Odds Tivo will be a stand-alone company in 2012?
Seidman: I don't see how it could be without changing its business model, but they will have some cash to play with once they raise all that money in debt financing. 30% for 2010, but 0% for 2012. Then again some people think the world ends in 2012.
Gorman: 2012? You have to be kidding me! How can you be so optimistic? They're out of money now and trying to raise some. I know you love your Tivo, but it's clear the Tivo business model is flawed. Into the Dead Pool Tivo will go (as a standalone) sometime in '09, perhaps even sooner.
Seidman: You were a ReplayTV guy, how's that working out for you?
Odds Nielsen will consolidate broadcast and cable rankings before 2012?
Seidman: I got some e-mail about this, mostly of the nature that the data comparisons aren't fair because cable shows aren't available in as many homes as broadcast and advertisers do consider HH availability in their ad spend. I agree that it's not fair to measure cable ratings vs. broadcast Ratings because the ratings are not calculated against the same universes, but viewers are viewers .
Who but a bunch of dopes would want to pay more to advertise on the national level to 15m homes that couldn't be bothered with buying even basic cable or satellite!? There's still almost no chance. 2%
Gorman: There is no chance at all. 0%. As much as the broadcast and cable viewer universes converge, they will not be the same. This distinction is deeply ingrained in the minds of the buyers and sellers of advertising. Also, splitting the data may offer Nielsen additional product/revenue opportunities.
Seidman: I am not looking for Nielsen to change how it markets its products to the people who buy them, I am looking for Nielsen to change the way it reports most watched show information to the media so that it actually represents the most-watched shows. In the meanwhile, you can look at the fact that cable does indeed pull more than its fair share of viewers in our consolidated Sports Top 20.
Odds every televised sporting contest will be broadcast in High Definition by 2010?
Gorman: 100% if you include only the following sports, MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL. Add any more sports to that list and it's 10%. WWE might wind up in HD, but as you know unlike Nielsen, I don't believe professional wrestling is a sport.
Seidman: 90%. I'm not as optimistic as you. The percentage of San Francisco Giants baseball games that showed up on FSN-HD was nowhere near all of them in 2007 and they have been broadcasting some games in HD for several years already. It's disappointing.
Odds that the Digital cut-over will occur on schedule in February 2009?
Gorman: 0% Too many people who vote have to change too many long time habits. It will be postponed, likely multiple times, while stories of woe of people losing their television shows are trotted out nightly for the public.
9/25 Edit: The Head of the Consumer Electronics Association disagrees with me and is robotically upbeat! I wonder if he'd take a wager?
Seidman: They won't even buy basic cable but they vote? Interesting. 0%. I'm more optimistic for Tivo and everything being broadcast in HD soon. I know the commissioner of the FCC is just picking up the torch passed on by Colin Powell's son, but still he came off as a total political weasel in this interview.
Gorman: Perhaps the better question to ask is whether Kevin Martin will still be the FCC chief in February 2009? 0%!
Seidman: A double squadoosh. I'm speechless.
Odds that Dancing with the Stars (featuring Mark Cuban) will be broadcast in true HD?
Seidman: 100% as are the odds that Marie Osmond and Wayne Newton will be spending a lot of time with the "makeup" team.
Gorman: Cuban wouldn't appear if it wasn't. 100% although I am definitely a function over form kind of guy. Do I really want to see Wayne Newton in crystal clear HD? Uh...no.
Seidman: It's all about Jane Seymour.