CBS Corp. (CBS:US), owner of the most-watched U.S. broadcast network, will use text messages and will send notifications through Facebook Inc. (FB:US) and Twitter Inc. to alert viewers when its shows are delayed by Sunday football games that are running long.
“We will do everything possible to let the audience know when our shows will be on later,” Nina Tassler, who oversees CBS Entertainment, said today at a conference of television critics in Beverly Hills, California.
National Football League games are important to CBS and draw viewers to prime-time shows later in the evening, Tassler said. The network is seeking to retain regular viewers of its programming when games run longer than scheduled, sometimes by as much as 17 minutes.
Football may help CBS achieve a ratings victory in total audience and viewers ages 18 to 49, a group targeted by advertisers, for the first time in two decades. The network hosts Super Bowl XLVII in February and a crucial prime-time National Football League playoff game, promising two of the largest audiences of 2013.
While the NFL may deliver ratings victories for CBS this year, the network wouldn’t be in that position without its line- up of shows including “NCIS,” “Big Bang Theory” and “The Good Wife,” Tassler said.
“Scripted series have been spectacularly successful for us,” Tassler said. “It’s not all football ratings.”
CBS, controlled by Chairman Sumner Redstone, gained 2.9 percent to $33.57 on July 27 in New York. The stock has climbed 24 percent this year.
The network is adding four scripted programs to its line-up in the television season starting in September, fewest of the major broadcast networks. CBS plans to air new dramas “Elementary,” “Vegas” and Made in Jersey’’ and the comedy “Partners.”
CBS collected about $2.7 billion in advertising commitments ahead of the new season at a rate increase of about 10 percent, a person with knowledge of the matter said on June 12. CBS sold about 78 percent of its inventory, the person said.
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