NBCU Will Cut TV Ad Time, Advertisers Asked To Pause Plans

NBCUniversal says media usage/viewing data across many industry networks and platforms -- as well as on its own network and platforms -- is sharply higher because of the impact of COVID-19, driving greater at-home usage. 

At the same time, NBCU said it would be cutting back on some advertising inventory.

Linda Yaccarino, chairman, advertising and partnerships of NBCUniversal, in a statement said: 

“We’re committed to making the consumer viewing experience even better, and are launching new ways to minimize ad time -- from giving time back on news networks for more minutes of content to short-form entertainment moments in what would have been ad pods.”

For the two-week period from March 16 through March 29, overall usage of TV among viewers 18-49 increased by 25% year-over-year -- 20% on linear TV networks and 80% in digital usage across video and non-video activities, says NBCUniversal. Data comes from the Nielsen NPower service.



In addition, NBC says, the major subscription video-on-demand services are showing hefty gains versus pre-COVID periods with Netflix, 28% higher, Hulu, 16% more and Amazon with a 21% gain. NBCU says newer DTC entertainment services such as Disney+, HBONow are also up in subscribers and consumption growth.

Since March 16, NBCU says, in comparison to all media companies, its total networks/platforms are up 27% -- versus 7% when looking at the industry as whole. Over this time period, NBCU’s digital full episode viewing is up 69% year-over-year.

In the statement, Yaccarino said: “Some marketers across every industry have asked to pause their advertising plans or shift their messages.”

She added: “We're pitching in across every aspect of our business -- from providing free internet to creating and distributing a nationwide PSA campaign, supporting small businesses, making our news coverage more widely available.” 


3 comments about "NBCU Will Cut TV Ad Time, Advertisers Asked To Pause Plans".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 7, 2020 at 12:25 p.m.

    Wayne, the last time we heard that they were going to cut back on commercials to give the viewer a better viewing experience, there was no drop at all in the number of commercials in NBCU shows---or on other networks either. Cutting back commercials in "some content" doesn't mean anything, especially if this is simply a temporary and minor reduction due to advertiser cut backs caused by the economy being clobbered by the virus epidemic. A real cut back---to improve the viewers' experience--- would require a 30- 50% reduction as anything less---like dropping one ad per break in highly cluttered cable shows---wouldn't even be noticed by the audience, many of whom are not present or paying no attention anyway. Don't hold your breath waiting for a substantive, across-the -board reduction in TV ad clutter anytime soon.

  2. Debbie Coffee from WHTM-TV, April 7, 2020 at 1:58 p.m.

    Your headline reads as if NBCU asked their advertisers to pause their advertising!

  3. Darrin Stephens from McMann & Tate, April 7, 2020 at 5:22 p.m.

    Fool me once...

Next story loading loading..