CES 2018: As World Turns Digital TV Ads Remain Powerful

Las Vegas — Technology will keep changing the media landscape but, for now, TV is still the 800-pound gorilla, particularly when it comes to advertising, according to a panel at CES Tuesday.

Brendan Ripp, executive VP for sales and partnerships at National Geographic, said that shortly after taking the job at the 21st Century Fox unit, he was invited onto the sales floor for Fox Broadcasting the day before Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.

In a few hours Fox sold more advertising than the most popular website at Time Inc., where Ripp previously worked, generated all year.

Read More: Complete Coverage CES 2018

“It’s still the 800-pound gorillia,” he said during a panel titled TV in the Age of Digital, noting that when something has got to be sold, TV sells it.

Still, Ripp said, companies like NatGeo need to create custom solutions for clients and do them at scale. NatGeo worked with Nike on a project last year covering the effort by Nike runners to beat the 2 hour mark in the marathon. The content has been distributed at scale across the world and translated into 41 languages.

“TV is alive and well. It’s just being redefined, redefined by viewers,” said Peter Naylor, senior VP, ad sales at Hulu.

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“It would be great if the consumer did what they were supposed to do, just watch at 8 p.m, said Mark Marshall, executive VP, entertainment advertising sales for NBCUniversal. Now overnight ratings are just the starting point for figuring out how many people watch a show. 

NBC this season brought back Will & Grace. When it first ran, its overnight ratings were higher than they are now, but when you look at the first full week of viewing after an episode airs, 33% more people watch Will & Grace now each week than in 2006.

Marshall noted that NBCU views the new platforms where its content is being watched as complementary and bringing in new audiences. It also doesn’t discriminate in terms of sales. “As long as we have it on a platform where we can measure and monetize it, it works for us.”

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