering fast pace growth of television and OTT platforms.
“Collective public experience will be replaced by collective family viewing, that too within the confines of their respective homes,” producer-director Vivek Budakoti of banner Katha Kottage, told IANS.
According to a recent report by Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC), TV consumption continues to show a growth of 40 per cent over pre-COVID period now at 1.24
trillion minutes — the increase led by both reach and average time spent. It also stated that the Hindi GEC in HSM (hindi speaking market) is at an all-time high with 8.5 billion impressions with mythological shows leading the way.
“This trend will be there for time being before people go back to cinema halls. Web platforms will gain traction amidst TV and cinema. It may sort of work as a bridge between two seasoned mediums,” Budakoti pointed out.
Actor Sharad Malhotra feels “even after lockdown is removed and the situation gets normal people” will think twice before stepping out for a film.
“Long running shows will be in demand more than before,” Sharad added.
To this, actress Vahbiz Dorabjee added: “There is a possibility that the trend of long running shows will be back. This pandemic will stay in people’s minds for a very long time. Even after it goes, it is going to take a long time to settle down because people won’t be able to forget this deadly virus so soon.”
The change has started reflecting already. At a time when limited series are in vogue, Disney+ Hotstar have commissioned 234 episodes of the animated series “Selfie With Bajrang”.
One can say that television has always been a haven for long running shows with popular “Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah”, “Kumkum Bhagya” and “Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai” being the case in point.
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Adaa Khan noted that “daily soaps are like dal chawal. Long running hit shows like ‘Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai’ already exist. You should have a constant story to tell and it should click with masses”, with actress Jasmin Bhasin pointing out: “Long running shows always existed depending upon being hit. If people love specific shows they continue seeing it. The story has to constantly hold the audience’s interest.”
But one can’t overlook the fact that finite concept was fast seeping into the industry, with sequels and limited series becoming a new reality of the television landscape.
Benaifer Kohli, producer of hit show “Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain!”, feels “even a finite show, if it works, can be converted into a long running show.”
“Because you don’t want to close a show which is being loved by the public. So, you automatically tend to lend more stories and make it a long running show..Long running shows will be the order and trend of the day in the times to come,” Kohli told IANS. (IANS)