Citizens' Issues
We're No. 1! No, We're No. 1!
Are networks being upfront about their upfront week ads?
 
TruthInAdvertising.org
Like it or not, we are living in a ratings-obsessed world. And nowhere was that more evident on Monday than in the business section of The New York Times, where two major networks competed in a marketing game of numbers soup. 
 
There, both NBC and CBS laid claim to having the No. 1 drama and No. 1 broadcast news program, among other top shows, in full-page print ads that were separated by only three turns of the paper. Here’s how the one-upmanship looked side by side.
 
Alex Weprin, a senior editor at Politico, made the initial discovery, congratulating both networks in a tweet that garnered some equally sarcastic responses.
 
 
All joking aside, who’s really No. 1? TINA.org asked both networks why they are the top dog and the other is the runt of the litter. A CBS spokesman said it depends who’s watching. Across viewers of all ages, CBS gets the most eyeballs, he said. But among adults 18-49, NBC has the advantage.
 
Take the No. 1 drama claim. Last year, 5 million more people tuned in to watch “NCIS” than “This Is Us.” But two million more adults in the 18-49 age bracket turned on “This Is Us” than “NCIS.” In other words, there are a lot of people in their 50s and older watching “NCIS,” unless the show has really caught fire among teens, which is doubtful.
 
An NBC spokeswoman confirmed that the network’s No. 1 ratings relate to the 18-49 demographic, which in the ad is disclosed in loads of the fine print as “(A18-49).”
 
In regard to the simultaneous running of the ads, both networks said it’s upfront week, when broadcasters present their lineups to advertisers. In fact, the ads are more for advertisers than consumers, the NBC spokeswoman said.
 
However you look at it, the real winner here may be The New York Times, which was able to generate revenue from two competing networks on the same day.
 
Find more of our coverage on TV here.
 

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Nifty, Sensex dip on global impact – Thursday closing report

We had mentioned in Wednesday’s closing report that Nifty, Sensex continue to be in an uptrend. The major indices of the Indian stock markets suffered a correction on Thursday and closed with losses of upto 1.03% over Wednesday’s close. The trends of the major indices over Thursday’s trading are given in the table below:

After three consecutive days of record highs during the week, the Indian equity markets slipped on Thursday tracking bearish global cues, a weak rupee and heavy selling pressure in automobile, capital goods and consumer durables stocks. According to market observers, investors were also cautious over the ongoing two-day meet of the Good and Services Tax (GST) Council in Srinagar, which will finalise tax slabs on services and commodities in the country. On the NSE, there were 236 advances, 1,285 declines and 61 unchanged. The BSE market breadth was bearish -- with 2,043 declines and 702 advances.
 
Power utility CESC Ltd announced a business restructuring scheme which is based on demerger of certain existing businesses, group's Chairman Sanjiv Goenka said on Thursday. "This (the restructuring scheme) will lead to four entities focusing on generation, distribution, organised retail and other ventures," he said. All four entities will be listed with stock exchanges, Goenka said. The business restructuring scheme aims to simplify the present corporate structure, he added. The company’s shares closed at Rs829.80, down 15.10% on the BSE.
 
British unemployment rate has fallen to 4.6% in three months to March, hitting the lowest since 1975, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said. A year earlier the figure was 5.1%. The number of jobless people, who are not in work but seeking and available to work, fell by 53,000 to 1.54 million in the first quarter this year, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday. Meanwhile, the employment rate, the proportion of 16 to 64 year olds in work, was 74.8%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971. However, despite the sustained fall in unemployment and rise in employment, wage growth has slowed down further, even lagging behind inflation for the first time since mid-2014. Average weekly earnings (excluding bonuses) increased by 2.1% in the three months to March, while inflation rose by 2.3% in the year to March 2017. The Bank of England (BoE) has warned of a consumer spending squeeze this year as inflation rises and real wages fall in its latest Inflation Report. This year will be "a more challenging time for British households" and "wages won't keep up with prices," BoE governor Mark Carney said. The FTSE was at 7,401.01 down 1.37% in London on Thursday at around 16:20 p.m. IST.
 
Following other prominent banks, the country's third largest private sector lender
Axis Bank on Thursday announced 30 basis points (bps) reduction in its home loan interest rates to promote affordable housing finance. "Taking forward its commitment towards affordable housing finance, the bank has revised its rates for home loans up to Rs 30 lakh for the salaried segment to 8.35%, the lowest in the industry," the bank said in a statement. For self-employed, rates for home loan up to Rs30 lakh have been revised to 8.40%.  The revised rates will be available with effect from May 16. The bank’s shares closed at Rs491.85, down 2.15% on the BSE.
 
In a bid to deal with economic offenders like liquor baron Vijay Mallya, who flee the country to escape the legal process, the government on Thursday said it has prepared a draft legislation to enable confiscation of their assets. The draft law -- Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill, 2017 -- has been prepared and put in public domain at the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, website for comments and suggestions of all stakeholders.  "It is widely felt that the spectre of high-value economic offenders absconding from India to defy the legal process seriously undermines the rule of law in India," the Finance Ministry said here in a statement.  "It is, therefore, felt necessary to provide an effective, expeditious and constitutionally permissible deterrent to ensure that such actions are curbed," the statement said.  "The government is considering to introduce legislative changes or even a new law to confiscate the assets of such absconders till they submit to the jurisdiction of the appropriate legal forum," the statement added. All stakeholders need to submit their suggestions by June 3. The legislative action is part of the Union Budget announcement. The Bank Nifty closed at 22,698.60, down 1.03% on the NSE.
 
The top gainers and top losers of the major indices are given in the table below:
 
 
The closing values of the major Asian indices are given in the table below:
 

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