Huffpost Media

NBC No Longer Focusing On Big Fall Television Season

Posted: Updated:

LOS ANGELES — NBC Universal said Tuesday that it will shake up its ad sales and take a year-round approach to the television season, which has traditionally been tucked into nine months.

A 12-month programming schedule will be announced in April to give advertisers an early look at what will be available through the media giant's cable and broadcasting outlets, the company said.

"A business-as-usual approach no longer applies in today's multi-platform media environment," NBC President and CEO Jeff Zucker said in a statement.

Zucker and other NBC executives recently had questioned the value of the "upfront" presentation that is held annually for ad buyers in New York each May by TV networks and is focused on the fall broadcast schedule.

Instead, NBC Universal said it will hold an April series of one-on-one client meetings in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, followed by a "spotlight event" May 12 that showcases NBC Universal's various cable and broadcasting platforms.

Advertising opportunities with NBC entertainment, sports and news divisions, on the Spanish-language network Telemundo, and on cable channels including CNBC will be detailed, along with wireless and mobile delivery, the company said.

"The traditional prime-time presentation shines a light on only one piece of what our company has to offer," Zucker said.

For viewers, the prospect of a "full, 52-week prime-time programming schedule" as promised by NBC reflects the reality of increasing competition by cable channels that refuse to follow the traditional September-to-May model.

In recent years, networks have tried out summer series _ including cheaper-to-produce reality shows _ with varying results as the typical seasonal exodus by viewers continues.

How much of NBC's summer schedule will be filled by new shows wasn't specified in the company's announcement. The network did not immediately respond Tuesday when asked whether the information was available.

NBC Universal is 80 percent owned by General Electric, with Vivendi Universal Entertainment holding the other 20 percent.