As viewership and revenue continues to call, it looks as though NBC is looking to cut the number of hours its programs are for primetime television.
Under the plan being discussed, NBC would halt its primetime programming at 10 p.m. eastern time (9 p.m. central) and hand that following hour each evening over to affiliates to air whatever programing they want, according to the Wall Street Journal. This is normally primetime and a money hour, so it has to be hurting them to be considering this.
The decision has not yet been finalized, but if it does happen, the network would cancel a full third of its programming blocks for primetime television.
Such a move would drastically affect the network’s scripted drams airing in that final primetime hour.
It is unlikely that the plan could kick in any sooner than the fall 2023 season if adopted, according to WSJ.
The paper added that the insiders who spoke to them about the plan said that it was being considered strictly as a cost-cutting measure, as cutting an hour of scripted TV would save them millions annually. It could also be attractive to affiliates who may be able to earn more from ad revenue with the extra evening hour falling under their control.
The Journal also noted that if the plan is put in place, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon could kick off at 10:30 or 11:00 p.m. instead of 11:30. There was no word on how local affiliates who air local news at 11 would take that Fallon move, though.
“We are always looking at strategies to ensure that our broadcast business remains as strong as possible,” a spokeswoman from the network told the Journal. “As a company, our advantage lies in our ability to provide audiences with the content they love across broadcast, cable and streaming.”
Presumably the scripted shows would still continue to be produced for NBC’s streaming service Peacock and the NBC Universal Cable Network. Peacock is also home to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE’s) Network as well.
The big three networks have seen a massive loss of viewers over the last decade as streaming services hav shifted audiences habits away form appointment like watching of shows.
According to stats from Spoiler TV, since 2011 the networks have lost an average of just over 80 percent of their audiences. From 2011 to this most recent quarter in 2022, ABC has lost 81.53 percent of its viewers, CBS has shed 81.32 percent, and NBC has lost 73.74 percent. As to Fox and the CW, they have lost 70.49 and 86.96 percent respectively.
Thanks to our friends at Breitbart for contributing to this article.
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