It’s everyone’s favorite time of year again: the upfronts! That wonderful, magical season when we learn once again why TV is so special to us, and by us we mean goliath advertisers. Unfortunately this year seems a little less shiny than in years past.
First piece of bad news, most teens can’t even name the TV networks:
Most teenagers can’t name the four top television broadcasters, finds an online poll Monday.
Almost 80 percent of 16- to 18-year-olds were unable to name the big 4 broadcasters, said Bolt Media.
Of the total audience, which ranged from 16 to 34 in age, 33 percent correctly responded with NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox.
A vast majority of respondents - 85 percent - said they spend their free time on the Internet, compared to only 69 percent who said they spend their free time watching TV.
If that wasn’t bad enough, one of the biggest advertisers simply decided not to show up:
Johnson & Johnson, the New Brunswick, N.J., health-care products maker, has informed the major TV networks that it is planning to sit out the annual selling bazaar, the time of year when TV networks secure ad commitments for about 80% of the coming fall season’s primetime ad inventory. J&J;spent almost $500 million on network-TV ads last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence, although not all of that is necessarily committed in the upfront market.
J&J;’s decision is a sign of how the balance of power in the TV industry has shifted to advertisers, who are less dependent on network television nowadays, partly because of the growing list of media options like Internet and even cellphone advertising.
To add insult to injury, the advertisers who remained are demanding lower rates because of DVR users skipping commercials:
You can bet the DVR will be a divisive issue as network executives and advertisers gather in New York this month for the annual “upfront” scrum, when most of the haggling over ad rates happens. Some big ad agencies say they intend to pay only for “live” viewing, such as the 10.6 million homes that tuned in recently for ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy .
Mike Shaw, ABC’s sales president, publicly blasted the ad industry’s position as “unfair and unjust” and intimated he wouldn’t negotiate with those who won’t pay for more than live viewers.
This is shaping up to be a fantastic year for TV.