Upfronts: Extending Primetime; Viewer Control; 30 Seconds


Some observers and participants think 2006 could be the last traditional upfront. Perhaps, but we still have to survive this year.
With the Resurgence of the TV Drama, Ad Buyers Look Longer Before Leaping: “When we talk about appointment viewing, the appointment is going to be the viewer’s, not the network’s,” said Brad Adgate, senior vice president for research at Horizon Media in New York. “Someday, shows may be renewed not because of ratings but because of how many downloads they get.”
It’s Only TV — But They Like It: “… But if the end is near for advertising in traditional media in general and TV in particular, an awful lot of people didn’t get the memo. And many of them are in very powerful positions in the ad world. … Media buyers and network execs say that, thus far, there aren’t yet many opportunities for video ads online. And key media executives remain remarkably sweet on TV. The 30-second spot, maligned as it is, “still works, despite TiVo and clutter,” says Andy Donchin, director of national broadcast at media-buying firm Carat North America.
TV Commercials Move Beyond the Box: CBS head of ad sales Jo Ann Ross defines extension: “If you’re trying to sell a car, the car appears in a 30-second ad (on TV). Also, there’s product placement in the program. Then, [advertisers] can go to CBS.com and then to Innertube and perhaps somewhere else. It gives advertisers more places to reach that customer.”
Advertisers make pitch for more online options linked to TV: the savviest want more than banners and streaming commercials. Vance Overbey, Cingular’s head of advertising: “We’re looking beyond ratings and pricing. … We want ideas from the networks that will allow us to place our products and services in a unique way.”
Is the Upfront Pullback Good for Online?: “Advertisers may be pulling back from network TV — Procter and Gamble blazed this trail during the 2005 upfront — and they may even be spending more each year on interactive (good news for iMedia readers), but if anybody is going to see a short-term windfall it’s probably the cable television operators. Ad spending on cable TV went up more than $1.6 billion from 2004 to 2005.”

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