UPFRONT

Broadcasting & Cable (5/22) is reporting that advertisers took 15% – 25% of their 3Q options; “not as bad as we expected” according to network sales execs. Compared to steep April declines (Mediapost, 5/22), this was welcome news and a positive sign as advertisers begin “feeling their way through an unprecedented Upfront.” Deadline (5/22) illustrated the uncertainty by describing the wide differences in the approaches that the networks are taking; at a time (ie upfront week) when they normally have live sports and a production pipeline they can count upon.

POLITICAL

Mediapost’s Research Intelligencer (subscription; 5/21) shared a BIA Advisory Services analysis of 2020 local TV ad spending showing only modest erosion, mostly due to an estimated $7.1 billion in political advertising. This influx is expected to offset the decreases from verticals like travel, leisure and retail; especially where there are competitive state campaigns as well as the presidential race. Also helping soften the impact of the pandemic are increases in OTT and digital.

NEWS

News viewership has seen increases since the beginning of the pandemic. Now, for the first time in 24 years, ABC’s World News Tonight was the #1 newscast among total viewers, adults 25-54, and adults 18-49, according to Cynopsis (5/26).

PROGRAMMING

A bright spot coming out of the pandemic was John Krasinski’s Some Good News, which generated “late-night” sized viewership, according to a Tubular analyses reported in Adage Datacenter (5/22). It’s no surprise, then, that after 8 episodes the show went on hiatus, and after a “massive bidding war,” (Hollywood Reporter, 5/21) it was sold to ViacomCBS. Initial fan reaction was critical, as news of the deal was released. While Krasinski will continue as executive producer, he won’t host the CBS version of his show (insider.com; 5/21.)

SPONSORSHIP

Adage (requires subscription, 5/26) looked at the “sponsorship scramble” facing sports teams, leagues, and promoters as events are delayed, cancelled or played without fans. Globally, sports sponsorships are expected to fall from $46 billion in 2019 to $29 billion in 2020. Included in the report is a comprehensive spending analysis for the top 10 categories; projecting declines from 18% (technology) to airline (61%).

ALL TOGETHER NOW

Crayola partnered with a cosmetic scientist to create a palate of 24 skin tone shades. Released on May 21st, the United Nation’s World Day for Diversity, Dialogue and Development, the crayons (currently on backorder) can be ordered from the company website. There’s also a larger, 32-shade pack, including 8 additional classic colors (for eyes and hair) available to pre-order on walmart.com (arrives July 7).

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