Disney And ViacomCBS Slate Virtual Upfronts In Familiar May Slots, But Other Moves Show Ad Traditions In Flux – Deadline

ViacomCBS and Disney have put on a familiar ground during mid-May to pre-offer advertisers, but early indications are that 2021 will see a continual rethink of their annual ad buying ritual.

The ViacomCBS event will take place on May 19, in virtual form due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions on travel and public gatherings. The one-day event comes on the heels of a two-day release last year, which took place on May 18 and 19. This year, it will advance the spotlight on the full spectrum of networking offerings, from CBS to cable networks like Nickelodeon and MTV as well as broadcast platforms. CBS All Access will be rebranded next month to Paramount +.

Meanwhile, Disney is undergoing some significant transformations even as it maintains a presence in the traditional broadcast week, adding a tech show on February 23 and a “development event” on March 23. The company will host a virtual pre-show on May 18, which has long been the date an ABC-led event has been held at Lincoln Center, New York. But it also added two previous events, creating three touchpoints with advertisers and other partners, as well as ending Hulu’s participation in NewFronts. Hulu, which was jointly managed by Disney, Fox, and NBCUniversal before Disney took full control of the streaming service, has been among the first standard holders of NewFronts since the show began in 2009.

CBS set a Super Bowl record with $ 545 million in advertising revenue, research firm estimates

The Hulu presentation will be folded at the May 18 event hosted by Disney Advertising Sales. In addition to Hulu, it will feature ABC, ABC News, Disney Channels Worldwide, Disney Digital, ESPN, ESPN +, Freeform, FX Networks and National Geographic.

The Disney Platform Technology Showcase on February 23 aims to showcase Disney’s technology investments and approach to data, measurement, advertising experiences, and transactions with marketers. The March 23rd event will only focus on programming.

NBCUniversal has yet to set a date for its traditional introduction. He recently added what it plans to be an annual component of its approach, a technology-style event called “One21” that will showcase the full potential across Comcast, NBCU and Sky.

Fox and CW, the other broadcast networks that have been around during mid-May of presentations traditionally held in legendary New York, are still putting the finishing touches to their plans. In particular, exiting the turbulent 2020 year and facing deep doubts about it, but they are increasingly looking to disrupt the traditional spring pre-timing and focus programming from September to May. The pattern took shape decades ago and is partly due to the fact that automakers launched new car models every fall.

Television advertising business, totaling at least $ 60 billion annually, has been in flux due to increased adoption of broadcast, wire cuts and lower ratings. All of these trends have accelerated during Covid-19, with ad dollars shifting to live broadcasts. NBCU launched Peacock last year as an ad-focused entry in its broadcast, while Hulu’s ad business has added billions to its subscription revenue. WarnerMedia plans to introduce an ad-supported HBO Max class this year.

Momentum is starting to build the TV industry to formally adopt a calendar year approach to pre-sales and TV ratings, a trend that media sales teams have already moved in in recent years.

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