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Golden Globes’ Crash Will Cost E!, TV Guide

1/11/2008 7:00 PM Eastern

Cable networks that sold ads for anticipated red-carpet coverage of the Golden Globe Awards ceremony are trying to find a way to mollify advertisers who were left with spots in less marquee programming with the cancellation of the gala.

Executives with E!, reached via e-mail late last week, said the channel’s sales team was working with advertisers to develop suitable make-good packages.

“E! delivered its most-watched year ever in 2007 and as the network posts more record ratings in the new year we are confident that we will continue to provide valuable opportunities on the network,” the e-mail said.

Advertisers who had planned on exposure in awards arrival coverage instead were faced with a “Stay Home Sunday” block of reality-show marathons, comprised of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood and a new episode of The Girls Next Door.

The e-mail from the channel added, “E! looks forward to bringing viewers its unparalleled access inside Hollywood’s biggest award shows in the future, including the upcoming (Screen Actors Guild) awards on Sunday, Jan. 27.”

Ryan O’Hara, president of TV Guide Network, said the Golden Globe arrivals telecast is an important part of the channel’s ad-sales strategy, but not the only part. Advertisers are sold a package of awards show coverage: five events beginning with the Globes and ending with the Academy Awards telecast on Feb. 24. Those advertisers buy into other TV Guide Network programming, too, he said.

TV Guide Network replaced its arrivals coverage with a two-hour pre-show, coverage of the winner’s announcement, and a one-hour post show. The programs were populated with vignettes originally intended to fill gaps in the arrivals, plus panel discussions involving entertainment reporters.

The channel will work with its affiliate-marketing partners to shift local promotions to other awards events, he added.

Asked if the ongoing strike by the Writers Guild of America is having a chilling effect on advertisers, O’Hara said his channel is being proactive.

“They realize [the strike-related cancellations] are not our fault,” O’Hara said. “We’ve heard no major rumblings” regarding Academy Awards advertising pullouts, he added.