Another media company looks ready to stick a fork in TV’s Upfront week. Asked during Disney’s earnings call if ABC would throw an Upfront event, chief executive Bob Iger said it will be his TV guys’ call, but that he wouldn’t mind waving bye-bye: “I think the manner that the upfront is presented, with the bells and whistles on stage, and a fair amount of hors d’oeuvres, feels like a bit of an anachronism to me.”
Iger said ABC would participate “aggressively” in the upfront negotiations, where up to 80% of network TV ad dollars are committed for the upcoming TV season because that’s how advertisers want to buy TV time. But the week-before tradition of showbiz and parties looks like it is in for a big shakeup this year, or could become a thing of the past.
CBS has said it’s also not sure about an upfront, and NBC’s Jeff Zucker has said he’s almost certainly bailing on it. Only Fox has said they will definitely be there with bells on.
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