NYU Stern School of Business

Undergraduate College


Fall 2011

Instructor Details

Lieberman, Alvin



Tuesday 1-2:30 PM

Tisch, 903


Course Meetings

M, 4:55pm to 6:10pm

Tisch T-UC25

Final Exam:

Schedule exceptions
    Class will not meet on:
    Class will meet on:


Course Description and Learning Goals

The course is designed to provide an overview of the entertainment and media industry.  It will help establish a framework for understanding the dynamics of the entertainment, media and technology industries, and their intersecting points. The course covers recent activities in key sectors of the entertainment universe: movies, home video, television, cable and DTH, publishing, and music. The course will explore concepts, frameworks, models, and analyze industry data that apply across the entertainment revenue stream spectrum including licensing, sponsorships and promotion.


Course Objectives


Assessment Components

Cases                                          15%, 15%, 15%  Individual

Class participation / Attendance          10%, 5%  Individual

Paper / Presentation                     20%, 20%  Team



At NYU Stern we seek to teach challenging courses that allow students to demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter. Assigning grades that reward excellence and reflect differences in performance is important to ensuring the integrity of our curriculum.

In general, students in this elective course can expect a grading distribution where about 50% of students will receive A’s for excellent work and the remainder will receive B’s for good or very good work. In the event that a student performs only adequately or below, he or she can expect to receive a C or lower.

Note that the actual distribution for this course and your own grade will depend upon how well each of you actually performs in this course.


Professional Responsibilities For This Course



Class Participation:


Stern Policies

General Behavior
The School expects that students will conduct themselves with respect and professionalism toward faculty, students, and others present in class and will follow the rules laid down by the instructor for classroom behavior.  Students who fail to do so may be asked to leave the classroom. 

Course Evaluations
Course evaluations are important to us and to students who come after you.  Please complete them thoughtfully.


Required Reading


The Entertainment Marketing Revolution, Lieberman & Esgate, Financial Times/Prentice Hall, 2002.


Four Harvard cases – to write up

The Walt Disney Company: The Entertainment King            9-701-035

The CW: Launching a Television Network                            9-507-050

Grand Central Publishing (A)                                                 9-508-036

Marvel Enterprises, Inc.                                                          9-505-001

In-class discussion

Good idea or bad idea? Comcast’s Acquisition of NBC Universal

The case packet can be purchased through the NYU Bookstore in either print or digital form. If you choose to purchase the digital version of the case packet, you will still need to go to the NYU Bookstore. You will purchase a XanEdu sheet, listing the course number. After you pay at the register, you will receive an email with an access code. You will then need to set up a XanEdu account to download the packet.


Guidelines for Written Cases

  1. All papers are to be typed, double-spaced, two  pages  (absolute maximum 2.5 pages).
  2. Please take time to organize your work so that it is clear and concise.
  3. You may want to construct charts or exhibits to convey your thoughts concisely.


Course Outline



September 12



Framework for the course, review syllabus, provide assignments, explain content of course and the delivery, create teams

Overview of the entertainment industry -- Process, Perspectives and Principles

  • Hit driven businesses
  • Key role of  marketing
  • Importance of ancillary revenue streams
  • Role of technology
  • Barriers to entry
  • Nature of the product and consumption

Reading: EMR, Chapter 1,2



September 19


What is Entertainment?  The “Experience” economy. Competition for leisure time, content creation and consumption.  Lion King, Rule or Exception? Synergy: Myth or Mandate?  Key marketing issues.  Growth by sector, trend, major players and centers.

Discussion Questions

1. Why are consumers willing to pay more for an experience?

2. Why has the entertainment industry grown so rapidly?

3. What are some of the factors that determine whether a “new form” of entertainment will be successful?

4. How is marketing of entertainment products different from marketing traditional goods and services?

5. What are some of the factors underlying the growth (or decline) of different sectors of the entertainment industry?

Assignment for September 19: BUSINESS story from Variety Daily or Weekly,

Headline, Date, 3 paragraphs highlighting the story.






Brief History. Search for market power. Making magic. Understanding production, distribution, exhibition and marketing components.

Reading: EMR, Chapter 3

Discussion Questions

1. After reading Chapter 3 of EMR and looking at slides on FILM,

  • What were the most important factors influencing the early development (to 1920) and subsequent development of the film industry.
  • Are there any lessons that can be learned that can be applied to the current situation?
  • What are the most important factors today?

2. What is affecting the studios practice of windowing?  Are there other examples of “windowing” in the entertainment industry?



October 03



Come to class prepared to apply issues as they relate to the film industry.

The Walt Disney Case is Due for Write up and Discussion








October  17



 Development of television.  Industry players.   

Original Three Networks, Programming Values, Share & Ratings, Shift in Audience Viewership, Local Television Stations, Changes in Affiliations, O & O. Marketing issues.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the social impact of TV?
  2. What are the differences and what are the similarities between the development of the film industry and the TV industry?
  3. What specialized skills does a network need to have to be successful?
  4. How does (should) a network market itself?

Reading: EMR, Chapter 4



October 24



Assignment due—HBS CASE: CW

If possible, please attend the Business of Television Conference as a volunteer or with a student discount  on November 18, 2011.  Visit the website for details televisionconference.com.  There is a great lineup of speakers and panelist. It will be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the media and entertainment industry.



7, 8

October  31, November  7



Development of Cable.  Economic underpinnings, Cable Basics.  Cable Regulations. MSO's and consolidation. Content and programming.  Key marketing challenges.

Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions

  1. What does the cable industry have to do to grow?
  2. What does Comcast need to do to grow?
  3. What is the “life-time value” of a cable subscriber?
  4. Which poses a bigger competitive threat to the typical MSO, telcos or DTH satellite?

October 31  OUTLINE for TERM PAPERS Due

November 07 COMCAST DISCUSSION one page + in class discussion

Read: EMR Chapter 5

Review for the Midterm: Short Answers and Essays



9.     November 14                                    MIDTERM Exam



November 21




   Key Sectors.  Books, magazines, newspapers.   Similarities and differences.  21st Century issues.

Discussion Questions

  1. Are e-books, webzines and online newspapers threats to their traditional counterparts?
  2. For mass-market paper back books, returns (books not sold and returned to the publisher) exceed 40%.  Why are they so high? What would you recommend to deal with the problem?
  3. Why is it so difficult to start a new magazine?
  4. One way for magazines to grow is to leverage content to other markets.  Why is it such an attractive strategy? What are some of the limitations to this strategy?
  5. Which of the newspaper revenue streams are most stable? Least stable?
  6. Newspapers rely heavily on advertising revenue.  Which ad revenue streams are most vulnerable to the Internet and why?

Reading: EMR, Chapter 6    

Case: Publishing HBS Grand Central Publishing




November  28



Brief History.  Key characteristics.  Major players.  Revenue streams.  Radio’s role.  21st Century Issues

Discussions Questions

1. Why is the music business in such tough shape today?

  1. What was the basis for market power pre 1920? Post 1950? Today?
  2. Which would you rather do and why?  Record a hit song? Write a hit song?
  3. What is the role of an independent promoter?
  4. How have changes in distribution helped the industry? Hurt the industry?
  5. Which of the 4 P’s is most important in the music business and why?



 12, 13

December 05, 12




December 05: 10-12 MINUTES EACH SIX TEAMS





Cases and Assignments

You will locate a copy of the entertainment industry, trade magazine, VARIETY – known as the film, television, cable and theater bible. Please write a one page, 3-4 paragraph summary or analysis on an article that has appeared in your copy of VARIETY magazineON A FILM STUDIO,  MAJOR, MINOR OR INDEPENDENT. JUST GIVE US THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE STORY. 15 STUDENTS WILL BE ASKED TO QUICKLY GIVE THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM THEIR PAPERS   in the next class.

During the semester each student has a set of assignments that cover different aspects of the course and will help prepare students for taking other courses in the EMT program, as well as providing the basic knowledge required to assume managerial positions in the industries. The four deliverables are written responses to questions on cases. These must be submitted on time for class discussion and be no more than one plus pages in length:




Individual Names

              VARIETY article

September  19    


 The Walt Disney Company

October 03

Last Name A-M


October 17

Last name N-Z

Comcast: Good or Bad News

November 07



November 21

Last Name A-M

Marvel Inc.

November 28

Last Name N-Z

Final Paper, Presentations

December 05, 12



Case Questions

Questions for The Walt Disney Company Case

  1. Why has been Disney been so successful for so long?
  2. What did Michael Eisner do to rejuvenate Disney? Specifically, how did he increase net income in the first four years?
  3. Has Disney diversified too far in recent years?
  4. Where did the Management of Creativity change under Eisner?
  5. How would you asses the job Bob Iger is doing? (You will need to do some erserach to answer this question?

Questions for the CW Case

  1. What are the major challenges in launching a TV Network?
  2. The formation of the CW network caught News Corp by surprise. Evaluate their response Would you have recommended a different response?
  3. Which three shows would you run and why?
  4. What are the best time slots for each of the three shows and why?
  5. What are the issue and problems with talent at the network?

Questions for the Grand Central Publishing Case

  1. Evaluate the three options facing Kostolnyik and Raab.
  2. Select one as the “best” and indicate why
  3. How much would you be willing to pay for the rights to Dewey and indicate why
  4. Where are the decisions made at the Publishing House
  5. Who are the brands at a publishing house

Questions for the Marvel Enterprises, Inc. Case

1. Why was Marvel’s turnaround so successful? Would you characterize that success as a fluke? Is it sustainable? Why? How?

2. How important are each of Marvel’s three divisions – comic books, toys, and licensing – to its past and future performance?

3.  Is Marvel’s success due to only one character, Spider-man? How can Marvel develop its lesser-known characters?

4.  Was Disney’s Acquisition of Marvel a Good Idea or a Bad Idea.


Guidelines for Written Assignment

All papers are to be typed, double-spaced. Length - 

It is recommended that you follow a basic proposal or report format or a style book to present your work in a polished and professional manner.

Please take time to organize your work so that it is clear and concise.  Your opening statement should be an introduction which states what your objective is and what you're going to discuss.  The main body should present your findings in a logical and straight-forward way.  Summarize your findings or recommendations at the end in a conclusion.  Break up your work into subheadings.

Make sure that your work is proofread and edited.  You should ask a friend, colleague, or co-worker to help you with this.  Your final draft should be free of errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar; having someone else proofread is the most effective way to do this.

Some of you may want to use your work as a tool to help you in your career planning.  This can be a very persuasive "calling card."  It's well worth your time to develop this assignment into something you can use beyond this course.

Your assignment is expected to reflect your understanding and comprehension of the material covered in this course.  This includes all the readings, supplementary handouts, and the lectures.  Most of the detailed information concerning the various aspects of the course curriculum are contained in the extensive readings provided.  Your assignment should represent the cumulative work product of this course and incorporate that information.

The assignments are due as noted on the syllabus attached.  If for any reason you are unable to submit it on that day, you will have to make arrangements to send it to me directly.  The university imposes a very tight deadline as to when the final grades are due, usually within a few days after the final.  Assignments submitted to me via fax will not be accepted.


Academic Integrity

Integrity is critical to the learning process and to all that we do here at NYU Stern. As members of our community, all students agree to abide by the NYU Stern Student Code of Conduct, which includes a commitment to:

The entire Stern Student Code of Conduct applies to all students enrolled in Stern courses and can be found here:

Undergraduate College: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/uc/codeofconduct
Graduate Programs: http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/involved.cfm?doc_id=102505

To help ensure the integrity of our learning community, prose assignments you submit to Blackboard will be submitted to Turnitin.  Turnitin will compare your submission to a database of prior submissions to Turnitin, current and archived Web pages, periodicals, journals, and publications.  Additionally, your document will become part of the Turnitin database.


Term Paper and Presentation


The entertainment and media industry is made up of more than 10 sectors.  We will cover the top 5 in this class in great detail from an institutional perspective. In addition we will examine sources of subsidiary revenue, including merchandising, licensing and branded integration. This is primarily a survey course. 

In order to gain a more detailed understanding, the assignment or team project will require research, analysis and an understanding of the sub-segments of these sectors. Technology has had an incredible impact on classic media, and has enhanced the distribution options for most if not all content. Consolidation and convergence have become the mantra of most E& M businesses. Along with the shock waves of acquisitions in the new media space, has come re-alignment of organizations as disparate as NBC and MTV. Another new phenomenon has been unbundling as companies shed lackluster divisions to make way for new investments.

In order for us to understand this phenomenon, we need to analyze the companies, their parts and the importance of these within the sectors in which they operate. The entertainment and media industry is once again on the verge of considerable change.


TERM PAPER ASSIGNMENT  Due November 28, 2011

A 20 page paper, double-spaced with bibliography, (please not just web listings) and any exhibits or graphs you with to include.  

The paper will be graded on the basis of content, clarity, grammar, spelling, organization, and innovative thinking.  Where material has been excerpted, footnotes must be used.

Four to Five members maximum for  each team. The general categories from which companies will be selected  are listed  below. Each team will select one important and/or interesting company to analyze. We will not select an entire conglomerate, but pick one or two divisions to focus the paper. There are many  single product companies in the media and entertainment industries

You will have some time during the first class to shift between teams, and then maintain that position through the balance of the term. 



ANIMATION                                    BROADCAST TV & LOCAL

SATELLITE RADIO                        CABLE BASIC





CASINOS                                            MUSIC LABELS


The table of contents for every term paper must include a brief background on the sector,  select one important company in the sector for development, what are the core competencies of the company, strength and weaknesses,  list and examine the  competition ( major three or four companies in the sector ), one/two paragraphs each on the top executives in the selected company including; Head of Marketing, Head of Promotion, Head of Publicity, Head of Events,   select one recent successful marketing activity  and one unsuccessful marketing activity attributed , and explain your rationale.  Summarize with opportunities or changes expected for the future.  Explain impact of technology on these companies in this sub-sector

Provide a listing of the following positions with the names of the executives currently in position:

Here is a way to organize the paper:

1-2 pages – executive summary

2 pages on the background of the sector

3 pages on the company selected for analysis

2 pages on top/leading competitors (no more than four companies) in the sector

2 pages on the executives or top players in the leading companies

4 pages on the effective use of marketing in the company

3pages on the impact of technology within the company

2 – 3  pages future trends

Plus charts, graphs, bibliography


The papers when graded will be returned.  In order for the whole class to benefit from these, every team will provide a :15 minute presentation on the highlights of their paper.  It can be PowerPoint.  Six teams will present each evening on dates described in the syllabus.


Group Projects

Guidelines for Group Projects

Business activities involve group effort. Consequently, learning how to work effectively in a group is a critical part of your business education.

Every member is expected to carry an equal share of the group’s workload. As such, it is in your interest to be involved in all aspects of the project. Even if you divide the work rather than work on each piece together, you are still responsible for each part. The group project will be graded as a whole:   its different components will not be graded separately. Your exams may contain questions that are based on aspects of your group projects.

It is recommended that each group establish ground rules early in the process to facilitate your joint work including a problem-solving process for handling conflicts. In the infrequent case where you believe that a group member is not carrying out his or her fair share of work, you are urged not to permit problems to develop to a point where they become serious. If you cannot resolve conflicts internally after your best efforts, they should be brought to my attention and I will work with you to find a resolution.

You will be asked to complete a peer evaluation form to evaluate the contribution of each of your group members (including your own contribution) at the conclusion of each project. If there is consensus that a group member did not contribute a fair share of work to the project, I will consider this feedback during grading.


Recording of Classes

Your class may be recorded for educational purposes


Students with Disabilities

If you have a qualified disability and will require academic accommodation of any kind during this course, you must notify me at the beginning of the course and provide a letter from the Moses Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD, 998-4980, www.nyu.edu/csd) verifying your registration and outlining the accommodations they recommend.  If you will need to take an exam at the CSD, you must submit a completed Exam Accommodations Form to them at least one week prior to the scheduled exam time to be guaranteed accommodation.


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