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Upfront 2015: Time May Be Running Out for Primetime TV

Upfront 2015 Time May Be Running Out for Primetime TV Variety


The yogurt answer says a lot about what type of TV will be most important in the future. Scripps found that weekend mornings on Food Network represented the place where the most people interested in Greek yogurt might be found. Not weeknights.

The exception to the rule, say media executives, will be live “event” programming – live sports and spectacles that can include everything from the Super Bowl to a three-hour 40th anniversary celebration for “Saturday Night Live.” Any type of show that can get people to watch all at once, at the time it airs in traditional fashion, will be worth more in Madison Avenue’s eyes.

“It’s clear that a live ‘American Idol’ is going to be more valuable” than a typical sitcom or drama, said Hanlon, because the latter are “more subject to time shifting and delayed viewing.”

In the new TV business, primetime might be any time. And maybe a network can convince an advertiser to pay a premium for helping to locate that best moment. Anyone who thinks a show airing a 9 p.m. on a Thursday night automatically warrants TV’s best prices needs to sift through the same data advertisers have started to use in greater abundance.

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This makes Snapchat valuable (whole audience sees something within 24 hours).

But really, live events like sports, awards shows, and specials, are the future of television.

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