TV Manager 2 – Wishlist

What do you expect of TV Manager? Do you have any special wishes? While the main development phase is coming to an end, I plan to add new features even after the release. I am especially looking for suggestions to make the mid-/end-phase gaming phase even more complex and enjoyable. Let´s say you have made a successful TV program, bought some new broadcasting licenses to new territories and are looking forward to gain the decisive edge over your competition. How would you like to do this? The obvious way would be to get 5-star movies and beat your competition in the “war” over the audience. But is there something else?

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49 Responses to “TV Manager 2 – Wishlist”

  1. Barney Says:

    Because live-tv was a way to attract a big audience in TV Manager 1, I think it will be important in TV Maneger 2. In the original game it was not available in many different forms. I remeber three different groups: sport-events, reality-shows, and music. Those music events were limited to classical music I think. I don´t recall the option to air a rock concert for example. It would be nice to have more options, because these two options alone will attract two very different kinds of audience to your station.
    But also in the type of sports you air you can get the attention of different audience groups. Take for example golf or wrestling, and tennis or boxing.

    I´ve come up with a few live-tv events that could qualify to be in TV Manager 2. Some will only appeal to European audiences some will mainly attract citizens of the U.S.A. Maybe some can only be available on the USA map and some only on the European map. Though it might be fun to get the Americans to watch the Eurovision Song Contest.(I don´t think it will be a big hit)

    -American Football-
    NFL football
    College Football
    Super Bowl

    FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
    FIFA World Cup
    UEFA Champions League
    UEFA Europa League
    UEFA European Football Championship

    ATP World Tour
    French Open (Roland Garros)
    Wimbledon Championships
    U.S. Open
    Australian Open

    -Car and motor racing-
    Formula 1 Grand Prix
    Indy 500
    Daytona 500
    Champ Car
    Dakar –Rally
    Motorcycle Grand Prix

    WWE Superstars
    WWE WrestleMania
    WWE Great American Bash
    WWE Breaking Point

    -Road bicycle racing-
    Giro d’Italia
    Tour de France
    Vuelta a España

    U.S. Open
    Presidents Cup
    PGA Tour

    ICC Champions Trophy (cricket)
    Cricket World Cup

    -Sporting Events-
    Olympic Games
    Commonwealth Games
    Summer X Games

    National Hockey League (NHL)
    NBA Basketball
    Major League Baseball (World Series)
    Rugby League Four Nations
    Alpine skiing World Cup
    Ski Jumping World Cup
    Professional boxing
    New York City Marathon
    Red Bull Air Race

    -Award Shows-
    Academy Awards (Oscars)
    (Rose d’Or)Golden Rose of Montreux
    Golden Globe Awards
    Emmy Awards
    Grammy Awards
    Bafta (British Academy of Film and Television Arts)
    Miss World
    Miss Universe

    Eurovision Song Contest
    Various Rock or Pop Concerts
    Music Festivals

  2. Barney Says:

    Maybe it’s an idea to make it possible to contract well-known television personalities. For example: to make your news-broadcast attract a bigger audience hire a famous anchorman ( or woman offcourse). Maybe the ratings will get even higher if you have two anchors presenting the news together. Or hire a famous weatherman. Obviously, the more populair the anchor is the higher the salary will be. It will be interesting to figure out if it’s worth the money.

    Another variation can be to hire famous tv-hosts to do a talk-show on your station. I’m thinking of shows like The late Show (David Letterman), The Tonight Show (Jay Leno) or Larry King Live. Or other kind of shows like The Oprah Winfrey Show, Ellen, Dame Edna, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, Ricki Lake, Wogan, Kilroy or The Jerry Springer Show.

    It can even be an option to hire a cheaper unknown host and try to build up the ratings by promoting him or her with a marketing campain.

    • Niels Bauer Says:

      Cool idea. Of course this would work well with other departments too, e.g.: Hire a highly skilled technician to get the program run smoother or something.

      Downside is only that I might need to buy too many new artwork (faces etc.) to include it in the first release.

      • Barney Says:

        I can imagne that it can be too costly or/and to much work to incoperate it in the first release of TV Manager 2, but maybe later on in an update or extented version of the game. Maybe initially you can use just a male and female outline of a face and only the names and skills of the tv- personalities are different.

        I like what you suggest about the technician.(als because I’m working as a location cameraman for news and current-affais television shows) This could be a great new aspect in the game. It takes managing a t -station to the next level. A lot of people work at tv-stations to keep things running, so there are a lot of possibilities to make the game even more challenging. Some main functions that will be interesting and known to a lot of players are:
        director, editor-in-chief, producer, cameraman, soundman, editor, broadcast technician. But people who can make everyone happier and do better work are the cook and the waitress in the cafeteria of the station. Since it’s possible in the new game that the mob will come, you better also hire a good security guard.

        Maybe it’s good idea to make it optional for players to choose if the want to manage the staff of the station or not. It can be an option to just hire a good staff-manager who will do the work for you. But if a player does choose to manage everything themeselves, that must mean that gameplay allows him/her to end up with a higher score than if it’s managed for the player ( if the player makes the good choices, of course)

        It will be nice to have a lot of different methodes to reach your goal in the game. This will naturally make the game a lot more interesting and fun. But I also understand that there must be things left to wish for. Even now I hardly can wait for the release of TV Manager 2. It was a great idea for a game in the first place 8 years ago, and it still is.

  3. Barney Says:

    I think it also would be nice if a player has the option try and win the game with a theme-channel. In the original game it was not so difficult to win the game without using news broadcasts at all. But I have never tried using only news broadcasts to win the game, simply because it was a lot harder to attract a good size audience. And it was impossible to only use sports to fill your daily broadcasts.

    But now it would be a great option if we can try to make a newschannel (like CNN, SKY News, BBC World or
    Fox News) and win the game that way. Or make a sports channel (like ESPN, Eurosport or Sky Sports) and make this succes. Why not try to make a movie channel or a cartoon channel.

    It will be harder to make it work, but maybe you can make a good deal if you buy the rights of for example all the games of the NFL (National Football League) and the Super Bowl at once. I can imagine that will be a lot cheaper than buying the right for a few seperate matches. You proberbly will not be able to attract a huge quantity of women to your channel, so you can forget airing commercials for perfume or lipstick, you will not have prberbly not have enough target viewers for those. But other advertisers will be highly interested in your viewers.

    As an all news channel it also will be difficult to stay alive. In TV Manager 1 I believe the news – broadcasts we’re free, but in the real world they are one of the most expensive shows to make on television. So an all news network can make a player destitude. But when there is trouble in the world a lot of viewers will watch the big news networks. You’re ratings will go up sky high when a soldier starts shooting other soldiers on a U.S. military base, when a famous star (Michael Jackson) dies, when there is a terrorist attack, when the President
    gives an important speech, ect. On those moments the station will have huge amounts of viewers, and you can earn you´re money back and more.

    Niels, I´m not trying to make you crazy, I know making a computer game is a lot harder and more work than a lot of people think. I´m not expecting that these ideas will end up in TV Manager 2. But I do believe there is a lot of potential in this game and hoping it will be a succes so there will be TV Manager 3, 4, 5, 6,…. in the future.

  4. Barney Says:

    To expand on the idea of giving the player more control over the news broadcasts, I have a few other suggestions. In news broadcasting we use a lot of SNG – trucks / vans (Satellite News Gathering). It makes it possible to send live images from a location to the tv station. It is used a lot to directly talk with a reporter on location to the anchorman in the studio. Some stations own a few SNG’s, but you can also hire them for a day. If you have to hire them, you should act fast when there’s breaking news, because others may have claimed the SNG’s for rent before you can. It can be interesting to incorporate this in the game, a player has to decide when the point is reached that owning a SNG (or several) is cheaper than hiring one.

    Another aspect could be hiring correspondents around the world to make your news broadcast a higher quality show. If a player decides news broadcasting is important for the station they can start with getting a correspondent inWashington D.C. for example. Later on they can hire correspondents in London, Berlin and Paris. Or they can hire someone in Bagdad or Kabul. Because these can be dangerous places you will have to pay a higher salary for those cities.

    Naturally before you hire correspondents you start with hiring reporters to cover the news around the location of the station. News close to home is very important to attract viewers. But also having correspondents all over the world later on in the game will give your news the possibility to beat the competion.

  5. dark Says:

    I can’t say precisely, sinse obviously I’ve not played the former game yet, but one ability I’d love for the later game is the ability to create and gain money from a cult series identified with the network, —– the way Bbc is with Doctor who, or (i believe), fox is with the Simpsons.

    It’d be distinctly fun to argue the toss with writers and directors about program content, special affects budget etc, —– with the threat that said artists and directors will take their work to you competitors, and then see the success of the series come through later withmerchandizing deals or dvd sales.

    Obviously, this is ssomething you’d only get to do as a major network, sinse only then will you have the capital to invest in the creation of such series, thus it will only come up later on in the game when your already well established.

    I think though, both as a player, and as a viewer on the recieving end of some of those deals over series, —- look at what happened to Firefly or babylon 5, it’d be a nice touch to the game to have your company actually making such decisions.

    Another possibly humerous, —- possibly dangerous addition, might be that of sensorship laws. It’d be amusing to have the adult content of your programs questioned by the government under threat of fines.

    going along with this, you could considder adding some similarly human resources type scandles to add variety to your game, —- afterall who do you have to bribe or sweet talk after your chief news presenter turns up to do the 1.00 news without their trousers?

    • Niels Bauer Says:

      Unfortunately I have to avoid anything that looks like it would be unsuitable. For some people even mentioning the word “violence” e.g. indicates that it´s a violent game. Not my idea, people. I´ve got emails about that for TV Manager 1. Right along with emails telling me Empires & Dungeons would be a satanic game, because the picture of the archdemon in the game displays a small pentagram. So even including the option of “censorship” laws would be fatal. 🙂

  6. francoisbagkus Says:

    I think a good idea would be to integrate political themes within your TV station.

    Real life TV Stations exert considerable influence in the political process.

    You could simulate this by having ‘liberal’ ‘conservative’ ‘socialist’ ‘non- partisan’ viewers who would be attracted – or repelled by a certain ‘news slant.’ Over time your TV station would develop it’s own ‘news slant’ through a combination of the programmes you air and other factors.

    I think it would be cool anyway.

  7. francoisbagkus Says:

    Oh and obviously the “news slant’ would come in handy when political parties decide to purchase advertising space…

  8. Niels Bauer Says:

    These were good ideas regarding the news part of the game. Anything else except the news part that you could imagine becoming important in end-game content?

  9. Barney Says:

    Well, in TV Manager the main objective is to make money, you need to make money to win the game. You make money by airing commercials of advertisers. So pleasing you advertisers is important. Of course advertisers like a big audience, so it’s good to draw a big group of viewers to your station.

    But advertisers also like to target specific groups of viewers. This is why we don’t see much commercials during kids-cartoons about, for example – banking or cars, but we see commercials for toys, candy and trips to Disneyland.

    Niels, you indicated earlier on that TV Manager 2 will have the audience groups of: children, teenagers, women, men and seniors. Indeed, they are the main target groups for advetisers, but the game can become much more interesting and realistic if they game allows you to use and target more target groups. I think it’s wise to make it an option to let the more experienced player choose if he wants to expand and use more target groups.

    Advertisers will pay more money if they know their commercial is seen by their target group, even if in total a lot less viewers see the commercial.

    This are a few groups that could be in the game:
    – students
    – business people
    – rich people
    – movie lovers
    – home owners
    – lower class (was in TV Manager 1)
    – upper class (was in TV Manager 1)

    But also a lot of target audiences are categorized in age groups like men – between the ages 20 and 30 or women between the ages of 40 and 50.

    And maybe it can be possible to air infomercials in TV Maneger 2 or do some product placement (using products from the advertiser in your tv shows)

  10. Malakhon Says:

    I’d like to see you model some of the real events that happen in television.

    Reality Stars whose lives are train wrecks, who bring in ratings but periodically a pop up occurs “Anna Cardassian is asking for 300 puppies, at a cost of 1,000 dollars each, she wants the station to pay for them”.

    Let us decide how to handle these stars along with more reasonable requests from more grounded stars.

    Trends where reality TV is very popular, so you develop reality TV but then there is a backlash if you give too much of it.

    Show how TV is having to share market with internet, and how internet websites can profoundly affect TV shows.

    Let me send “notes” to show producers, I can click a menu “more action..” “steamier scenes”, “less action” etc from a drop down.

    Writers Strikes, Economic downturns, Economic upturns, New Presidents, and world events should affect the game.

    • Niels Bauer Says:

      Good ideas, however based on the necessity to first include the creation of own movies, shows, etc. That´s not bad and it´s planned anyway, but due to the large additional artwork required (artists, sets, etc.) won´t make it in the first months.

  11. Barney Says:

    It would be nice to have the possibility to air 24 hours a day. (In TV Manager 1 it was limited from noon to midnight).
    Obviously the cost of running the station will go up if you choose to air for a longer period a day.

    Because the ‘new’ hours are more difficult to attract viewers too, I think it would be nice to make it also possible to ‘rerun’ your shows. Often the price of a show will be higher if it includes the rights to rerun it.

    When it is possible to make your own shows, you own the rights of the show, so you can rerun it whenever you want.

  12. amit Says:

    My wishlist includes: (I thik these are too much too ask.. anyways, its just a wishlist)

    1. Rostering of talents (Actors/Actresse/Child Stars/Hosts/News Anchors/Directors/Producers and Writers and other staff)
    -They can be signed up for a contract for a show; have salaries; negotiate; be pirated by rival stations.
    -The talents influences ratings, specific audience, offend few audiences.
    -Controversies affect star quality and salary as well as achievement and awards

    2. Percentage share-based ratings.

    3. Ratings affected by a pre-programming; it can pull up or pull down ratings depending on which show it follows.

    4. Block timers; independent groups that produces their own show; which in return, pay a certain lease of airtime.

    5. i want too see options for HomeTV Shopping; Reality Shows

    6. Options for getting canned series (Korean/Mexican or Latin/Indian drama series) also an option to buy franchise of existing real world shows like Big Brother, Amazing Race, Idol Series, Got Talent series, Dancing with the Stars, Fear factor, Survivor, Deal or No Deal, Who Wants to be A Millionaire, Weakest Link among others,

    7. Option to set-up own show format and title; target audience; show hosts/actors.

    8. Instead of manually placing the ads, let the advertisers negotiate for a deal spot for the show they want to be exposed with. Player should dictate his ad rates. No more targets of how many viewers should see it.
    Let advertsements become rewards of your successful programming.
    If you failed, advertisers wont avail anymore instead of getting penalty.

    That’s all. Thanks

    • Niels Bauer Says:

      Thanks. I think I’ll include:

      “3. Ratings affected by a pre-programming; it can pull up or pull down ratings depending on which show it follows.”

      But how would this work? Like broadcasting a love movie after a soap boosts the women audience?

      • Barney Says:

        I really like the idea of ratings affected by a pre-programming, it makes the game more realistic. In real life it’s a good way to introduce new shows to a large audience. For example “Seinfeld” was not an instant hit at the start in 1989, NBC even offered the sell the show. But they decided to try and air it after “Cheers” and the show got an audience.

        Tv stations really use this methode to try and make viewers watch the next show. A lot of stations even dropped the commercials in between the end of a show and the start of the next show and in that way try to prevent viewers to change channels.

        If you have a highly rated show, with an audience of 4.5 million viewers and you air a really bad show (with a potential of max. 500.000 viewers) after it. Then the ratings shouldn’t drop straight away to 500.000 at the start of the show but it should gradually drop during the show. Of course it is not wise to have such a big change in quality.

    • Niels Bauer Says:

      @Barney: Can you give me an idea of the realistic approx. number of TV viewers at a normal day? Lowest approx. – highest approx. at the same time? In the US mind you.

      • Barney Says:

        @ Niels: Well it’s hard to say what are the highest and the lowest ratings possible. If TV manager 2 is played by date, as the original was and starts in the 1950’s the number of households with tv-sets is lower. ( In 1950 there were about 43 million television households in the United States). But there were a lot less TV stations, so it was easier to get attention as a station.( The way it is measured in the U.S.A. since 1950 is with the Nielsen ratings)

        For example, in the tv season 1952–53 I love Lucy was the best viewed show in the U.S.A. The episode “Lucy Goes to the Hospital” first aired on Monday, January 19, 1953 and got a record 71.7 rating, meaning 71.7% of all television households at the time were tuned in to the program, something like 32 million tv households. ( The record is still hold today by Elvis Presley’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956 (82.6% rating). Today those ratings are not reached anymore, because of the huge number of tv channels.

        Since 2004 American Idol reaches the largest audience in the U.S.A. The Season Finale: May 24, 2006 reached a total of 36.38 million television households. As of September 1, 2009, there are an estimated 114.9 million television households in the United States. So that means a precentage of 31.6%.

        For a good view, how the tv households in the U.S.A. developed check out this link:

        For advertisers not only the number of viewers is important. In general, the number of viewers within the 18-49 age range is more important than the total number of viewers. According to Advertising Age, during the 2007-08 season, Grey’s Anatomy was able to charge $419,000 per commercial, compared to only $248,000 for a commercial during CSI, despite CSI having almost five million more viewers on average. Due to its strength in young demos, Friends was able to charge almost three times as much for a commercial as Murder, She Wrote, even though the two series had similar total viewer numbers during the seasons they were on the air together.

        I hope this will help you a little. Let me know if I can do something else for you!

      • Niels Bauer Says:

        Hmmm. My numbers in the game are wrong then. I thought there were quiet more television households in the US and I thought the commercials were getting in more money. Then again it´s a quiet symbolized game with one game day being one game month etc.

        Can you give me an idea of the yearly profit of a national TV station in the US?

        How much would it cost in reality for a TV station to broadcast … let´s say … Lord of the Rings 1 in the US?

  13. amit Says:

    and to add;

    regarding the talents; contracts should include the length of the contract or exclusivity.

  14. Barney Says:

    @ Niels: Well, it’s a common mistake about the number of television households. Actually I was surprised too when I saw the numbers. But the mistake is easily made because in Europe we measure mostly with induvidual viewers and not households.
    There is some criticism about the way Nielsen does their ratings. In the U.S.A. viewers watch telecasts as the Super Bowl in large groups of people. The come together at a single home or watch in a bar. The rating is not very accurate, less accurate at least than “normal” telecasts at least. A lot of tv sets Nielsen uses to gather information will be turned off because the viewers watch the game somewhere else.

    I wouldn’t worry about the commercials if I were you. I agree that it is a symbolized game. And keep in mind that a commercial- break includes a lot of commercials. In the 1960s a typical hour-long American show would run for 51 minutes excluding advertisements. Today, a similar program would only be 42 minutes long; a typical 30-minute block of time now includes 22 minutes of programming with 6 minutes of national advertising and 2 minutes of local. In other words, over the courses of 10 hours, American viewers will see approximately 3 hours of advertisements, twice what they would have seen in the sixties.

    If we use the Grey’s Anatomy example, the runtime for the show is 60 minutes, actually the show is about 42 minutes long wich leaves 18 minutes for commercials ( and usually some promo’s for other shows) A commercial is in most cases about 30 seconds long. So a station can fit 36 commercials, if it declines on promo’s. The price paid per commercial was $419,000, so they can get about $15 million in one hour. And if the station own’s the rights of the show the can earn also earn a lot by selling the show (syndication) to multiple other broadcasters in the country and abroad. And they can also make money when the release the show on DVD. They also can rerun the show.

    I will try to find out something about the profits of the American TV Networks and the costs of buying Hollywood blockbusters for tv stations. I’ll post my findings later on.

  15. Barney Says:

    It is not easy to find figures about tv stations. But I found a few things that can be worthwile. The first thing is about the budgets to make tv shows.
    I found this quote: “The budget for a television series is often kept secret. I don’t know why. I was on a show (multi-camera sitcom) on CBS two years ago that had a budget of $900,000 which is outrageously low. Before that I was on an animated series for NBC that had a budget of $3,000,000 an episode.”

    Another quote I found: “Unlike movies, TV budgets don’t become a marketing tools for the product, because TV doesn’t charge for tickets. Nobody cares that an episode of Grey’s Anatomy costs X million. It’s not going to contribute to anyone’s interest to watch it.” I don’t agree on this opinion entirerly, in some cases like high-budget shows as “Rome” and “Deadwood” some people do care what the budget is.

    Another quote I found: “Now if you want to make a show worth selling to Networks, a 30 min show is likely around $100,000 – $200,000 for an episode + start up costs. A full hour show is going to be over $500,000 + start up costs.” This would be a very basic tv show with no big stars. In top shows the bulk of the costs are salaries of the actors.
    Series gain in cost each year they are in production, sometimes quadrupling (or more) in expense when the ensemble cast’s contracts all expire at the same time. Like on Seinfeld, for the last year they each held out for $1,000,000 an episode. The same thing on Friends.

    Some more figures:

    -Prior to 2003, each episode of “The Practice” cost $6.5 million
    -Each episode of Deadwood was reported as costing $5 million.
    -Rome (HBO tv show) US$100-110 million (£62.7 million pounds) budget to the production of twelve 1-hour episodes ( about 9 million for a single episode)

    Even more difficult to find are figures about the costs to buy the broadcast rights to air a blockbuster movie. This is what I found:
    “ABC has paid a reported $60 to $70 million each for the broadcast rights to both ”Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and the currently shooting ”Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets,” or about half what each film cost to make. The deal gives ABC exclusive rights for 10 years to air the films on broadcast TV or on sister cable outlets ABC Family and Disney Channel….”( Nov 30, 2001 Entertainment Weekly)

    “Satellite TV provider DirecTV is nearing completion of a $700 million deal that would give it exclusive broadcast rights to Major League Baseball’s out-of-market package games for the next seven years.” ( Mar 06, 2007 Entertainment Weekly)

    TV Rights of the UEFA Champions League, per country. Season 2009-2010
    England: 179 million euros
    Italy: 98 million euros
    Spain: 91 million euros
    Germany: 85 million euros
    France: 52 million euros
    Croatia: 28 million euros
    Greece: 8,5 million euros
    Poland: 8,1 million euros
    North America: 3,5 million euros
    Belgium: 2,9 million euros
    Australia: 2,9 million euros
    Ireland: 2 million euros
    Canada: 0,4 million euros
    Cyprus: 0,2 million euros

    In these figures we can see that the costs change because of the number viewers a tv station can reach. The same applies to the broadcast rights of tv shows and movies.

    I’ll try and come up with some more information.

    • Barney Says:

      Revenue American Networks

      CBS – US$ 13.950 billion (2008)
      More recent: Revenue dropped 9 percent for the first nine months to $9.5 billion, while net earnings totaled $168 million (Mediaweek 6 Nov 2009)

      NBC Universal – revenue US$ 15.4 (2007)
      here is a link to a pdf that explaines the revenue of NBC Universal

      ABC it’s somewhat more difficult as they are owned by The Walt Disney Company.
      In total The Walt Disney Company revenue is US$ 37.843 billion (2008) This also includes the revenue of among others Motion Pictures and Disney Theme Parks around the world.

      And after this it’s even harder to say because a lot of smaller tv stations are part of a bigger organisation. CNN, HLN, TBS, TNT, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang, TruTV, Turner Classic Movies, all recide under Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. witch in turn is part of Time Warner(US$ 46.98 Billion (2008).

      Fox Broadcasting Company is owned by News Corporation (Rupert Murdoch) which also owns a lot of newspaper and other tv stations. News Corporation US$ 30.423 billion (2009)

  16. Feras Says:

    Niels, I have a bunch of ideas..

    I completely agree about the aspect of a show’s lead-in of having a big impact on the leading-out program. For example, in the USA, CBS utilized the number one show on television, NCIS, to give a lead-in to both The Mentalist (the number one new show last year) and this year NCIS: LA. Both have benefited significantly because of the audience.

    That was the one thing about TVM1 where a show would have 20 million viewers from 8-9pm and then suddenly drop to 4 million once the 9pm programming started. This is not very realistic. Sure, the leading-out show can drop, but it’s not that severe and like Barney mentioned, the drop should be gradual, if any. But lead-ins should definitely be the an advantage (or disadvantage) of the lead-out. Similarly, if a real hit is at 9pm, the 8pm show, though it may not be a hit itself, should grow within its last few minutes for a pre-tuning factor.

    I also really like the idea of airing special events. But I think you should introduce a contracting aspect.

    For example, ABC airs the Academy Awards exclusively; NBC airs the Golden Globes exclusively; the CMAs are on ABC, etc. Likewise, NBC, CBS and FOX all have exclusive contracts to the NFL and the Superbowl is rotated year to year from one network to another (with the exception of ABC because they don’t have a contract with the NFL). This can add a realistic aspect to the game as well.

    Also, RERUNS! This is very important that was ignored in TVM1. Reruns not only help get money back to the network, but also helps gain even a bigger audience during this time. This is also an important feature to add because during the summer months and holiday times, the networks rarely air original programming. (Another suggestion: holiday programming/specials).

    During the months of November, Februrary and May all the US networks have a “sweeps” period and this is when all the nets “stunt program” and air as many programs as possible to get a maximum audience. This is because this is when ad-rates are determined based on the average audience of each network.

    Averages of our network and the computer networks (night-by-night, week-by-week, year-to-year, percentage falls from year-to-year, show declines and increases year-to-year, etc) are important because the point of the game is to get the most viewers, yes?

    Ah, but its not just the viewers. In the USA, adults 18-49 are highly considered the number one factor when it comes to ratings. Sure, CBS is a high rated network and wins the night handily on Thursdays with its Survivor-CSI-Mentalist juggernaut combination among viewers, but it is ABC who usually take home the adults 18-49 rating. So while CBS wins among viewers, ABC wins among the target adults 18-49 rating which is far more ideal to advertisers. This should be included as well.

    Sorry for all the rumbling. 🙂

    • Niels Bauer Says:

      Ah reruns … well … they are a bit of a problem from the perspective of game balance. Either it’ll take a long long time before they refresh or at some time you would be able to broadcast from your archive alone. At that point the game would lose a lot of it´s appeal.

      • Barney Says:

        @ Niels:Well, reruns aren’t free of costs in real life, they are only cheaper.
        When a station produces the show themselves then they don’t have to pay for the broadcast rights. But often there are contracts with the creators of the show ( director, writers) and with the actors that they will get some money everytime the show is broadcasted.

        When a station just buy’s the broadcast rights then they can make a deal wich includes the rights to rerun the show, but they will be higher than the rights for airing the show just once.

        So in the game they also shouldn’t be free. And in most cases a rerun won’t attract as big an audience as the first showing. So in the game the player has to make the decision if it’s worthwile to buy a rerun.

      • Niels Bauer Says:

        Well, does this make it worthwhile of including in the game then? If a re-run of a 5-Star movie is as good and expensive as first running a 3-Star movie – why not just run a 3-Star movie? When I enable re-running movies your movie archive will get full very fast and you will have to spend time re-arranging the archive yourself.

      • Barney Says:

        I was not so much thinking about the rerun of movies as I was of the rerun of tv -series. I think you’re right that reruning a movie is not a very important aspect in the game. But in television a lot of tv-series are rerun and it will make the game more realistic if it’s possible. The player will know that the show will not have as big an audience as it used to have, but he allready has knowledge of what audience the show will reach (for example kids or women)because he aired it before. And the show will be cheaper to air. If a player makes the wrong decicions he can have lack of money and wants to air something that is cheap and certain to attract viewers. Even when it will attract less.

  17. Barney Says:

    On the wish list blog we talked about the effect that popular show has on the show aired before and after that show.
    That made me thinking that in the world of television broadcast programming this and other effects and strategies will have a official name. And since TV Manager is about broadcast programming it would be nice to know a bit more of the techniques and strategies used in this field.

    – The technique we talked about is called Tentpoling: In the world of television programming is a production which, with heavy promotion, and probably carrying a large investment, is expected to hold up (as is the function of a tent pole) and balance out the performance of a television network. An example of this strategy in television is to schedule a popular program alongside new or unknown programming, in an attempt to keep viewers watching after the flagship program is over. The term is derived from the image of a big circus tent held up by large tent poles. In times past, the circus coming to town anywhere was a major attraction and like the circus, a major television “tent pole” event today is one broadcasters hope or expect crowds will attend.

    – Another technique is very similar: Stacking is a technique used to develop audience flow by grouping together programs with similar appeals to “sweep” the viewer along from one program to the next.

    – Hammocking is a technique used by broadcasters whereby an unpopular programme is scheduled between two popular ones in the hope that viewers will watch it. Public-service broadcasters use this as a way of promoting serious but valuable content. A strong show, followed by a weak show which then is followed by a strong show. This is especially used for new shows. Hammocking may lead to situations where even if programs remain weak, audience rating will be high.

    – Stripping is running a syndicated television series every day of the week. It is commonly restricted to describing the airing of shows which were weekly in their first run; The West Wing could be stripped, but not Jeopardy!, as daily is the schedule for which it is intended.

    – Counterprogramming is used when a time period is filled with a program whose appeal is different from the opponent program (of the same or another broadcasting network, but on different channels), because it is a different genre or appeals to a different demographic.

    – Bridging is being used when a station tries to prevent the audience from changing channels during a junction point. There are different ways to accomplish this, for example don’t run a commercial block in between the ending of the previous and the start of a new show. Or having a program already underway and something compelling happening at a junction point, running a program late so that people ‘hang around’ and miss the start of other programs or advertising the next program during the credits of the previous.

    – And very important is dayparting. In broadcasting, dayparting is the practice of dividing the day into several parts, during each of which a different type television programming appropriate for that time is aired. Programs are most often geared toward a particular demographic, and what the target audience typically engages in at that time. There is a lot to say about dayparting, just take a look at this link:

    • Niels Bauer Says:

      Thank you Barney. This info is incredible (!) valuable for me in order to increase the variation of available game strategies.

      • Barney Says:

        Happy to be of of assistance.Here are some more terms used in the world of television and broadcast, that may also be of some interest for the game play and game strategies.

        Dead air
        Dead air is an unintended interruption in a broadcast during which the carrier signal is unmodulated—no sound on a radio signal or a black screen on a television signal.
        The term is most often used in cases where programme material comes to an unexpected halt, either through operator error or for technical reasons, although it is also used in cases where a broadcaster has ‘dried up’. Among professional broadcasters, dead air is considered one of the worst things that can occur.
        Having dead air during commercials or sponsorship announcements can cost networks considerable advertising revenue. This is an event that can occur in the game when a player doesn’t allocate enough money to technical maintenance for example.

        In television programming, flow is how channels and networks try to hold their audience from program to program, or from one segment of a program to another. Thus, it is the “flow” of television material from one element to the next. (techniques used are in a previous post: Bridging, Hammocking and Tentpoling)

        Friday night death slot
        The Friday night death slot is a notable graveyard slot in American television, the term referring to the concept that a television program in the United States scheduled on Friday evenings is destined for imminent cancellation. The term possibly began as a reflection of certain shows’ dominance of Friday night in the 1980s, which condemned to death any show scheduled opposite those programs. Today it reflects the belief that Americans rarely watch TV on Friday or Saturday nights, as these are days people (especially younger people) tend to leave home for other activities, thereby removing the most lucrative demographics for advertisers from the household. A lot of examples of shows that it happened to are on this link:

        Graveyard slot
        A graveyard slot is a time period in which a mass media outlet’s audience is very small compared to other times of the day, and therefore broadcast programming is considered far less important. In fact it is the opposite of prime time. This is usually in the early morning hours of each day (between 2a.m and 6a.m.), when most people are asleep. Because there is little chance for any substantial audience population, providing useful programming during this time is usually considered unimportant; some broadcast stations go off the air during these hours, and some audience measurement systems do not bother collecting measurements for these periods.

        The graveyard slots’ lack of importance sometimes benefits programs. Producers and program-makers can afford to take more risks as there is less advertising revenue at stake. For example, an unusual or niche program may find a chance for an audience in a graveyard slot, or a formerly-popular program that no longer merits an important time slot may be allowed to run in a graveyard slot instead of being removed from the schedule completely.

        Since the 1980s, graveyard slots have increasingly been used for program-length infomercials or simulcasting of home shopping channels, which provide a media outlet with revenue without any programming expenses.

        Hot switch
        In television, a hot switch is where the ending of one show leads directly into the start of the show in the next time slot without a commercial break. The concept is used to reduce the chances that people will switch to another TV network during the commercial break and allow the cold open of the new show to attract viewers. It can also be called “seamless” broadcasting.(see bridging in previous post)

  18. Barney Says:

    Another technique is theming. Having special theme days (such as for a holiday), or theme weeks such as Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week”. Theme weeks can be difficult to create in the game, because you will need a lot of appropriate shows to fill the week. But I do think it would be possible to have the effect in the game of holiday programming. For example: If you air a Christmas themed movie like White Christmas, Scrooged, It’s A Wonderful Life, Home Alone, The Muppet Christmas Carol or The Polar Express and do it in let’s say the month of December ( I remember that Niels said that one day in the game will be like a month in real life) a player should have a considerable higher amount of viewers for that movie than airing such movies in summer.

    A few sugestions for other holidays and movies:

    Halloween Movies – Van Helsing, Scary Movie, Gremlins, The Shinning, Seven, Poltergeist, The Addams Family, Jeepers Creepers, Halloween I, II, ect.., Nightmare on Elmstreet movies,Edward Scissorhands, Friday the 13th movies.

    Easter Movies – (for kids and families) Here Comes Peter Cottontail, Its the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown, Winnie the Pooh – Springtime with Roo, Easter Parade, Yogi the Easter Bear, An Easter Bunny Adventure, Who Framed Roger Rabbit
    (for adults) The Passion of the Christ, The Greatest Story Ever Told, Jesus Christ Superstar, Life of Brian, The Last Temptation of Christ, The Robe, The Ten Commandments

    Valentine’s Day Movies – What Women Want, Sleepless in Seattle, Notting Hill, Pretty Woman, When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail

    Thanksgiving Movies – Planes, Trains, Automobiles, Hannah and Her Sisters, Home For The Holidays, National Lampoon’s Holiday Reunion, The Ice Storm

    Summer Movies – The Great Outdoors, Dirty Dancing, Jaws, Meatballs, Stand by Me, Deliverance, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Little Miss Sunshine, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

    In the game this can have the following effect: when you air a movie at the appropriate time in the year a movie would draw an audience that is 15 to 30% bigger than it would normally attract.

  19. Jeb Says:


    Check out this link:

    This is from a website called TV By the Numbers. The link above includes a list of ratings for the coveted 18-49 demographic, number of viewers for the 18-49 demographic, and number of viewers total. For example, click on the link and you’ll see that last week Grey’s Anatomy’s 18-49 rating was a 5.6 and its 18-49 viewership was 7,357,000 viewers. Scroll down and you’ll see that its total rating (all ages) was a 9.6., and its total viewership was 14,869,000 viewers.

    I am sharing this information with you to give you a good idea of what the viewership numbers are like for the top shows on TV. Also, I think for TV series (e.g., The Simsons, which has been on air for over 20 seasons), the ratings should reflect real life. If the series is high quality and gains a strong/cult following, the viewership numbers should remain about the same every seaon, or perhaps rise for the first few seasons or see only a slight dip in subsequent seasons (like The Simpsons). Most shows, however, will see a drop in viewership after the first few seasons. Lower quality shows that aren’t in a good timeslot or do not have a good lead-in will fail almost instantly. However, a low quality show in a good timeslot may gain a strong audience. However, sometimes even award-winning, quality shows (like Arrested Development) find it hard to gain traction among viewers. However, if a quality show like Arrested Development were given a good timeslot, it should have the best chance of being incredibly successful.

  20. Jeb Says:

    Because it would be incredibly fun to be able to air a popular TV series for several seasons, I think you should change the way TV series were handled in TV Manager 1.

    It would be best if we were able to purchase or develop a new series with only 3-5 episodes, and then, if the show is successful, be given the option to renew/pick up the series and order more episodes. (This is what television networks do in real life.) It would be even better if we were able to choose how many episodes we would like to order for the new season (e.g., a minimum of 10 episodes and maximum of around 25). You may also want to consider adding a waiting time while a new season of a series is in production (e.g., you may have to wait several months for the new episodes to be produced before you can air the show’s new season).

    • Feras Says:

      Jeb, I love your ideas!

      • Jeb Says:

        Thank you, Feras. I hope Niels takes them into account when creating or expanding the game. It would be so nice to have these realistic elements in the series. I absolutely love the idea of being able to “renew” a show and make several seasons of it, and also be able to place the show in various time slots and watch its ratings fluctuate depending on its timeslot, production quality, and a strong or weak lead-in.

    • Niels Bauer Says:

      Ok, it´s too late to change the way series are handled to a renew/pick up thing. What we do have are different seasons of famous series with up to 10 episodes each. While seasons normally have more episodes, please consider that the game is symbolic and one game day = one real month.

      I am going to work hard to include as many of the TV strategies outlined above (like lead-in etc.) as possible.

      I am also going to include improvements to the news and other programme by employing better moderators, technicians etc. by adding collectable advantage booster cards. E.g. there could be cards for a famous moderators, which will boost your news popularity by X etc.

  21. Feras Says:

    Niels, will you be holding another contest for someone to get a hold of the beta version of TVM2? I would love to try it out!

    • Niels Bauer Says:

      Maybe, yes. The start of testing has been delayed a bit. It appears the production of the interface artwork takes more time than we thought. As soon as I get the chat interface etc. from Filipe (hey Filipe! 🙂 ) I plan to start a network test.

  22. Jeb Says:

    Thank you for your response, Niels.

    I forgot about the one day = one month thing. Just the fact that we are able to have several seasons of famous series makes me excited.

    I think the lead-in thing would add a cool new element to the game (of course, some shows are so crappy that no matter how strong a lean-in they are still bound to fail). That is something you could maybe look into later. Your ideas about improving the news and other programme with the “booster cards” seems like a cool idea as long as we have to work hard to gain the cards or we have to pay a lot of cash to buy them (I don’t think they should just be handed out randomly by chance or luck.)

    By the way, I LOVE your original suggestion about how our station would have to compete against other big stations for the audience once we’re able to expand our station by reaching new territories. Like you said, “The obvious way [to do this] would be to get 5-star movies (and series) and beat your competition in the ‘war’ over the audience.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. I like where your ideas are going, and I really hope you stick with them.

    Good luck!

    • Niels Bauer Says:

      One of my ideas is to give out X random cards (e.g. 2) each month to each account and leave it to the players to trade them in the online chat. But there are other ideas as well like allowing the purchase of those cards, but in turn offer a way to trade additional cards in for game time. We’ll see. I haven´t decided yet on the payment model for the game.

      • Jeb Says:

        Sounds good to me. I really like your taking advantage of the online element. As long as the game stays challenging, I’m all for it 🙂

      • Niels Bauer Says:

        Well, if you got let´s say 10 advantage booster cards, the game will be easier to solve. At this time however, you will most likely have solved the game anyway and with the additional cards you can try to compete in the highscore lists. That´s one of the main reasons why I made this game online. This time you have some real live highscore lists. And due to the turn-based nature of the game there is no cheating possible. So on top of the normal game you have another game that is to get to the top of the highscore list with testing the best collectable advantage boosters.

      • Jeb Says:

        That sounds like a good use of the booster cards. Again, I love the whole online element. Competition always makes a game more fun. Being able to compete for viewers in-game against other stations would already be an incredible addition to the game. Being able to compete against other players for the highest score is an added bonus. I like where all this is going. If I have any more suggestions, I’ll definitely post them here. And as always, if you’d like any feedback about the game, all of us would be glad to help.

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