Fox Starts Fox Blocks, JAZ Ad Pods On 3 Sunday Nights

Fox says its efforts to lower commercial interruption will ramp up on three Sunday nights this fall.

This comes in the form of a two-commercial pod strategy called JAZ, along with a branded-content effort called Fox Blocks, with Hulu and Verizon as initial sponsors.

On three nights — October 14, October 21 and November 11 — a five-and-half-minute Fox Block will air, along with nine JAZ pods during Fox’s two-hour prime-time period.

Included in branded-content Fox blocks will be what Fox calls bonus content: entertainment sneak peeks, short video, Fox Sports content and talent.

Fox’s JAZ pods trim traditional two- to-three-minute and longer commercial pods to just two spots -- the first and last positions — just A and Z. Fox announced this effort back in May during its upfront programming presentation.

Overall, Fox says this will deliver a 50% reduction of traditional TV commercial time per night for viewers watching “The Simpsons," “Bob’s Burgers.” “Family Guy” and “Rel.”



The first Fox Block will air after a “Bob’s Burgers” episode and will be entertainment-themed. The second Fox Block, which will run following “Family Guy at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT and “Rel” at 9:27 p.m.ET/PT, will be sports-themed.

The later block will include Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe from FS1’s “Undisputed,” who will host the October 14 and 21 sports blocks, called “Undisputed: Sunday Edition.” The November 11 sports block, hosted by Jay Glazer and titled “Fox Sports Supports,” will celebrate the military.

3 comments about "Fox Starts Fox Blocks, JAZ Ad Pods On 3 Sunday Nights".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 15, 2018 at 8:06 a.m.

    The way we are heading is not less time being allocated to commercials but a reordering of  commercial breaks so that the sellers can maximize their ad revenues. It's really very simple. You create a number of short breaks and charge advertisers a hefty CPM premium for them. Meanwhile, you keep the od, ad cluttered breaks---perhaps reducing them slightly in length---and sell this time to CPM -fixated buyers at whatever the marketplace feels is a worthwhile price. As a result, the total amount of commercial time remains about the same, but those advertisers who support the short breaks---in reurn for much higher ad impact----pay 75%-100% more for being in them. Depending on what proportions of ads are sold in the short break format, the sellers can increase their ad revenues by 10%, 15:% or 25% without adding to the total commercial time loads now in force.

    I hope that Fox is researching the results of these tests in a way that is menijgful to brand managers-----not time buyers---as the brand people, who will be asked to pay big CPM increases, need to be convinced. That means ad recall and sales motivation studies, not simplistic Nielsen "commercial audience" tallies. Nielsen vastly overstates commercial viewing. What the brands want to see is how many of these "viewers" actually saw their message and were motivated by it.

  2. Jon Swallen from Kantar Media replied, October 15, 2018 at 12:38 p.m.

    Ed -  I have looked at actual ad logs from the first two weeks of NBC's "Prime Pod" initiative. These reduced pods appear in select programs; are the 1st commercial break in the telecast; and are 60 seconds long. By comparison, the typical 1st pod in NBC primetime shows has 150-165 second of paid ads. So "Prime Pods" are 90-105 seconds shorter.

    The average national ad load in telecasts with "Prime Pods" has averaged 90 seconds less than the load in telecasts without "Prime Pods". So little of the reduction is being added back into later pods within the programs.

    Based on these stats, if a :30 spot costs X, the advertisers in the reduced pods would have to be paying at least 2.5x in order to for the netowrk to achieve revenue parity for the entire telecast.

    And separately, the FOX JAZ pods on 10/14 contained 15-30 seconds of network promos sandwiched between the "A" and "Z" positions. So the pods were a bit more cluttered than what Fox has described and ptiched to the ad community.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, October 15, 2018 at 12:57 p.m.

    Jon, thanks for that info. What surprises me is the "evidence" that NBC seems to have cited to the buyers during the last  upfront---based on some research "testing"---which utilized Nielsen  "holding power" tabulations for ads in short breaks relative to the norms. These indicated a modest "ad exposure" ---or opportunity to be seen--- benefit for the commecials in the short breaks but nothing like the huge gain that a properly conducted commercial recall/ buying motivation study would probably have shown. To make this concept work for them the sales people need to use the most ad relevant evidence  obtainable---one that does not under sell the value of being in a less cluttered break to the advertiser. And, of course, they need to pre sell the brands---not the buyers---- so those that desire the added impact can budget for it---at much higher CPMs----well in advance of the next upfront.

    I still believe that this is a really big idea---reallocating your commercial load so the number of ads remains more or less the same but a certain proportion of ads---in shorter, very high CPM breaks---brings in a disporportionate share of ad dollars, while the rest is auctioned of the same old way. I wonder if the sellers realize what's the best way to approach this and reap the dividends?

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