This has emerged as a hot question for the TV business in the Q3 earnings season: As DVRs become more popular, and time-shifting more common, should ads be sold on the basis of the number of people who view them up to seven days after they first air instead of the current three? CBS’ Les Moonves made the case on Wednesday, and Disney’s Bob Iger added his support yesterday. Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer has indicated that he likes the idea — but his support is qualified: “If it’s a movie coming out in three days…we’re not going to get the benefit of those [additional] viewers,” he told analysts in a call to discuss earnings. In that case, “we’ll have to look at those numbers and get some kind of adjustment.” Lionsgate has options if that doesn’t happen — or even if it does. “There’s no question that we are seeing significant amounts of awareness from social media and the Internet, and that’s going to give us a tremendous opportunity to reduce our overall marketing spend,” he says. But while a shift to what’s called C7 ratings might create problems for the movie side, Lionsgate’s TV unit could benefit. Its new show Nashville, which airs on ABC, is “one of the most time-shifted shows on television,” he says.
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