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For the first time, Fox Corp. will hold a unified in-person upfront presentation that includes entertainment programming on the Fox broadcast network, as well as pitches for streaming service Tubi, Fox Sports and Fox News, the company said Wednesday.
The in-person presentation, set for May 16, will also depart from tradition (or at least pre-pandemic tradition) by leaving midtown Manhattan for lower Manhattan, holding the advertising pitch at an event space that used to be the trading floor for the New York Mercantile Exchange. Fox has traditionally rented out a theater for the presentation before hosting a party at Central Park’s Wollman Rink.
The upfront will cap off what the company is calling the “Road to the Upfront,” which will kick off with a brand summit on the Fox lot in Los Angeles on March 23. The summit “will showcase how its content, communities, and Intelligence come together to drive impact and commerce for brands,” the company said in a statement.
Then, in early May, Fox’s free, ad-supported streaming service Tubi will present as part of the IAB NewFronts.
A critical part of Fox’s pitch will be that, unlike many competitors (think HBO, Disney+ and Netflix), the company’s portfolio is entirely ad-supported.
“Fox will showcase how we continue to challenge the status quo across measurement, creativity, and innovation to drive impact with partners in 2022,” said Marianne Gambelli, president of advertising sales for Fox, in a statement. “Our combination of community, accessibility, and creativity, all delivered at massive scale are what sets Fox apart from our peers. As a 100% ad supported portfolio, staying connected with our valued partners is a huge priority, and we can’t wait to see everyone in person.”
After the pandemic sent two years of upfronts virtual, the advertising events appear poised to return this year, though if Fox’s move is any indication, they will take new shapes. The Walt Disney Co., which already combined its assets into one presentation pre-pandemic, will leave its longtime upfront home of Lincoln Center for a new venue yet to be announced. David Geffen Hall, where Disney has historically held the event, is undergoing extensive renovations.
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