Saturday, May 10, 2008

Decline of the "Upfront" Reflects Major Changes in the TV Business

The upfront is a false indicator. It's a misleading indicator. The economics have changed so radically that you can't use old metrics.

-Jack Myers, president of, a media, advertising, and entertainment research firm

For several years, critics of the television upfront have been complaining that it has outlived its usefulness. There is still a nominal upfront but it is dramatically different from the one of the networks’ halcyon days. The writers’ strike pushed the changes forward, but more significant in the transformation are the product-integration strategies of advertisers and the cross-platform strategies of the networks. The decline of the upfront indicates that not only is the meaning of television changing, the traditional TV box is only one piece of “television network” business.

In John Simon, "The Networks' New Advertising Model," Fortune, May 5, 2008

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