As upfronts come to a close, MediaRadar is providing a glimpse into how broadcast networks are positioning themselves to overcome the challenges facing their industry. Not surprisingly, the biggest challenge for broadcasters has been demonstrating their ability to combat the rise of digital.
Overall, this year’s pitch by national broadcasters aimed to capitalize on the uncertainty surrounding their digital counterparts. Digital advertisers are under scrutiny this year after concerns arose around ad safety, a prime example of this was the recent YouTube crisis. Broadcast Networks are encouraging their advertisers to invest in the more “trustworthy” source. Taking advantage of the digital concerns, broadcast networks wanted to ensure the ROI remained particularly high for their offerings. Most networks seemed to push new ways to improve their packages, including brand partnerships, increased native advertising opportunities, and more premium content up for grabs.
This is contrary to last year’s upfront pitch, where Broadcast companies like NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS focused heavily on their own digital reach. Interestingly enough, this attempt to increase TV’s revenue potential also acted as an acknowledgement of the rise in digital and change in TV viewership YoY. Acknowledging the evolution of audience consumption represents a willingness to adapt on the part of broadcasting behemoths.
Will this shift in strategic messaging pay off for broadcasters as media consumption continues to change and migrate away from linear TV? Short answer, we’ll have to be patient and wait to to see how 2017 upfronts pay off throughout the year. Stay tuned…
Here’s a summary of what the major broadcast networks discussed this upfront season: