Discover Discards Orange Bowl, But Live TV Events Continue To Grow

Live programming is now a “category” for TV programming and for many advertisers.

And why not? Marketers say there is no better real-time marketing/media platform than big live TV events. Live programming brings immediacy to viewers, especially when compared with time-shifted programming and produced-in-the-can scripted and reality programming. 

NBC shockingly scored big viewer numbers last winter with its live musical, “The Sound of Music.” There’s no surprise then that more is coming: another musical from NBC, “Peter Pan,” as well as one from Fox, “Grease.”

You also have to consider sports in the live programming mix and, at the top -- according to viewers -- is football, both college and professional.

Continuing to pull in more viewers -- and higher 30-second unit pricing -- CBS will add “Thursday Night Football” to the prime-time airwaves this fall.

But there might be a limit -- with college football, at least. Discover Financial Services is ending its title sponsorship of the Orange Bowl, following Tostitos’s abandonment of the Fiesta Bowl and the end of Vizio’s association with the Rose Bowl.



What gives? Reportedly, Discover’s $16 million brand investment with the Orange Bowl was about to increase by a big 50% to around $25 million. 

Discover said it based its decision partly on the new college football playoff system -- which ESPN is paying $5.6 billion to broadcast for the next 12 years.  Under the new system, the Orange Bowl will rotate in getting semi-final and championship game status each year.

Things may not be all bad:  Capital One is slated to take over title sponsorship of the Orange Bowl, and Vizio’s Rose Bowl package was picked up by Northwestern Mutual, according to reports.

We don’t know what these sponsors are paying. But we can be sure that big time sports and other live events will continue to be important. At the same time, some big-time marketers will surely look at all kinds of new media and branding alternatives down the road, as a hedge against higher pricing for sports and other live TV programming.

Pricey live TV programming might need a reality check. But first, don’t be surprised if all-in-the-know media executives look to transition to a new moniker: Real-time TV programming, which, no doubt, will be attached to some real-time ad price hikes.

1 comment about "Discover Discards Orange Bowl, But Live TV Events Continue To Grow".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Edmund Singleton from Winstion Communications, June 13, 2014 at 5:26 a.m.

    It seems that television was born for the live event, to be discussed the next day at the office and more...

Next story loading loading..