TV Upfronts: Big 4 Networks Pushing Fewer Ads and Safer Spaces

Less ads: Reducing the ad load was a big theme at the upfronts.

The big question: Will the increase in ad costs and viewership offset the reduced number of ads sold?

Proposed ad cost increase for NBCUniversal:
1) NFL SNF — $728K → $1.4M
This is Us — $394K → $788K

Quote from Marc Pritchard — CMO @ Proctor & Gamble:
Q: Are these new ad concepts worth more money because they are more scarce and isolated from other commercials?
A: It really depends. It depends on how many people it’s reaching. It depends on the context of the show. But we are willing to invest in engaging content where people are going to pay attention — as long as it pays out. …It’s got to be worth it. We’ve got to see the impressions and the sales lift out of it to make it worthwhile.

Flashback: Fox Wants to Reduce Ad Time to Two Minutes per Hour by 2020

Current/Proposed ad time per hour (% change):
1) 2018–13m
2) 2020–2m (↓ 85%)

How could Fox potentially make up the lost revenue from fewer minutes of ads?
1) Increase the cost of each remaining ad
2) Run shorter ads (6s, etc.)

How would the math for #1 work?
1) 2017 Primetime — $43/CPM
2) 2020 Primetime — $280/CPM

Props to @jpoggi ‏ for breaking down some quick math with video!

More: Sports Fans Like Matches, Not Ads. So TV Has Changed Its Game


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