Dancing Off Prime Time: Dancing On A Streaming Pinhead

Programming a premium streaming platform has never been harder -- especially when much of the money is still made from linear TV networks.

So taking a high-profile, regularly high-rated broadcast TV show and shifting exclusively to a streamer would be a big deal.

Walt Disney is doing this with ABC Television Network's long-running show Dancing With The Stars, now moving exclusively to Disney+ for next season.

The unscripted entertainment show where celebrities partner up with professional dancers in competition with other celebrities/dancers has been a mainstay for years, starting back in 2005, some 30 different editions over that period.

Cynics might say Disney is relegating one popular prime-time TV show -- perhaps one that is long in the tooth. While prime time overall is skewing older viewers -- not a plus among big brand prime-time marketers -- “Dancing” typically skews even higher.



Currently there is a lot of shared content streamer have with their sister linear TV networks -- on say Disney+/ABC Television Network, NBC Television Network/Peacock, CBS Television Network/Paramount+.

These are prime-time scripted shows, many of which are available the next day after airing on streamers.

But in addition, all these streamers have live, highly viewed sports TV content -- like the NFL where games are simulcast on linear TV and streaming platforms.

The real growth -- according to many -- is when big regularly televised TV shows and special live events -- like the Oscars, the Grammys -- are only seen on connected TV platforms. “Dancing” is a small step in this process.

Right now, big TV advertisers need both; the large, still substantial base of linear TV, as well as the extended reach marketers desire from streaming.

Right now people have a specific reason to go to Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, or Amazon Prime Video -- getting programming they can’t get anywhere else.

This includes original programs like “The Mandalorian” (Disney+); “Bridgerton” (Netflix); “The Handmaid's Tale” (Hulu); “Reacher” (Amazon Prime Video).

At the same time, increasingly premium streamers see the signs. Pay TV subscribers -- those who watch linear TV -- keep dropping at around 5% per year.

It's time for some fancy footwork.

1 comment about "Dancing Off Prime Time: Dancing On A Streaming Pinhead".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, April 12, 2022 at 10:39 a.m.

    Wayne, "Dancing With The Stars" is hardly a top audience draw anymore on "linear TV" which is probably one reason why why it's being moved to streaming . The show has been attracting a pretty poor 18-49 rating of only .7% per commercil minute and this means that it  reaches only about 900,000 18-49s while most of the total audience of about 4.5-4.7 million is over the age of 50. This is hardly the profile that one associates with the typical streaming audience and especially with Disney+ which has had a problem attracting subscribers among the many older  homes that don't have kids.

    And this may be what underlies this decision. Now, Disney+ may be trying to appeal to older ---heavy viewing----consumers with shows more to their liking. Hence "Dancing With The Stars" may be a first step in this direction.

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