More TV Shows Everywhere: Now, How Do Networks Tell Viewers About Them?
While advertisers love the glitz of lots of new scripted shows, the real work starts now. This is especially true in these digital, fractionalized-media and entertainment days.
Alluding to the likes of NBC -- his former place of employment -- Kevin Reilly, president of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting, was astounded by networks with large rosters of new shows, wondering how they could pull off this heavy marketing trick.
Reilly has a point. He noted that now movie studios need at least $50 million -- if not $75 million -- in paid media to get a general-interest, wid- release theatrical movie launched.
TV shows never come close to those advertising efforts. Paid media for TV shows, at best, might see $2 million to $5 million in combined outdoor, Internet, and radio advertising platforms.
The most important advertising medium for TV shows is still its own airwaves - all that TV program promo time. But the question is, can networks move the needle any more?
Few networks are ready to eat into their non-TV program time, anywhere from 13 minutes to 17 minutes an hour depending on the broadcast or cable network, specifically turning advertising inventory into program promo inventory.
NBC is not alone. For years, ABC typically announced anywhere from 10 to a dozen new shows for its new season. ABC executives will be quick to tell you marketing dollars aren't distributed equally across the board. It selects a few key areas/program to work on.
Every year for TV marketers the problem continues, as they face the prospect of lower ratings of shows.
Digital and Internet marketing/promo buzz does help. But study after study shows TV program promotional time is not only the most valuable - but perhaps undervalued versus where it was a few years ago. MediaPost columnist Dave Morgan of Simulmedia has done some research work on this topic.
All this means is networks will have to make some tough marketing decisions to make soon.