Some television network executives and ad buyers aren’t seeing eye to eye on how to price television ads.

For the past five years, network TV ads have been priced according to Nielsen Co.’s C3 ratings, which track DVR viewing within three days of broadcast.

But some big names in broadcasting now believe three days isn’t enough to reflect modern viewing habits and are recommending their ad inventory be priced according to ratings within seven days of broadcast – C7 ratings – which would price the ads higher.

Some programs stand to benefit more than others from the additional four days of ratings; among those showing the biggest jump in the extended period has been CBS’ Sherlock Holmes update, “Elementary.”

It’s no surprise that CBS Corp. Chief Executive Les Moonves has expressed support for using the C7 ratings to price ad sales, as has Bob Iger, Walt Disney Co.’s chief executive.

It’s cause for concern among ad buyers, who are loathe to fork over more money to the networks – especially if their ad is meant to spur an immediate purchase.

“We as buyers don’t want to pay more,” said Zachary Rosenberg, executive vice president at ad-buying firm Horizon Media Inc. in Century City. “We question the value of these additional days. If we’re marketing a product that’s perishable, those days are meaningless.”

For Horizon, which focuses on marketing film and TV projects, the emphasis is often on getting the message to consumers quickly, Rosenberg said, in the hopes of people buying a ticket for an opening weekend movie or, ironically, tuning in to a TV show’s season premiere.

The agency’s clients include FilmDistrict in Santa Monica, which distributed sci-fi action film “Looper.”

Rosenberg said Horizon has no plans to buy ads priced according to C7 ratings.

Still, website Mediapost.com reported that Disney’s ABC network has successfully sold C7-priced spots. For his part, Moonves said at an analyst conference last month that he believes a widespread shift to C7 pricing will take place by next year.

Selling Spice

Univision Communications Inc. recently decided to add more spice to its Telefutura network and hired Hollywood brand consulting agency Troika to spread the word.

The agency was charged with catching the attention of the network’s target audience of millennials as part of its Jan. 7 transition to the UniMas handle.

Troika oversaw a campaign that included designing the network’s new logo, and creating ads for billboards and the Web.

“The driving force is (to make the network) younger, sexier and to broaden their audience,” said Paul Brodie, managing creative director at Troika.

As a Telefutura affiliate, the station’s content included telenovelas and dubbed Hollywood movies as well as sporting events. The rebranded network will try its hand at adding some edgier fare to the mix.

New programming includes crime drama “Made in Cartagena,” produced by Colombian broadcaster Caracol Television, and, “Cloroformo,” a boxing-centered drama produced by Mexico City’s Grupo Televisa S.A.B.

Troika’s campaign was designed to add some sizzle to help the network stand out. For example, billboards in Los Angeles featured characters from “Made in Cartagena” standing in front of a wall of flames.

For Troika, the explosive growth of Hispanic media has brought in new business. The agency recently worked on the launch of Time Warner Cable Deportes, which broadcasts Los Angeles Lakers games in Spanish. It has also done work for Spanish-language broadcaster TV Azteca in Glendale and NBCUniversal’s Telemundo, among others.

Univision’s decision to rebrand Telefutura was rooted in increased competition for growing Hispanic audiences, as evidenced by the creation last year of the News Corp.-backed MundoFox network, headquartered at 20th Century Fox’s studios in Century City, as well as efforts from Telemundo to expand its original programming to better compete with Univision’s flagship network.

Overseas Haul

Last year was a record-breaking one at the Chinese box office as Hollywood took advantage of relaxed rules for the number of foreign films allowed to screen in the country.

Total Chinese box office receipts reached $2.74 billion last year, according to reports from state-owned media in the country. It was a 30 percent increase over 2011.

The news was especially heartening to Hollywood, since for the first time non-Chinese movies took a larger share of the box office – about 52 percent of the total – than Chinese fare. The government last year began to allow 34 foreign movies each year into the country, up from 20.

The 3-D re-release of “Titanic,” distributed in China by 20th Century Fox, was the biggest success of the year, grossing $150 million.

Staff reporter Jonathan Polakoff can be reached at jpolakoff@labusinessjournal.com or (323) 549-5225, ext. 226

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