Cross-network program promotion has been a no-no for broadcasters. But now, with connected and streaming TV platforms front and center, could things change?
Cable TV networks have been doing this for some time. If ESPN wants to promote a NBA basketball game or other sport, it could place a commercial on competitor networks -- TBS, TNT, A&E Network, or maybe VH1.
Right now, it seems traditional broadcast TV networks are tiptoeing around the idea.
For example, consider the content of Disney+ and AMC+ commercials on NBC during last weekend's Super Bowl.
The Disney+ ad called “GOAT-- the Greatest Of All Time -- refers to Disney's stable of the “greatest” TV shows and movies of all time, featuring actor Awkwafina. She walks through an office filled with costumed goats and calls out specific Disney content -- "Avengers: End Game," "Star Trek" and "Lion King," to name a few.
Also in the Super Bowl, cable TV network group AMC advertised its streaming service -- AMC+ -- new seasons of cable-TV network-originated shows: "Better Call Saul," "Killing Eve" and "The Walking Dead."
All this isn't new. But one wonders if and when streamers might add more detail going forward -- perhaps specific new TV season dates and time of series, as with "WandaVision" or "The Mandalorian."
Historically, one of the key problems with traditional broadcast TV networks cross-promoting each other's TV shows is when it comes to touting the specific day-and-date information. In prime time, that would mean poaching specific time-period viewers.
But given that linear, live TV impressions continue to sink, one might expect a new low threshold to be hit soon, with all major broadcast TV networks looking to extend the reach of new potential audiences for all their TV content -- linear and streaming.
With traditional media companies dramatically looking to quickly ramp up streaming --- for new subscribers and for advertisers -- might some old TV networks advertising restrictions fall?