12 FEB 2021


The topics that will be covered throughout the week of 19th May include Disney’s overall media portfolio, ViacomCBS’s state across all divisions, not just its network, and Warnermedia will unveil new programming.


This year’s Upfront week will be held virtually amid the Covid-19 pandemic, similarly to May in-person event cancellation last year following the virus outbreak. The presentations will take place on 19th May with a traditional business schedule at hand. 

WarnerMedia will have an upfront event for its kids and family networks and platforms on 17th February, while A+E will have an upfront event on 3rd March, showcasing new and upcoming TV programming at the streaming-video presentations earlier than usual to mend the impact that resulted from TV production and sports event suspensions.. NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, Discovery, are also set to host presentation virtually.

With all of the networks confirming a virtual presence, Disney has already announced plans to cover its overall media portfolio, including Hulu for the first time. The conglomerate will also discuss technology investments and approaches to data, measurement, ad experiences, and transactions with marketers.ViacomCBS also intends to highlight all the elements of the company. Ad information surrounding Paramount Plus will also be provided, as well as the the new streaming-video hub the company intends to launch on the back of its CBS All Access service. NBCUniversal will discuss the current status of Comcast, NBCU, and Sky, as well as new productions.

The media industry’s annual “upfront” ad-sales session is set to line up advertising commitments for the next programming cycle. As a result of the pandemic, advertisers are demanding structure changes and additional financial flexibility. The TV ad business, which is collectively worth at least $60 billion a year, has been in flux due to rising streaming adoption, cord-cutting, and declining ratings.

Most of the deals were signed in August as opposed to the usual June-July timeframe. Deals TV networks make at the upfronts usually make up 70% of their yearly commercial inventory for the September to August TV season to major brands and other marketers. For the 2020-2021 TV season, due to many production delays of major prime-time shows, as well as marketplace and pandemic issues, total TV broadcast and cable network prime-time upfront market revenue sank 15% to $18.6 billion, according to Media Dynamics.