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Buffalo inventor catches "Shark" deal with Cuban


By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

Hey, I got a prediction right.

Buffalo native Tim Talley made a deal with Mark Cuban on Friday's edition of "Shark Tark" to help him sell his multi-color U-Lace Customizing Lacing Systems nationally.

In my Thursday blog, I speculated that the owner of the National Basketball Association Dallas Mavericks would have a special interest in the trendy product for sneakers if  he thought Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki would wear them and this idea is marketable to basketball players as well as people who play any sport.

But Talley needed the help from another shark, Kevin O'Leary, who gave him the first offer, to get Cuban on board.

O'Leary offered to give Talley a $200,000 investment for 50 percent of the company. Talley thought that was too high a price a percentage and was asked to counter.

When his counter was $200,000 for 35 percent of the company, Cuban said "I'll take the deal."

And that was that.

Fallon has strong start here; BEMAs have strange TV finalist

By Alan Pergament

If those internet reports claiming that bookers for "The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon" are trying to prevent guests from appearing on rival shows are correct, they might want to hold off those tactics.

Fallon's takeover of the "Tonight" franchise has gotten off to a strong ratings start nationally and locally. But it is a marathon and not a sprint so let's slow down before proclaiming the likable host the new late-night king.

Western New York certainly is embracing him.

In his third week, Fallon's program has averaged a 5.2 rating from Monday through Thursday on Channel 2, the local NBC affiliate. "The Late Show with David Letterman" has averaged a 3.7 on Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate. "Jimmy Kimmel Live" has averaged a 1.5 on Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate.

However, Letterman defeated Fallon's show narrowly on Thursday when Lindsay Lohan was Fallon's primary guest. Apparently nothing says change the channel like Lindsay Lohan in this town.

Kimmel has done very well nationally in the more than a year since ABC moved his program to 11:30 p.m. But he hasn't had any traction on Channel 7, which is a weak ABC affiliate. To illustrate how badly things are going here for Kimmel, on Thursday night his late-night show was narrowly defeated here by "Arsenio," which airs at 11 p.m. on WNLO-TV, Channel 4's sister station.


Bills fans may lose TV game in Toronto postponement

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

The postponement of the Buffalo Bills series is being cheered in March but will it be applauded in November or December when the additional game at the Ralph might not be televised?

The Toronto game became an annual embarrassment because of the antiseptic climate and all the empty seats there.

But there was one positive for Bills fans.

Every game played north of the border was televised even with all those empty seats visible to TV audiences.

Unless the NFL changes its blackout policy under pressure from the FCC, the formerly guaranteed televised game in Toronto could be off local television here if it isn't sold out when it is played during colder weather months at the Ralph.

Buffalo inventor sneaks on "Shark Tank" Friday

By Alan Pergament

A Buffalo native who has been an inventor and entrepreneur since high school is scheduled to appear on Friday night's episode of the popular ABC reality series "Shark Tank."

Tim Talley, a graduate of Hutch-Tech, will be trying to convince Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Daymond John, Robert Herjavec and Kevin O'Leary to invest in "modular sneaker laces" that he has been marketing for several years in 28 countries.

The program airs at 9 p.m. Friday on Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate.

According to an ABC release, the laces "enable kids and adults to customize their sneaker looks with different styles and colors."

Talley, who founded a company called U-Lace Customizing Lacing Systems in 2009, now lives in Rochester.

DeGeneres, Sabres get ratings bumps

By Alan Pergament

Ellen DeGeneres may have gotten mixed national reviews for her performance as the Oscar host Monday night, but she certainly got a nice ratings bump in Buffalo the day after her performance.

Her daytime talk show, which airs at 4 p.m. weekdays on Channel 2, had a 7.1 rating locally on Monday. That's about 40 percent higher than it averaged here during the February sweeps.

The 7.1 rating also was higher than most prime time entertainment shows here on Monday, with the notable exceptions of "The Voice" (11.7) and "Blacklist" (8.4) on NBC affiliate Channel 2 and "How I Met Your Mother" (8.5) on CBS affiliate Channel 4. "Ellen" beat everything locally on ABC and Fox in prime time Monday.

However, "Ellen" also couldn't beat the Buffalo Sabres.

Ellen, Milbury, ex-Ch.2 reporter all take shots

By Alan Pergament

This is what I'm thinking:

While the local ratings for Sunday night's Academy Awards were up 10 percent from a year ago to a 27.2, there was a noticeable dropoff in the final 15 minutes of the program before "12 Years a Slave" was named best picture.

The rating from 11:45 p.m. to midnight on Channel 7 was 24.9, which made it the lowest 15 minutes of the entire 3 and a half hour program. It was 25.3 from 11:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. when Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett won the big acting awards and that was lower than every 15 minutes except for at the program's start at 8:30 p.m. and at 11:45 p.m.

This confirms my view that the best way to watch the Oscars is to DVR the final hour and watch all the major categories on Monday morning before you go to work so you can join the water cooler talk.

Oscar rating up 10 percent in WNY

By Alan Pergament

Despite waiting until the last 30 minutes to give out most of the meaningful awards and despite the disappointing performance of host Ellen DeGeneres, the local rating for Sunday night's Oscar telecast was a huge ratings hit locally.

The three and a half-hour live program had a 27.2 rating on Channel 7, the local ABC affiliate. That is about 10 percent higher than the 24.6 rating the 2013 Oscar program hosted by Seth MacFarlane had here.

To put the rating in further perspective, the Grammy Awards last month had a 19.5 rating on Channel 4, the local CBS affiliate.

The only programs that had  higher ratings than the Academy Awards this year so far were the Super Bowl and some of the earlier NFL playoff games. Ratings for Buffalo Bills telecasts next season also are most likely to be higher than the Oscar telecast. Bills games generally have ratings in the high 20s or low and mid-30s.

My deadline for today's review of the program was too early to weigh in on the speeches of Matthew McConaughey and Cate Blanchett after they won the top acting awards.

They both gave strong speeches, which wasn't surprising since they had a lot of time to practice because their awards were the closest thing to being guaranteed.

The predictability of almost all the awards made for a program loaded with scripted speeches rather than spontaneous, emotional ones.

An extremely excited director Steve McQueen fumbled through reading his speech after "12 Years a Slave" was named best picture, but he made up for it with a spontaneous celebratory dance after he was finished.

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Surprise, surprise, WNY was watching hockey Saturday night

By Alan Pergament

While the rumors surrounding the departure of now former Buffalo Sabres president of hockey operations Pat LaFontaine and other front office intrigue were swirling Saturday night, Western New Yorkers were watching hockey in big numbers.

Buffalo was the No.3 market in the country for NBC's coverage of Chicago's 5-1 victory over Pittsburgh in the NHL Stadium Series.

Not surprisingly, the two participating teams were No.1 and No.2. Chicago had a 14.9 rating and Pittsburgh a 13.3. WNY is often the highest-rated market outside the participating teams for NHL games and was the top-rated market for many games during the Sochi Olympics.

Channel 2 had a 6.8 rating for Saturday's game, which was twice as high as the fourth place city, Milwaukee, with a 3.2. The game had a national overnight rating of 2.1, which NBC said was the highest overnight rating ever on NBC for a non-Winter Classic NHL regular season game.

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Ch.2 back on top in morning, tightens race at 10 p.m.

By Alan Pergament

Forgive me, it is that time of year when I spend more time with numbers than NFL executives at the NFL Combine. Here are some of the big stories of the just-concluded February sweeps:

*Channel 2 News is back on top in the morning and gaining ground at 10 p.m.

* Its 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. newscasts have experienced about 15 percent drops from a year ago but it still remains well ahead of second place Channel 4.

* Channel 4 is within shouting distance of Channel 2 at 6 p.m. but the first sweeps results for its hour-long news are nothing to shout about.

* Channel 7 is buried in third place in all time periods that the three stations compete and lost about 20 percent of its meager 5 p.m. audience from a year ago. That certainly gives its next owner, E.W. Scripps Company, a good look at what is facing once it takes over.

Local TV news departments ignore 10 million reasons for TWC increase

By Alan Pergament

I watched the local TV news departments report Tuesday on Time Warner Cable's 6.4 percent rate increase.

I didn't see any of the stations mention that a good deal of that rate hike was being used to pay them.

TWC certainly wanted subscribers to know that $2.25 per month was for the right to transmit the signals of the local network affiliates even though they are available in most homes for free with antennas.

That's why TWC separated the fee from the other rate hikes for its cable, internet and equipment packages.

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