USA Moving Upfront Presentation to Broadcast Week

Jeff Watchtel Chris McCumber - P 2011
Peden + Munk

Jeff Watchtel Chris McCumber - P 2011

The No. 1 cable network will join its broadcast rivals with a Mid-May presentation at Lincoln Center.

First USA beats its broadcast sibling in the ratings; now it's moving its upfront presentation to the week normally reserved for broadcasters.

The network, which is poised to round out the year as the No. 1 cable network for the sixth consecutive time, will hold its presentation on the evening of Thursday, May 17 at Alice Tully Hall's Starr Theater at Lincoln Center. The move is designed in part for USA to be thought of in the same breath as its broadcast competition when media buyers gather to make their buying choices for the coming year.

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Historically, the mid-May week has played host to the dog and pony shows of the five major broadcasters as well as Univision, Telemundo and ESPN. In recent years, Turner's TNT and TBS have sandwiched their joint event into broadcast week, a bold statement about the value its executives believe its programming is worth to advertisers. The latter's presenation, lead by Turner Entertainment Networks chief Steve Koonin, is often viewed as a prime opportunity to not only hype cable's success but also bash the broadcast networks' stumbles.

In USA's case, the evening will feature characters from the network's series, including Burn Notice, Covert Affairs, Fairly Legal, In Plain Sight, Necessary Roughness, Psych, Royal Pains, Suits and White Collar.