Do TV Upfronts Still Matter Anyway Now That Coronavirus Wiped Out This Year’s Event?

Tim Baysinger

If Jimmy Kimmel isn’t on hand at New York’s Lincoln Center for his annual upfront roast, will ABC still be able to woo ad buyers for its upcoming fall slate? The coronavirus pandemic has wiped out pretty much any major gathering around the world as countries try to slow the spread of the COVID-19 disease. That reality hit the TV industry this week as all upfront events were called off and in favor of virtual or digital presentations to advertisers of their upcoming season of programming. Media buyers are preparing for what is going to be a very unconventional upfront season. But the ramifications of those empty seats at Radio City Musical Hall and Carnegie could be felt well after the world re-starts. We’re going to find out just how important these Hollywood-style, glitzy productions really are. Also Read: All the TV Productions Suspended or Delayed Due to Coronavirus Pandemic (Updating) Brian Weiser, global president, business intelligence for GroupM, told TheWrap that while “there are clearly benefits to these events” their overall importance has waned in recent years. “At the end of the day, the networks and the owners will be able to convey what they need to.” GroupM is...

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