NBC and CBS have been making noises about either cancelling or scaling back the so-called “upfronts” — the week of song, dance, food and booze that the networks put on for ad buyers each spring. But not Fox. “You are not going to see Fox abandon the upfront,” News Corp. president/COO Peter Chernin on the company’s Q2 earnings call today.
NBC and CBS have given two reasons to cancel/scale back the lavish affairs. First, they’re expensive. Second, since the writers strike put the kibosh on pilot season, the networks won’t have any new shows to roll out. And while Chernin says his broadcast network is “examining every part of our business,” he’s keeping the party, traditionally a boozy affair held at the end of upfronts week.
One reason to keep doing it: The upfront gives Fox the chance to boast about yet another season of ratings wins. By the May upfronts, Fox will again hold 18-48 ratings crown over ABC, NBC and CBS thanks to another spring of “American Idol.”
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