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TV Upfronts: Fox News Channel Puts Spotlight on Live Election Coverage

Fox News Channel hopes to woo advertisers with talk of an increase in live coverage in the run-up to the 2016 presidential elections.

The 21st Century Fox-owned network expects more events in 2015 centered on activity leading to the 2016 run-off, said Paul Rittenberg, exec VP of advertising for the network, in an interview. While Rittenberg declined to describe specific programming initiatives, he said viewers should anticipate more election-themed programming and coverage in months to come. In recent weeks, a number of candidates, both Republican and Democrat, have expressed their intention to run for the office. President Barack Obama’s term will end in January 2017.

Executives from the network have called on media-buying agencies in recent weeks, Rittenberg said. The network is also touting length of tune-in by the network’s viewers. According to Nielsen, the average length of tune-in by viewers between 25 and 54 in April during the week was 25.8 minutes – more than that of MSNBC or CNN, but also of general-appeal outlets like AMC and ESPN. Only Scripps Networks’ HGTV had a longer tune-in length, at 27.1 minutes, according to Nielsen.

Fox News is making a push in morning television, Rittenberg said, hoping to convince advertisers who regularly support “Good Morning America” on ABC and “Today” on NBC to consider taking some of that money and using it to support “Fox & Friends.”

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