Thursday, November 11, 2004

THE BOX- No Fear for Non-Nielsen Fam's: You Too Have a Voice

Yahoo! News - Company Touts Tool for Predicting TV Hits: "NEW YORK - It shocked many pundits when ABC's new series 'Desperate Housewives' and 'Lost' became the breakout hits of the new television season. But not the folks at Initiative, a top New York media agency, who say they've developed a new tool to help predict which shows will succeed or flop.

The research device combs the Internet to pick up buzz about TV programs being developed. They hope to sell its findings to networks, advertisers and ad agencies.
'Does this mean we can predict all success? No,' said Alec Gerster, Initiative chief executive. 'But it does seem to pick up a growing word-of-mouth about a particular show. Historically, that's always been there.'
Trying to pick a hit show in advance is like trying to predict the scores of this week's football games. It's good sport for fans, but for television executives who must make million-dollar decisions based on gut instincts, their jobs depend on it.
Getting early tips on which shows people are eager to see can help networks decide where to spend promotional money, and advertisers decide where to buy commercials. "


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