×

Scripps Hopes to Hook Advertisers on Simulcasts of Shows

When stars from some of the most popular franchises on Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel band together, one channel may not be enough to contain them.

The owner of all three outlets, Scripps Networks, plans to broadcast a Halloween special featuring HGTV ‘s Egypt Sherrod, Drew Scott and Jonathan Scott; Food Network’s Tia Mowry and Duff Goldman; and Travel Channel’s Adam Richman striving to out-do each other in a Las Vegas competition across all three networks at once. In doing so, the company is suggesting that the simulcast strategy – reserved in recent months for special events and important show debuts – is becoming more mainstream.

“You are always looking for opportunities to create scale for your advertisers and for yourself,” noted John Dailey, senior vice president of corporate ad sales for Scripps Networks Interactive, in an interview. “The marketplace values scale. You get paid more for the bigger audiences and you get paid a higher CPM for being able to create a bigger audience,” he said, referring to the measure of reaching audience that is an integral part of how deals for TV ad time are negotiated.

Scripps has experimented with the technique before, but only with two of its networks. Last year for the holidays it aired a gingerbread-house building contest on HGTV and Food, snaring around six million viewers. In contrast, said Dailey, “Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines,” one of the company’s best-performing programs, typically attracts between three and four million viewers per episode.

The one-hour “All-Star Halloween Spectacular” debuts October 8 at 8 p.m. eastern on Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel, in which Scripps Networks, previously an investor, took full control earlier this year.

Scripps has enlisted an advertiser to help sponsor the venture. Ikea, the furniture retailer, will be featured in the program – Ikea shopping trip, anyone? – and around it as well, with custom announcements and “billboards” that tell viewers the company is sponsoring the show. Ikea is eager to show viewers that its desks, lamps and other habitat fillers can be considered for holiday decorating, not just for compleitng a new home, said Kelly Niszczak, media project manager for Ikea, and sees this sponsorship as a way to put that message in front of a broader crowd. “This gets us advertising exposure we hadn’t already received,” she noted.

Scripps isn’t the only company that has tested the idea. MTV has simulcast its flagshjpi “Video Music Awards” over a growing number of networks owned by its parent. Viacom, for the last few years. Ratings for recent editions have fallen despite the wider distribution. Last September, Viacom broadcast the debut of Trevor Noah at the helm of its popular “Daily Show” not only on its home network, Comedy Central, but MTV, VH1 and other outlets.  The audience grew to about 3.5 million, compared with the approximately 1.2 million that had been tuning in his predecessor, Jon Stewart.  Time Warner’s Turner aired the February 8 premiere of “Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” on five different networks: TBS, TruTV, HLN, Adult Swim and TNT. The broadcast reached about 2.2 million viewers, according to Nielsen.

The media companies are testing the technique as TV viewing splinters, thanks to the growing availability of mobile devices, streaming video and on-demand options. Where a single program was once often enough to gather together the masses of consumers an advertiser required, new viewing behavior makes the task that much more difficult. By simulcasting the programs, cable networks hope to build back some of the crowd they once could deliver more easily.

Scripps is taking additional steps to help Ikea stand out, said Dailey, the ad-sales executive. The company will not run ads from potential Ikea competitors during the Halloween program. Ikea has spent what Daily called a “high seven digit figure” overall with Scripps across TV and digital, and the multi-cast partnership is a “jewel” in the overall relationship.

Scripps is likely to consider testing similar ideas, Dailey said. “The times of year that are going to make the most sense are going to be holidays, springtime, the start of summer, and possibly back to school. These are the pockets of time we;’ve isolated when we will be looking for a way to do this. These are peak activity times in the categories that we program to.” If that’s the case, there may be more call for the stars of Scripps to gear up for new battles.

More TV

  • Bristol, CT - March 13, 2017

    Mina Kimes Helps ESPN Kick Off 'Daily' Podcast

    Mina Kimes is preparing to take ESPN into a new frontier. The sports-media giant has launched a “SportsCenter” for Snapchat and tested baseball telecasts for kids. Now it’s hoping to set up shop in another media venue. Starting tomorrow, the Disney-backed company launches “ESPN Daily,” a weekday morning podcast that aims to tap its vast [...]

  • MIA Wrap

    Rome MIA Market Wraps With Stronger U.S. Presence, Boosts Italy's Industry Standing

    Rome’s MIA market for TV series, feature films and documentaries wrapped positively Sunday with organizers boasting a bump in attendance just as some 2,500 executives departed in an upbeat mood after four days of dealmaking and presentations of mostly European fresh product, which elevated Italy’s global standing in the industry, especially within the TV sector. [...]

  • NETFLIX ZERO SHOWRUNNER

    Showrunner Stefano Voltaggio on Netflix's 'Zero' About Black Youths in Italy (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix recently announced a new Italian original titled “Zero” that will mark the first Italian series centered around the present-day lives of black Italian youths. “Zero” is based on several books by young writer and TV music show host Antonio Dikele Distefano, who was born in Italy from Angolan parents. The project was originated by [...]

  • Content-is-King

    Top TV Execs Tackle New Distribution Landscape in Rome

    ROME – In an increasingly complex TV market, with a host of new big-ticket streaming services preparing to enter an already crowded arena, both buyers and sellers are rethinking some of the fundamentals of the TV business as they grapple with the best way to reach global audiences. A host of top producers, network executives, [...]

  • MIA-MARKET-2019_Europe-Producers-Club_4

    European Producers and Broadcasters Debate How to Weather Streaming Storm

    ROME – The impending rollout of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other new streaming services promises a new era of uncertainty—and opportunity—for broadcasters and producers in an industry already disrupted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. At a panel hosted by the European Producers Club Friday afternoon during the MIA market in Rome, executives [...]

  • Kevin-Beggs

    Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs on Streamers and TV’s ‘Platinum Era’

    ROME – Over the course of two decades in the industry, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs has witnessed the ups and downs of a business that has frequently found itself confronting both dizzying new possibilities as well as existential threats. But these days the veteran exec, who oversees the development of all scripted and non-scripted content [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content