Fox plots media integration

18 May 2011

NEW YORK: Fox Broadcasting Company plans to sell ad space within bundled deals that allow the spots to be shown both on TV and online.

Under the new system, an ad can be broadcast on TV, on or on Hulu as part of a single deal.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Fox will also increase the number of ads contained in its online broadcasts of shows.

Fox made the announcement as part of its annual "upfront" presentation to advertisers in New York City.

Broadcasters can often sell up to two-thirds of their ad inventory for the year during the upfront sales period, which kicks off with glitzy presentations from the major TV networks in the third week of May.

The presentations come at a time when both TV and online adspend is making a marked recovery from the recession-induced cutbacks of 2008 and 2009.

Warc's latest international ad forecast suggests that internet adspend should rise by 12.4% in the US this year, while TV will rise 3.8%. But TV remains the largest advertising channel by far, taking a 38.8% share of total spend this year to online's 20.4%.

Commenting on the new initiative, Toby Byrne, president of ad sales at Fox Broadcasting, said: "There shouldn't be a different commercial experience by virtue of which way you choose to watch our content."

He added: "While broadcast [viewership] has suffered some erosion, there is some audience watching on and Hulu that mitigates some of that."

Fox has also revealed details about its line-up of shows for the upcoming season.

The network has been number one in the ratings for the past seven seasons, due largely to the success of the American Idol franchise. Accordingly, one of Fox's biggest hopes for the upcoming season is the US version of The X Factor, which will feature former American Idol judge Simon Cowell.

The network will also launch Terra Nova, a Steven Spielberg-produced fantasy show, later this year, and a live-action update of The Flintstones will premiere in 2013.

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal/Warc/New York Times/; additional content by Warc staff