The 2022 Upfronts Need to Evolve Into the FlexFronts

The pandemic proved the TV ad business can handle more flexibility. Why go back to old ways?

In 2020, like our personal and professional lives, everything about the TV upfront changed. The combined impacts of the pandemic and the shift away from linear television to streaming have primed the industry for change.

Or it certainly felt that way, as many believed we would see a rethink of how tens of billions of dollars in television advertising were transacted annually. The only problem is, that hasn’t happened. But it should.

Limited visibility and flexibility

In 2021, as the overall advertising market kicked back into gear, NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell called the upfronts a “watershed moment” for his company in terms of an enormous revenue bounce back.



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This story first appeared in the April 18, 2022, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.