I haven’t written much about the writers’ strike because I expected it to be over by now. But as we are in the midst of the 6th week of the strike, there appears to be no end in sight. I’ve read a few articles about how broadcasters never regained full viewership after the last strike in 1988. If this goes into January as many are now predicting, the impact on the upfront buying process, not to mention show development, is going to be significant. For those of you in Internet advertising sales, I would call everyone you know with a broadcast budget.
If the broadcasters can’t deliver an audience because all they are running are reruns and reality programming, marketers are going to shift their advertising dollars and digital will be their first choice. We haven’t seen much of that happening yet in Q4, but with NBC reimbursing advertisers due to prime-time ratings shortfalls and no make goods available; we may in fact see money moving around at the last minute.