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TV Bigshot Blog posts for the Week Jan 7-13, 2008

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January 10th, 2008

We've begun writing regular blog posts for Television Without Pity's TVBigshot game. I'd encourage anyone who's interested in television and ratings to check it out.

Here are our posts for the week:

Out with the Old? In With the New?

Buy Cheap Timeslot Winners for Exceptional Returns

Agree or Disagree? Comment away!

 
  • http://www.sftv.org Mr. SFTV

    OK, just realized who was posting those blog entries. One problem with using the overnight numbers posted here for TV Bigshot is that you have the total # of viewers and the 18-49 demo numbers, but NOT the household numbers, which is what the values of shows on TV BigShot are based on. In you previous post, the values you indicated for shows were way out of line with what the actual values/numbers are.

    Using your example on the blog:

    Law & Order was available for $63 million. Based on its overnight debut results, you could be quite confident its value would increase to over $100 million.

    Likewise, Celebrity Apprentice was available for $46 million. Its overnight debut results indicate pricing above $90 million come Wednesday morning.

    L&O's household rating was 8.9, which equates to $89 million and Apprentice's was a 7.0, which equates to an increase to $70 million. those were both good buys but you way overstated what their price increase was going to be.

    Mr. SFTV

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Mr. SFTV, I am guilty as charged!

    It was my careless division in converting from viewers to HH rating. I ballparked it, badly, instead of just using a calculator.

    Lesson learned ;)

  • http://www.sftv.org Mr. SFTV

    OK, just realized who was posting those blog entries. One problem with using the overnight numbers posted here for TV Bigshot is that you have the total # of viewers and the 18-49 demo numbers, but NOT the household numbers, which is what the values of shows on TV BigShot are based on. In you previous post, the values you indicated for shows were way out of line with what the actual values/numbers are.

    Using your example on the blog:

    Law & Order was available for $63 million. Based on its overnight debut results, you could be quite confident its value would increase to over $100 million.

    Likewise, Celebrity Apprentice was available for $46 million. Its overnight debut results indicate pricing above $90 million come Wednesday morning.

    L&O’s household rating was 8.9, which equates to $89 million and Apprentice’s was a 7.0, which equates to an increase to $70 million. those were both good buys but you way overstated what their price increase was going to be.

    Mr. SFTV

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Mr. SFTV, I am guilty as charged!

    It was my careless division in converting from viewers to HH rating. I ballparked it, badly, instead of just using a calculator.

    Lesson learned ;)

  • pretzelgirl

    Hi Bill,
    While the shows you mention (America's Most Wanted, etc.) may be profitable, it's accurately predicting the big windfalls (or having enough cash to buy most of the new episodes in a week) that really count. For example, this past week's Law&Order:SVU was a great buy, after being a disappointing purchase last week. Those who can accurately predict big ratings shifts like these are the ones who'll make the big point gains.

    Of course, luck figures into it too: 30 Rock was a mediocre buy this week (at most, one-tenth of a percent in growth) but if it wins the Golden Globes for Best Comedy, and/or if Alec Baldwin gets Best Actor that will be a very nice return on a 37 million dollar investment.
    pretzelgirl

  • pretzelgirl

    Hi Bill,
    While the shows you mention (America’s Most Wanted, etc.) may be profitable, it’s accurately predicting the big windfalls (or having enough cash to buy most of the new episodes in a week) that really count. For example, this past week’s Law&Order:SVU was a great buy, after being a disappointing purchase last week. Those who can accurately predict big ratings shifts like these are the ones who’ll make the big point gains.

    Of course, luck figures into it too: 30 Rock was a mediocre buy this week (at most, one-tenth of a percent in growth) but if it wins the Golden Globes for Best Comedy, and/or if Alec Baldwin gets Best Actor that will be a very nice return on a 37 million dollar investment.
    pretzelgirl

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    pretzelgirl,

    I definitely agree that big ratings moves are one way to add oversized points gains.

    We just started our Bigshot blog posts this week. As we move ahead, we're going to try and mix both high risk luck dependent moves with some lower risk less luck dependent moves.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    pretzelgirl,

    I definitely agree that big ratings moves are one way to add oversized points gains.

    We just started our Bigshot blog posts this week. As we move ahead, we’re going to try and mix both high risk luck dependent moves with some lower risk less luck dependent moves.

  • Night Nymph

    Hello Bill:

    Being someone who started the game later and originally lacking in strategy (therefor not a lot of extra cash), I agree with trying some of the middle cost shows that nevertheless can win their time slot. Instead of buying say a CSI, and winning a time slot and maybe a top 5 but would usually cost well over $100 million, I might buy Moonlight (which often wins its time slot despite usually costing less than $50 milion) and Numb3rs or Ghost Whisperer (which also often win their time slots). Both strategies have the potential for 10 extra points, but the second has a bit more versatility by keeping maybe one show (for me, usually the cheaper Moonlight) and selling the other for a special purchase, or at least saving maybe $10 or so to use for something else. For example, L&O before its midseason debut was only $63, but earned me an 89 (130 growth points) plus a timeslot win and a top 5. Take that $125M CSI.

    I didn't buy American Idol for similar reasons – I bought 3 other probable timeslot winners, two with good growth potential, with that money instead. AI might win two time slots and two top 5s maybe (if a show can do that), but its ratings will be averaged for growth, while the three shows will each have their own growth potential in addition to their potential time slot wins (one maybe a top 5 itself as it was last week).

    The one thing this strategy loses out on is magazine cover points, but I'll take the growth point potential instead.

    I also agree with pretzelgirl, about predicting the potential growers. Finding shows that had tough competition the week before, but not in the current week, is a good way to get a show with a lot of potential growth. My pick this week: The Apprentice, which though it is $70 M (I picked it up for 46) will start at 52 in terms of potential growth with no new Gray's Anatomy or CSI episodes against it this week (as it had last week) – my prediction is it may go back up to nearer 68 or 70 with maybe an 80 or 90 growth point potential.

  • Night Nymph

    Hello Bill:

    Being someone who started the game later and originally lacking in strategy (therefor not a lot of extra cash), I agree with trying some of the middle cost shows that nevertheless can win their time slot. Instead of buying say a CSI, and winning a time slot and maybe a top 5 but would usually cost well over $100 million, I might buy Moonlight (which often wins its time slot despite usually costing less than $50 milion) and Numb3rs or Ghost Whisperer (which also often win their time slots). Both strategies have the potential for 10 extra points, but the second has a bit more versatility by keeping maybe one show (for me, usually the cheaper Moonlight) and selling the other for a special purchase, or at least saving maybe $10 or so to use for something else. For example, L&O before its midseason debut was only $63, but earned me an 89 (130 growth points) plus a timeslot win and a top 5. Take that $125M CSI.

    I didn’t buy American Idol for similar reasons – I bought 3 other probable timeslot winners, two with good growth potential, with that money instead. AI might win two time slots and two top 5s maybe (if a show can do that), but its ratings will be averaged for growth, while the three shows will each have their own growth potential in addition to their potential time slot wins (one maybe a top 5 itself as it was last week).

    The one thing this strategy loses out on is magazine cover points, but I’ll take the growth point potential instead.

    I also agree with pretzelgirl, about predicting the potential growers. Finding shows that had tough competition the week before, but not in the current week, is a good way to get a show with a lot of potential growth. My pick this week: The Apprentice, which though it is $70 M (I picked it up for 46) will start at 52 in terms of potential growth with no new Gray’s Anatomy or CSI episodes against it this week (as it had last week) – my prediction is it may go back up to nearer 68 or 70 with maybe an 80 or 90 growth point potential.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Nymph, I am with you down the line, but consider this.

    If you want to hold Apprentice long term, and I haven't done much thought about that, but may before my post late this week, sell it today at $70m and buy it back on Wednesday morning for $52 million. You'll own the same show, and even minus the transaction costs, be ahead $16m.

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Nymph, I am with you down the line, but consider this.

    If you want to hold Apprentice long term, and I haven’t done much thought about that, but may before my post late this week, sell it today at $70m and buy it back on Wednesday morning for $52 million. You’ll own the same show, and even minus the transaction costs, be ahead $16m.

  • Night Nymph

    Bill:

    Thanks for the reminder, and especially for the newbies. I already had that on my to do list, but almost forgot (see below). It's sold as soon as I leave here. I might buy it back for long term, depending on if the competition is out of new episodes or not and if I can get back. (I must unexpectedly go out of town this evening with an indeterminate return date and no/iffy internet access.) I similarly hope to take advantage of the Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles sell-off next week if I hopefully get back in time or can manage access. Wow, I'm glad I had that show too. It did much better than even I expected. (Yay little guy growth points again!)

  • Night Nymph 13

    Bill: sorry for the double post – I wanted to clarify for any newbies: A similar tip to your advice for The Apprentice sell off. I did the same with The Sarah Conner Chroicles. I bought it for the Sunday debut growth points, then sold it (I knew it had competiton on Monday, so likely wouldn't do as well as its first night debut – turned out to be a smart move based on the quick ratings.) Now I'm buying it back (with my $70 M Apprentice money), and hope to sell it before next week's sophomore ratings slip. It seems debuts often have higher ratings than a second show, so its usually smart to sell, sell, sell before the sophomore episode so as not to lose growth points and buy back later for the Money points.

  • Night Nymph

    Bill:

    Thanks for the reminder, and especially for the newbies. I already had that on my to do list, but almost forgot (see below). It’s sold as soon as I leave here. I might buy it back for long term, depending on if the competition is out of new episodes or not and if I can get back. (I must unexpectedly go out of town this evening with an indeterminate return date and no/iffy internet access.) I similarly hope to take advantage of the Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles sell-off next week if I hopefully get back in time or can manage access. Wow, I’m glad I had that show too. It did much better than even I expected. (Yay little guy growth points again!)

  • Night Nymph 13

    Bill: sorry for the double post – I wanted to clarify for any newbies: A similar tip to your advice for The Apprentice sell off. I did the same with The Sarah Conner Chroicles. I bought it for the Sunday debut growth points, then sold it (I knew it had competiton on Monday, so likely wouldn’t do as well as its first night debut – turned out to be a smart move based on the quick ratings.) Now I’m buying it back (with my $70 M Apprentice money), and hope to sell it before next week’s sophomore ratings slip. It seems debuts often have higher ratings than a second show, so its usually smart to sell, sell, sell before the sophomore episode so as not to lose growth points and buy back later for the Money points.

  • Shelba Lanham

    Can some explain how I can buy new shows and drop shows. Every show is not available when do they come up to be available again? I am trying to figure this out but still am getting nowhere. I want some new shows any help out there?

  • Shelba Lanham

    Can some explain how I can buy new shows and drop shows. Every show is not available when do they come up to be available again? I am trying to figure this out but still am getting nowhere. I want some new shows any help out there?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Shelba,

    Once you create an account and log in, you can click on the “shows” link to search and find shows to buy. As long as you have enough money in your account, there will be a “Buy” button next to a show.

    To sell shows, just click on the “Dump” button on the right side of the show list in your show lineup.

    Good luck!

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    Shelba,

    Once you create an account and log in, you can click on the “shows” link to search and find shows to buy. As long as you have enough money in your account, there will be a “Buy” button next to a show.

    To sell shows, just click on the “Dump” button on the right side of the show list in your show lineup.

    Good luck!

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