NBCU Launching Cable 'Family Movie Night'

NBCU is launching "Stay-in-Theater" Friday night (April 10) Family Movie Night across its cable nets over the next three weeks. 

It will have a dramatically reduced commercial load, all part of NBCU's Less Is More initiative driven. Presenting sponsor for the movie nights is Target. 

NBCU will simulcast Harry Potter films on USA, SYFY and E! on Friday nights--it will air Kung Fu Panda 2, Zootopia and Max on Saturday nights on Telemundo--starting at 7 p.m.

Commercial time on national cable will be reduced from 35 minutes to a minute and 15 seconds. Local ad time will be kept at the standard six minutes. 

While NBCU has had limited commercial interruptions on one network, this is the first time it has done so across multiple cable nets, according to the company.

The first Family Night movie will be Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  

Why not simulcast on the same night on all the platforms including Telemundo? And why not across the NBC TV stations as well?

"There are logistics and programming considerations involved, but expanding the franchise beyond USA/Syfy/E! and Telemundo is definitely on our radar," said an NBCU spokesperson. "Our teams worked closely with the networks to accommodate their programming schedules and their audiences. For example, Telemundo has always had movie nights on Saturdays and we wanted to amplify the film experience for that built in audience."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.