Now, according to an Advertising Age report USA is joining TNT and ESPN in the "upfronts" competition with broadcast networks.
Personally, I think all primetime programming ad sales ought to be competing head-to-head. Let's get AMC, FX, etc., in this mix and force the broadcast nets to make programming decisions to compete against them.
AdAge offers this opinion:
Hey, "many younger viewers don't see a distinction" isn't sufficient. I don't see the distinction either since over 90% of TV homes get TV from cable or satellite.
USA isn't making a wrong move. But the addition of yet another dog-and-pony show in a week jammed full of them ought to leave some of the nation's more thoughtful advertisers a little cold. In a world that also includes Xbox, Netflix, Hulu, cable and satellite operators and iTunes, getting a little time to think things through has never been more critical.
For years, cable networks held their upfront presentations in the late winter and early spring, hoping to plant the idea of being considered in buyers' minds well before the broadcast-week hype. Many still do. And while it's true that the line between broadcast and cable has become blurred -- many younger viewers don't see a distinction -- there is something to be said for a more orderly series of presentations come upfront time. Figuring out how to plunk down $9 billion-plus dollars on TV ads (and that's just on broadcast) isn't something that should be done in a New York minute. TV executives ought to give marketers more time than that to process what's taking place.
As I've said in posts before, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS, The CW, etc., should be national cable channels IMHO. We need to start seeing "overnight half-hour live+same day ratings" from the nice folks at Nielsen covering primetime for all national channels drawing over 2 million viewers in any half-hour.