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.