Checking in on the broadcast TV upfronts in the age of streaming
I'm Kim masters. And this is the Hollywood breakdown joining me as Matt Bellamy of the Hollywood reporter, and Matt the affronts, or in New York have been going on in New York. This is when advertisers are presented with various networks fall programming. It's, it's such an artifact in a way, you know, I used to go every year, it used to be this huge deal. What are the new shows? What are they going to be? And I'm not the only reporter I've seen on Twitter other reporters who cover TV talking about how now it just feels so so much like the certainly the broadcast networks, fall schedules are, are just this kind of diminished thing, obviously, the ratings have been drifting, drifting downward, there's still a ton of money that changes hands as a result of these presentations. But the nature of the presentations, was really different this year. Yeah. I mean you look at what Disney did they had a two hour presentation. And ABC was the very last almost an afterthought at the end. I mean these have essentially become brand plugs for these various channels network streaming services where everybody comes together in New York. And it's just a show essentially of what these content offerings are. And it's the time where all of these companies are desperately trying to create streaming services that people will pay for subscription based streaming services, and they kind of put that all aside for this week long presentation to add buyers where they say, no, no, no, what we really care about, is this twenty billion dollar ad business that they know is gigantic, but that is not the future of television. Yeah, I mean, the Disney one in particular was apparently so overwhelming. I thought that our colleague, Dan, Steinberg wrote a really hilarious. Article comparing it to a buffet at the golden chorale. Which I've never been to the golden corral for a buffet. But there were such there was so much presentation about ESPN and this and that and Disney. Plus I, you know, I think people felt like this kind of fog in a way coming out of it, because how do you even sort through it? And, and I have to say, I am looking at the cancellation of shows on various networks. I didn't even know where on in the first place. So, yes, the model is definitely changing, but the ad market is still there. It's not all doom and gloom people made a joke. You know, this is networks, circling, the drain, or writing the Titanic or pick your metaphor. But this is still a twenty billion dollar business. It is still the numbers are either flat or slightly going up because in this environment where there is so much brand pollution online with these digital networks YouTube. You don't know if you're at is going to run next to Nazi propaganda or inappropriate content. You have in television, a very safe environment still and people are willing to pay. For that. And increasingly they're paying more for that audience, because you can't find it. Elsewhere, even at diminished levels, there was some other news that came out of this, you know, Disney in the middle of it said, we are basically taking control of Hulu Comcast, eventually selling us their stake. It's a complicated deal. But going forward, Disney is running Hulu and that creates another place where Disney will stream content. And there was also kind of apparently attempts breakfast. You know, CBS has long had this bacon and egg breakfast is always one of the highlights of the up fronts, and Leslie Moonves used to come in chat up the reporters every year in the reporters always liked it because he was very personable and people had no idea of the kind of behavior. He had been alleged to have engaged in this year. Kelly, call took over, you know, he was a longtime person who has set the schedule in his now part of setting the, you know, picking up shows, and, you know, there were questions about bull, which is this show where the star, Michael Weatherly was alleged to have harassed? One of his female, his female co-star allies, a dish coup. She ended up being written out of the show. He asked about that. Kelly, call basically said, we think that Michael Weatherly learned from this experience, and I guess it got kind of tense on. I can understand why, you know, Steven Spielberg's Amblin has dropped it's up. It's piece of the show wants nothing to do with it at this point. You know, and you sort of say, okay, he learned a lesson. But meanwhile, she was still written out of the show and CBS. This comes with the culture at CBS that has seen repeated problems. The message to other stars on CBS if you're abusive all you have to do is apologize. We'll move on. Yeah. That seems a little bit lagging behind where we thought we were with the times up movement. Thank you, Matt, thank you. That's Matt Bellamy editorial director of the Hollywood reporter he joins me this Monday at one thirty on the business. I'm Kim masters. And this is the Hollywood breakdown.