Jodi Arias trial is a big revenue generator for media

A screenshot of HLN's website, which has a page dedicated to the Jodi Arias trial with (at press time) 764 related stories.

The murder trial of a Phoenix-area woman has a devoted audience, enthralled by evidence revealing intimate and scandalous details of the defendant’s life. Jodi Arias is charged with killing her boyfriend, Travis Alexander, in 2008. She’s being both prosecuted and defended by taxpayer-funded attorneys. As of last week, her defense has cost nearly $1.7 million. Taxpayers who want to see their money at work have been able to watch the case gavel-to-gavel, along with plenty of analysis.

The HLN network covers the trial constantly. In a press release, HLN said the Arias trial fueled big gains in its TV ratings. And, it even used the trial to launch a new show: HLN After Dark.

But it’s hardly just national outlets seeing a bump.

“We’ve never seen anything like what we’re getting from the Arias traffic. It’s night and day,” said Chris Kline, director of new media at KNXV, Phoenix’s ABC affiliate. It covers the story regularly on TV, and carries the whole case live online.

“We’ve been seeing millions upon millions of livestream hits on a weekly, monthly, hourly basis. It’s nonstop,” Kline said. “We put that up, and people watch.”

Kline said streaming the case was an easy call: compelling characters, dramatic testimony, and a lot of Arizona tax dollars on the line.

“Covering this trial and making sure that everything goes as it should is critical for our audience,” Kline said.

Nobody’s keen to say exactly how much the Arias coverage has boosted ad revenue. But Syracuse University advertising professor Brian Sheehan said it’s a pretty basic principle.

“If you deliver more eyeballs, the value of that time goes up. That’s one of the reason a lot of these cable channels, for example -- you know, in many cases if they can latch onto a case like this, people get hooked, they get addicted to it,” Sheehan said. “It’s kind of like this is the Phoenix version of the O.J. Simpson case.”

And Sheehan said there’s a big incentive to keep the audience addicted.

“Because [for] many of these outlets, once Jodi Arias goes away -- or gets put away -- that audience might disappear.”

The case is a hot commodity for less-traditional players, too; like a website selling artwork that Arias apparently drew behind bars. A portrait of Frank Sinatra reportedly sold for more than $1,000. And recently, a regular courtroom spectator sold her seat for $200 -- but after a swift reprimand, was forced to give the money back.

For Chris Kline at the local ABC station, the trial shows him that there are huge revenue opportunities in airing future high-profile cases.

“If our audience is hungry for this and we can offer them that overage, that’s going to help our overall business as we push forward in a really tough economy,” Kline says.

Closing arguments in the Arias trial continue into Friday.

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Dear Travis Alexander, may you rest in peace and always be fondly remembered.

Arizona State to retry Jodi Arias, “Penalty Phase”; Scheduled start date is July 18, 2013.
If the prosecution chooses not to retry the penalty phase,
JA will get life in prison, either with or without parole. The judge decides; then appeals begin.
MCSO Statement: JA confined to her cell 23 hours a day and no more media interviews.

JA is now convicted of "Premeditated First-Degree Murder" and “Extreme Cruelty”.
The last woman executed was 80 years ago. JA would die of old age before being executed.
JA stated “A death or life conviction doesn’t matter to me; I’ll be around for a long time”.
JA will never accept a plea deal; she is having too much fun. The legal system is her enabler.
JA is also looking forward to the many Appeals that our legal system guarantees will follow.
Daily TV coverage of this trial is not required nor should it be permitted. What do you think?

Ways to stop Deadlocked Juries: (Get rid of the Death Penalty or enable Juries use of it.)
Supreme courts must replace “Unanimous Agreement” with “Majority Rule”.
Always have an odd number of jurors. This is common sense. Why can’t we do this?
We must reduce the appeal process to more quickly impose the death penalty on the guilty.

THE FACTS: 1 702 421 3511

American justice it is all about money. The money the media made from this should go back to the tax payers then they can have what is left

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