March 1, 2024

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NBCUniversal Confirms Return Of Radio City Upfront In May And Ad Tech Showcase In March

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NBCUniversal has confirmed the dates of its annual upfront event at Radio City Music Hall in May as well as the fourth edition of its “OnePlatform” showcase of advertising technology in March.

The upfront will be held on May 13, its usual Monday slot on the traditional week of upfront pitches to ad buyers in New York. NBCU’s Hispanic media subsidiary Telemundo will host a party on the evening of May 13 at The Shed in Hudson Yards.

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Sellers are getting an early jump on the upfront season, which could be the first truly familiar one since before Covid. Warner Bros. Discovery has also put a marker down for its annual mid-May event. Paramount Global has said it will continue to hold smaller gatherings with its clients instead of its previous Carnegie Hall presentations. Those upfront extravaganzas were a longtime staple of CBS, which became a division of Paramount in 2019.

NBCU’s announcement promises that “notable talent” will attend its event, a shift from the 2023 upfront week, which was upended by the WGA strike. (NBCU’s was also marked by the news that former ad sales chief Linda Yaccarino’s was jumping to Twitter, now X.) With talent dropping out and picket lines set up across the city, media companies pivoted to a mix of news, sports and online personalities as well as executive speakers. One new player, Netflix, opted to make its entire upfront event a virtual affair.

After the pandemic forced the 2020 and ’21 upfronts online, the 2022 season saw several companies return to in-person shows, though New York was still emerging from a spike in Covid cases that put a damper on the festivities.

Weeks before the Radio City gathering, NBCU said it plans to host One24, its annual event focused on technology and data named after its OnePlatform suite of products for advertisers. Modeled after tech company product showcases, the event will be held at Rockefeller Center’s Studio 8H, aka the home of Saturday Night Live.

Mark Marshall, who succeeded Yaccarino as chairman of NBCU Global Advertising & Partnerships, said he welcomed the chance to take “two iconic New York City stages” and lay out the company’s offerings. “The announcements we will make will further our commitment to driving the most effective media for our partners,” he said.

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