Strikes Over? There May Be More Drama Offscreen To Come

Disruption among linear and streaming TV networks and platforms arising from the writers' and actors' strikes will probably continue well into 2024.

That means more headaches for TV marketers. Reach issues have consistently eaten away at TV media schedules over the past few years.

Now double some of those problems with these months-long strikes with less-than-fresh, less-scripted prime-time TV schedules.

Writers' issues have been resolved with the ending of its nearly five-month-old strike. So that is all well and good. But the actors' strike continues to be entrenched.

This means that at best, some new scripted productions may not get to networks and platforms until the spring -- or later. It's in the spring when media agencies are deep into projecting their cost/availability needs in terms of available inventory, and estimated impressions/viewership going into next season.



All this also throws a wrench into where pricing should be in the current TV season for scatter deals for the second quarter of 2024. Typically, the second quarter can be the benchmark in determining what upfront pricing for the following season -- in this case the 2024-2025 season.

We have been through some of this before -- sans strikes, of course. The pandemic period put the kibosh on future TV production starting in March 2020, which took its toll on the 2020-2021 TV season that started in September.  

And now, how many more people do you see walking around this fall with masks on? There has been an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in recent months. What effect might that have on TV?

And did I forget to mention that now, on the business TV news channels, there is growing talk of a “shallow” recession” likely -- possibly in early 2024?

Well, not to be an alarmist, but the drama onscreen still might take a backseat to the drama offscreen. In any case, you’re welcome.

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