Commentary

ABC May Gain Marketing Heft In Disney-Fox TV Deal

Pasadena, California -- Can Disney-ABC gain key marketing muscle when its parent company acquires Fox TV?

Think about ABC’s first-run single-camera show “The Mayor,” which was initially highly touted but after a few episodes has been pulled from the schedule due to low ratings.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association meeting here, Channing Dungey, president of ABC entertainment, said: “We really went for it full blazes with marketing.  It was a top priority for us in terms of the campaign.”

She adds: “The issue did not seem to be one of the audience not knowing that the show was there, which is sometimes the case ...”

Even then, forget about the immediacy of the weak live program-plus-same day viewing metrics for the show: a 0.8 rating among 18-49 viewers; 2.9 million overall viewers. Dungey says it seemed that people didn’t even want to record it for future viewing.

“The delayed viewing numbers also continued to drop, and that's the biggest signal that ultimately it's just -- for whatever reason -- not a show that's connecting.”

One thing ABC didn’t do -- which media often does these days -- is blame it on the usual suspects: fleeing young viewers.

Going forward, things might be different. Disney-ABC Television will have more resources -- especially when it comes to having the added benefit of Fox’s TV/movie production studio, among the biggest pieces of Disney $52.4 billion purchase of Fox’s assets.

Dungey would not talk much about this -- considering that federal regulatory efforts are still pending over the Fox deal. “At the moment, my focus is really on everything that lies directly in front of me.”

Currently, there is a lot in front of Dungey.  

Prime-time season-to-date numbers through December 31, 2017 had ABC in third place in total viewers -- 6.2 million -- and fourth place among 18-49 viewers, a 1.5 rating/6 share.

Major ratings from NFL programming is a big difference between ABC and other networks. But taking out all sports programming -- and focusing just on entertainment -- ABC is much closer, if not on top in some areas at certain times.

Helping ABC going forward could be Fox’s strong cable group, FX Networks, which Disney gets as part of the Fox deal. It could be a big marketing avenue for ABC to get more on-air TV marketing promotion for its shows -- as well as other programming connections.

All this might be a valuable component to creating and selling a new broadcast TV show to U.S. viewers. 

1 comment about "ABC May Gain Marketing Heft In Disney-Fox TV Deal".
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  1. Michael Margolies from Michael Margolies Photography & Design, January 9, 2018 at 2:55 p.m.

    If previous examples such as ScyFy, USA, and Freeform are any example we can all expect a swift and steep decline of the newly aquired properties. ABC/Disney has applied all its politcal correctness and marginization to these other channels destroying thier unique value and showing a steady decline i nviewers. They cannot admit that what they are doing has ruined these channels and becuse of these blinders will likely do the same to the Fox line up as well.

    ScyFy has become the horor, gore and 4th rate trashy shock flicks channel. Little sci-fi in sight anymore, and they never run old series or movies as it originally had that honored a sci-fi audiance.

    The Family Channel became Freeform and with it every politically correct, lowest denomnator of trashy teen sex, lies and mean girls, coupled with parent hating amorale content. Stupid and selfish boys surrounded by girls propped up with girl power on the oft used feminist agenda of contrasting victimized girls against inept males to make the females look stronger. Strong and confident women and girls know better and would be surrounded by equally storng males as partners and friends but that does not fit the agenda.

    USA too used to have strong original shows, now mostly reruns, and bad programing that couldnt make it on Lifetime or Halmark channels.

    Sadly, I see no reason why they won't screw up the Fox line ups in the same ways.

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