NBC is currently holding preliminary discussions to minimize its primetime programming hours between 10 to 11 p.m. in an effort to reduce costs that come with the change in the general TV landscape.The company plans to implement the strategy as soon as Fall 2023. “We are always looking at strategies to ensure that our broadcast business remains as strong as possible,” an NBC spokesperson said. “As a company, our advantage lies in our ability to provide audiences with the content they love across broadcast, cable and streaming.”
Under the terms of the agreement, which was first reported Friday by the Wall Street Journal, NBC’s 200-plus local affiliate stations would take over control of programming that hour each night — and collect all of the ad revenue during that time. While NBC owns 12 local stations, including in top markets like New York City, L.A., Chicago and Washington, D.C., the vast majority are owned by multiple companies. According to the Journal, the idea is still in discussions — and has not been officially raised with the company’s affiliate board.
The cutting of a primetime hour would have a wide-ranging effect on the company, impacting programming choices. Similar to other parent entertainment companies, NBC parent Comcast has transitioned its priorities from linear TV networks like NBC, which has seen a significant declines in recent years, to its streaming service, Peacock.
By eliminating one hour a night, NBC could save millions of dollars in content costs, with the company’s affiliates likely welcoming a change that would allow them to earn more ad revenue. Mark Lazarus, chairman of NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, who is leading th efforts, affirmed that the network is considering making changes to its 1:30 a.m. slot, later giving that time back to affiliates. The move would also impact late-night, with “The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon” likely moving up from its current 11:30 p.m. slot, where he currently competes against Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel for nighttime viewing.
We are always looking at strategies to ensure that our broadcast business remains as strong as possible. As a company, our advantage lies in our ability to provide audiences with the content they love across broadcast, cable and streaming.” Spokeperson NBC