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Discovery Cancels Live Upfront

Discovery, Inc. is the latest in a growing line of programmers that have decided to cancel their upfront presentations to advertisers in the wake of the coronavirus, saying it has prepared a digital alternative to showcase its content lineup. Details, it said, will be announced at a later date.

Discovery had planned to hold the event May 12 at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York. In a statement, the programmer said the decision to cancel the event was “made out of an abundance of caution and care for the health and safety of employees, talent and business partners.”

Discovery joins several programmers that have canceled their upfront event as the coronavirus COVID-19 has continued to spread. Earlier today broadcasters CBS, NBC and Fox said they would cancel their upfront events, as have smaller programmers like AMC Networks, A+E Networks, Freewheel and Fox News.

“With Discovery’s increased scale and reach, we were proud and excited to showcase our expanded portfolio of beloved brands and talent, for the first time, during the traditional broadcast Upfront week. The decision to cancel is bittersweet but unequivocally the right one,” Discovery chief U.S. ad sales officer Jon Steinlauf said in a statement. “We have a terrific story to tell and more opportunities and products than ever for current and prospective advertisers. We will just tell that story in a way that best suits these unprecedented times.”