by Douglas Hufnagel
Fox has faced a fairly large (over ten percent) drop in upfront advertiser commitments for its 2014-2015 season. This comes after a similar drop last year and a year that saw Fox’s advertisement rates falling to some of the lowest between the big four (ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC) in the coveted 18-49 age group despite Fox having a generally younger audience.
Fox has been struggling with sagging rating from some of its older shows, including the slow but constant decline of American Idol viewership. Their decline has actually been so great that they landed even with their previous year in advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic despite hosting a record-breaking Super Bowl. Fox’s sole hit from last year was Sleepy Hollow, while other networks have worked extremely hard to improve their offerings and
Adding to Fox’s difficulties in generating ad revenue, the network does not program the 10-11 slot at night, leading to fewer potential offerings, especially at this early stage of the game. These estimates come to us with roughly 75-80% of the upfront advertisements sold. The completion of the upfront business comes after the resignation of entertainment chief Kevin Reilly, who has yet to be successfully and permanently replaced.
Nevertheless, Fox has a long history of producing excellent shows that cannot be dismissed after one or two weak years, and ad buyers were generally considered bullish on their prospects for next year (speculation is that the numbers will go up rather than down again). And what is more, the advertisers were willing to buy based on C7 numbers (which basically account for DVR watchers).
[Photo via FOX]