The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin wrote under the header, "Jury Still Out On NHL Shunning ESPN." It is "still an open question whether NHL commissioner Gary Bettman's gambit of taking his league" from ESPN to Versus in '05 is a "success or not." Dowbiggin: "Even as confirmation emerges this week of Versus morphing to NBC Sports Channel come January, it's an open question whether shunning the World Wide Leader was a plus or a bust in the U.S." But the NHL "got more money" from Versus, the "visibility issue with ESPN2 was a wash, and now there is the hope that NBC's diverse universe of TV channels and web platforms can deliver more than ESPN." Dowbiggin concluded that Bettman's "stand" against former ESPN Exec VP/Programming & Production Mark Shapiro "finally has paid off in modest fashion" (GLOBESPORTS.com, 8/3).
COLORFUL OUTLOOK: NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke yesterday said that NBCU's "recent long-term Olympics rights deal would be profitable over the term of the agreement and prove to be 'a smart investment.'" Meanwhile, when asked if the "weak economy and U.S. debt crisis have affected the advertising market," Burke said, "We don't see any signs of a deceleration" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 8/3).
GOING DIGITAL: In N.Y., Keith Kelly reports Time Inc. "will make all 21 of its magazines available on Apple's iPad and across a variety of tablet devices by year-end, making it the first major publisher to have tablet editions for all its titles." Time already "has four titles -- Time, Sports Illustrated, People and Fortune -- on an 'all access' system." The company said that it "has sold more than 600,000 single copies of the original four titles." But it "still refuses to allow subscriptions to be sold via Apple's iTunes" (N.Y. POST, 8/4).
EYE ON ITS VIEWERS: DAILY VARIETY's Andrew Wallenstein reported CBS "has developed a new research tool with Nielsen Co. intended to give both the network and its advertisers a deeper understanding of its audience beyond basic demographics." The net used its Television Critics Association presentation yesterday to "share the results of a survey of unusually comprehensive scope -- 7,000 respondents answered more than 150 questions about their media habits in late 2010 and early 2011." The findings were "used to create a taxonomy of six basic types of viewers that can be cross-indexed with Nielsen data encompassing TV and online to yield psychographic insights." Advertisers "can take this research to as granular a level as identifying which groups over-index among a particular program and marry that information to other consumption habits that mark viewers of that program" (VARIETY.com, 8/3).