MediaBytes 08.27.2007

THE MAJOR NETWORKS are embracing online video more than ever to help launch their new fall lineups. NBC is out in front with the most aggressive move: offering full downloads of season premieres via and the iTunes Store. The episodes will also be available through VOD on almost 30 cable and satellite systems, and the network is scheduling over 1000 screening parties for the “Friday Night Lights” season premiere using FOX is offering streams of its “K-ville” premiere on over 200 sites, along with a 17-minute sample of “Prison Break.” CBS is keeping quiet about its plans so far. ABC is not releasing its premieres online ahead of broadcast. ABC Entertainment Executive VP Michael Benson said “We don’t release full episodes before they premiere on the network unless it’s in a big social setting. It’s just something we don’t believe in.”

COMEDY CENTRAL has launched a new South Park site meant to spread show-related material across the web. is a new hub for all things South Park, as well as an incubation studio to try out new ideas for characters and possible off-shoots. The site was created as part of a new contract for creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, which includes a 50% share of advertising revenue. The deal is expected to be worth up to $75 million. has been seeing rapid user growth, part of a new national advertising campaign and (more recently) the halo effect from the success of High School Musical 2. From June 2006 to June 2007, the site’s unique users grew from 10.8 million to nearly 14 million. On August 17th, the day of High School Musical 2’s premiere, page views surged 72% and unique users increased by 73%.

HEARST plans to buy up all the outstanding stock of Hearst-Argyle Television, making it a fully-owned subsidiary. Hearst-Argyle owns 29 television stations and two radio stations. The deal will cost around $600 million.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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