This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Fox, Disney Talk Entertainment, Rely on Sports

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The Fox Network unveiled its new dramas, comedies and "unscripted" (re: reality) shows for the fall and winter at Manhattan's Beacon Theatre this week, giving a packed house of advertising executives a glimpse of the new programming which its parent, News Corp. (NWSA), has spent many millions to produce.

Fox is coming off a rough 12 months in which advertising and ratings dropped, and Kevin Reilly, head of its entertainment division, acknowledged that bit of reality by telling ad-buyers that this year will be different. Count on it, he said.

News Corp. Beats Estimates, Shares Rise After Close

The network's new shows include Sleepy Hollow, a drama based on Washington Irving's famous short stories that's part horror, part sci-fi, lighter fare such as Dads starring Seth Green and a wacky police comedy called Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Who knows what will work? Fox needs to find a cash-cow that can even approximate American Idol, a program that remains integral to News Corp. profits even as it has lost about 25% of its viewers this season.

Kevin Reilly said Fox doesn't just throw a lot of stuff against a wall to see what sticks but picking TV winners is at best an educated guess. Audiences are fickle. Finding hits among this latest jumble of drama and comedies requires spending a lot of money and a willingness to lose some of its absorbing duds.

Disney Profits Beat Forecasts on Growth at Amusement Parks, Networks

"We're making the biggest investment in original programming in our history," Reilly told the crowd. In short, Fox is making some big bets to find something that really works.

So what does work? After all, in this age of media fragmentation, even AOL (AOL) is producing its own scripted content.

Media Stocks: CBS Beats Profit Forecast on Super Bowl, Music EventsTYPE="EQUITY" SYMBOL="AOL"/>

Crosstown at the Best Buy Theatre in Times Square, ESPN, the sports colossus of Walt Disney (DIS), gathered to trumpet its stable of contracts featuring Major League Baseball, professional and college basketball, college football, world soccer's FIFA, the X-Games and Monday Night Football. That's quite a list.

ESPN also unveiled a new show called NFL Insiders, which will run for an hour during the week as part of the network's effort to sell more advertising Monday through Friday. Using that buzziest of buzzwords, ESPN said it was ramping up its "social media" strategy with plans to send a steady stream of highlights over Twitter.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,045.43 -25.79 -0.15%
S&P 500 1,976.27 -1.53 -0.08%
NASDAQ 4,502.9370 -2.9150 -0.06%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs