Another Way To Sell A Linear TV Network's 'Fall Season' - During A Writers' Strike?

You would think that with linear TV continuing to see its prime-time shows circling the drain, broadcast TV networks would try to find a new, more innovative approach to handling what remains of what is called prime time.

Especially when it comes to using TV networks' own airwaves to promote the fall season -- activity that starts up this summer.

The baseline comes from recent data. Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery have seen their traditional live, linear TV network business post significant declines in revenue for the most recent quarter.

All that should have major alarm bells ringing about what to do going forward.

TV loyalists or fanatics might still find themselves watching the likes of “NCIS,” “FBI,” “The Equalizer” on CBS, or NBC’s franchise of “Chicago Med,” “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Fire” that will be returning this fall. No doubt other networks will continue to lean on similar stuff that works.



The big-time big media libraries likely will continue to be filled as a valuable tool for the future -- not just for respective streaming platforms, but for possible licensing deals outside the company going forward.

An ongoing writers' strike certainly is a factor. An estimated four-month strike -- similar in length to the last one in 2007-2008 TV season -- might work in favor of legacy TV companies' streaming efforts to become more profitable. But all of that might be short-term thinking.

So ask yourself, will consumers notice the difference starting this summer if TV networks pull back on their on-air advertising?

Certainly, fresh prime-time content pulls in viewers -- especially when the airwaves are full of advertising promo hype for fall TV season shows. But now what?

How will TV networks handle the lack of snazzy new TV shows? Given that there is so much content for viewers on streamers that many have not seen, perhaps there is another way to sell a “fall season”?

TV networks are reportedly making announcements about suspending certain productions. Netflix has done this with “Stranger Things” -- perhaps their most popular TV show on the premium streamer.

Figure that modern TV consumers are savvy enough to believe that exploding new content over the last several years -- especially on CTV platforms -- will give them options to move around and discover other content.

But who will remind them of this -- and how?

1 comment about "Another Way To Sell A Linear TV Network's 'Fall Season' - During A Writers' Strike?".
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  1. John Luma from iLumaNation, May 11, 2023 at 11:43 a.m.

    The job of an effective TV network On-Air Marketing department is to relentlessly remind viewers that what is old can actually be new. When I headed that dept. at NBC we came up with a variety of campaigns that pounded this message: "If you haven't seen it, it's new to you." Or -- "Before these stars became famous, they did the things that made them famous. Catch their adventure, tonight at..." Of course, the best advertising/marketing/promotion should be clear, energetic and memorable. Which means you have to appeal to the human desire for emotional connection and identity through pathos, humor and surprise. If you're creative, it's a skill you hone. Now with viewers having the attention spans of gnats (he said sarcastically), you have to carefully target each audience type you're trying to reach. This temporary "time for repeats" is nothing new for effective TV marketers.

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