We welcome back Don Seaman, manager of marketing communications for TVB, which is the non-profit trade association of America’s commercial broadcast TV industry. Now that he’s given us his Super Bowl take, the exec discusses skipping out on this year’s TV upfronts, but doesn’t hold back on reflecting. Take it away, sir.
There was a time, not so long ago, that the networks held back some surprises for some buzz to be made from the actual Upfront presentations. The events meant something, whether it was an announcement of a surprise renewal or cancellation, a new star joining the network family, or just a major timeslot change.
These days, announcements are made to the press over the weekend. The events are basically just a way to pay Coldplay their legally binding royalty fees for using their song all week. You can even find clips of the new shows released in advance of the presentations. If this trend continues, in ten years the Upfronts may just consist of a login code to get in and a Groupon free drink deal as the after party.