The Upfront Isn't Dying: Station Groups Want In, Push National TV Ad Businesses

You want some help in resolving local TV stations' "core" advertising headaches?

How about packaging all advertising TV platforms -- broadcast and cable networks, streaming ad business and local TV stations' inventory -- into one big bundle?

Nexstar Media Group  -- the largest U.S. TV station group -- is doing just that in this upcoming upfront TV market set to go this spring and summer season. It will be packaging broadcast network The CW and cable news TV network NewsNation, as well as local/spot ad sales at local TV stations and perhaps other related businesses.

This was largely driven by Nexstar’s recent deal to acquire a majority stake in The CW -- the younger-skewing broadcast network created in 2006 -- out of the merger of the remains of The WB and UPN.



Nexstar continues to do what local TV station groups are doing in the future -- looking to different methods and markets to fuel their advertising revenue -- especially to drive local TV-station business.

Typically, a year-long upfront market is not how local/regional advertisers buy local TV -- although when it comes to high-pressure periods like the fourth quarter, marketers may be looking to buy ahead.

All this comes as local TV stations continue to lean on still-thriving, record-breaking political advertising -- which gives them a much-needed boost every other year -- especially in the second half of a typical political year.

Recently, startup CTV/streaming advertising sales units have cropped up for major TV station groups to act as the ad sales representatives for other local/regional streaming platforms that can be packaged in with traditional local/sport TV ad sales to improve reach.

For over a decade now, TV station groups have been inching their way into the national TV scene, buying or starting up their local-digital signal-based niche TV networks. This includes Sinclair Broadcast Group, E.W. Scripps and Nexstar, among others.

Veteran local, digitally based TV networks include Me-TV, Grit, Laff, Bounce TV, Cozi TV, Comet TV and scores of others.

Growing TV station groups expanding into more diverse advertising platforms -- with an eye for success in the upfront ad market -- will also compete with Newfront-targeted digital/video platforms who have been touting to national TV marketers since 2008.

So if anyone tells you the upfront TV advertising market won't be around in years to come -- or that big TV networks will be abandoning the process of buying inventory for a full TV season before it begins -- just tell them there are plenty of other businesses waiting in the wings to take their place.

Next story loading loading..