Earlier, I addressed opportunities for Upfront national TV advertisers to exercise available options (aka “outs”) to reduce their television spending commitments to save cash and align their advertising to consumer demand.
With only an August 1, 2020 date to exercise options for October – December 2020 buys where advertisers’ Upfront deals are based on the calendar year, advertisers need to explore other reasonable opportunities to lower their spending commitments.
Early on, networks could consider shifting buys perhaps as much as 90 days later than their obligations mandated. This option has waned as networks will accommodate only so much inventory shifting.
So what to do now?
Advertisers still retain a good deal of leverage in “negotiating” suitable delays to the remainder of their current Upfront buys based on a simple fact, namely, that networks have an urgent need to arrange 2020-21 Upfront deals. A willingness by those advertisers who can accept some risk by setting next year’s deals now can be an effective tool to encourage more lenient terms for this year’s Upfront deals.