At a time when linear ratings are hard to come by, Fox News Media is pitching scale in upfront conversation with clients.
Fox News Channel wants media buyers to know that it not only posts broadcast-level ratings during news time slots, but during other dayparts, including primetime and late night.
Those ratings can translate into incremental reach, a commodity many advertisers are looking for, Jeff Collins, executive VP of Fox News Media, told Broadcasting+Cable.
“We’ve provided our upfront partners with reallocation schedules demonstrating the incremental reach that they would achieve by shifting broadcast budgets to Fox news programming while maintaining consistent frequency levels,” Collins said.
Collins said that advertisers are seeing increases of 15% to 25% in reach when they shift 10% to 20% of their budget to Fox News. The schedules substitute Fox News programming for morning news, evening news, Sunday discussion shows, even late night, where Fox News’s Gutfeld! draws more viewers than NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon or ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
Fox News Channel’s The Five has ratings above the network prime average, so it can add reach not only to news schedules but to prime entertainment schedules, Collins said.
Of course Fox’s controversial primetime lineup continues to generate huge numbers, which is enticing for some advertisers.
“Listen, there’s some advertisers that will run in opinion programming across all news, and there’s some that don’t,“ Collins said. ”We’ve been targeting the ones that will and would be willing to run within opinion programming. The point we’re making to a lot of our clients is that there’s plenty of programs outside of just prime opinion that deliver broadcast-like rating and could be suitable replacements for broadcast.”
Across all dayparts, Fox News has more than 20 shows that deliver more than 1.7 million viewers. “The scale does not only exist in prime. We see scale all day long,” he said. “So if your strategy is to include opinion, great. We have a whole host of programming that can work for you. If it does not include opinion, we also have a whole grouping of programming for you as well.”
Collins also points out that Fox News has more lifestyle content, including the Patriot Awards, American Built on Fox Business and an upcoming docuseries on the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone National Park hosted by Kevin Costner on the Fox Nation streaming service. ￭
Fox News will also be taking advantage of Atlas, Fox’s technology for matching advertisers and their messages with contextually appropriate content. Atlas will be used across Fox News’ digital inventory during the upfront, Collins said.
This is an election year and Collins would be remiss not to point out that Fox News draws a lot of viewers during elections.
“We deliver more consumers across all political affiliations, including more Democrats and independents than CNN and MSNBC,” Collins noted. “We’re reaching people across the entire political spectrum.“
Fox News is putting together its election coverage sponsorship packages. Those are likely to be sold in the upfront, with Election Day falling in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve had early discussions,” Collins said. “Fox News is going to be the place for advertisers to be for this election. If you look at past elections, you know Fox News pretty consistently delivers larger audiences than not only any other cable news organization, but any broadcast news organization, too.”
This year, Fox News is not putting on a separate upfront event. It will be a part of Fox’s big upfront presentation on Monday, May 16.
“It gets the Fox News brand in front of a larger and broader audience,“ he said. ”We’re excited to be part of the larger portfolio and show the combined power of Fox overall.”
That also includes the still-new Fox Weather service. ”We’re seeing quite a bit of demand and a ton of engagement on Fox Weather,” he said. He notes that the average length of tune for Fox Weather on Fox’s Tubi platform is more than 30 minutes — pretty long for a weather report.
Some network sales executives report a cooling off of the scatter market recently, a sign that the upfront might not be a picnic. But Collins is getting a different forecast.
“We’re still seeing a really strong scatter market,” Collins said. “I believe that has a lot to do with the fact that there’s been a lot of ratings weakness across the board, while our ratings have continued to grow. We’re also seeing quite a bit of endemic advertisers coming into news. That strengthens our marketplace and we’ve also seen just an incredibly strong DTC and direct-response marketplace as well. So I’d say we’re probably in a little bit of a different boat than maybe some other folks have been out there in scatter.” ■
Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.
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