Upfronts week ended less than two weeks ago, but for one media company, it’s already time to make plans to join next year’s lineup.
Discovery Inc. said today that it will relocate its annual New York presentation to May’s upfronts week, snapping up the Tuesday morning slot vacated this year by ESPN, which became part of Disney’s combined upfront that afternoon.
So the company will hold its event on Tuesday morning, May 12, 2020, at New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall.
This year, Discovery once again embarked on an upfront tour across six cities, concluding April 24 in L.A. The company won’t completely abandon the tour next year, but the upfronts event will take the place of the New York presentation that was held on April 10 this year. During that event, Discovery played up TLC, which ad sales chief Jon Steinlauf told Adweek at the time will be his top priority in this year’s upfront talks.
As for why Discovery is moving into upfronts week, Steinlauf told Adweek that after the company acquired Scripps in March 2018, it has a bigger story to tell.
“We’ve just decided that based upon our scale, our leadership position in cable and the fact that so many clients and agencies outside of the tri-state area come to that week to see presentations, we thought it was a great opportunity to get more coverage,” Steinlauf said.
Discovery’s move will add yet another multinetwork upfront presentation to a week already bursting with them: NBCUniversal and Fox Corp. on Monday, Discovery Inc. and Disney on Tuesday and WarnerMedia and CBS Corp. on Wednesday.
AT&T’s Xandr held a Tuesday morning upfront event this year, a day before new corporate sibling WarnerMedia’s presentation, though some buyers told Adweek they expect AT&T and WarnerMedia to combine their upfront presentations next year. (The two companies as of yet have made no indication that they will do so.)
Steinlauf didn’t exactly say what next year’s presentation could look like, but he did tout the network’s star power, including Chip and Joanna Gaines—whose new network for Discovery will replace DIY when it launches next summer—and a streaming deal under PGA Tour, GolfTV with Tiger Woods.
“There’s a lot to say and not just with our brands, but other things the company is doing around television and digitally,” Steinlauf said.