FETV: Special Delivery for Viewers and Advertisers

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT TV

Cynopsis Medias First Morning Read
Thursday April 11, 2024

At Family Entertainment Television (FETV), It’s All in the Family

Cathy Applefeld Olson

Family-operated with a passion for family-centric programming, Family Entertainment TV (FETV) continues to rise and shine amidst a sea of media conglomerates by overdelivering for viewers and brand partners alike.

Its status as a Nielsen-rated network in 50 million homes, combined with a safe programming environment featuring classic series ranging from “Bewitched” to “Perry Mason” to “Adam-12”, has given FETV a unique wingspan in a challenging national media marketplace.

As a result, the network notched 30 percent more volume during last year’s Upfront and saw the average media commitment from returning clients rise 15 percent. What’s more, in a dramatic upswing, close to 80 percent of its 2023 Upfront partners were new to the network.

“Based on the reaction we’ve had in the marketplace, we expect that will continue, with many new potential partners interested in working with us this Upfront,” says Michael DuPont, EVP of advertising sales. During the past year, DuPont has fortified the FETV team by hiring an A-team of veteran industry executives as VPs of national advertising sales: Michael Claffey, formerly an executive at NBCU and most recently at AMC Networks; Katie Lombardi, formerly at Paramount; and Matt Yox; who joined from Warner Bros. Discovery.

Having this team to communicate the value proposition in the marketplace is among the key reasons DuPont cites this pattern of success, alongside the network’s brand-safe environment and its dedication to delivering GRPs in-flight—a rarity in today’s market.

With the growth has come an increasingly varied pool of advertisers. From pharmaceutical and CPG brands to financial and insurance companies, DuPont says the client roster continues to grow. “One of the categories that’s of interest is QSR/casual dining. Advertisers are taking note of our research showing how we over-index on frequency of visits.”

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT TV

Linear and Loyal

At the core of Family Entertainment TV’s appeal is its positioning as a network for fans of nostalgia TV who like their viewing experience simple and smooth—aka, linear—and who increasingly are left out of the conversation amid the streaming maelstrom.

“We offer TV for people who love to watch TV without fussiness or difficulty. And it shows in our research. Our length of tune-in is amongst the highest in cable,” says DuPont. “Our viewers are more than satisfied with our programming lineup, they know where to find us, and generally they stick with the network not just for one-off shows but for hours and hours at a time. We’re very appreciative to have such loyal viewership.”

Sister network Family Movie Classics (FMC), which is not yet Nielsen rated, is also on the rise with both distribution and brand loyalty. “We have seen growth in the number of advertisers and the size of their budgets,” DuPont says, citing the high quality of its classic movie programming. “Nielsen ratings are coming next, and that’s an exciting opportunity for national advertisers.”

And because the company is dedicated to meeting viewers where they are, FMC is carrying its programming into the streaming arena with FMC+, a FAST which will be launched in the third quarter of this year. “The audience profile of FMC is younger so it makes sense they want to find us on different platforms,” DuPont says. “We’re excited to see how quickly that contributes to the growth we’ve seen since the launch of FMC in 2021.”

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT TV

Treating Advertisers Like Family

The same promise of a simple, streamlined relationship extends to advertisers as well.

“We don’t need to split our marketing team between 15 other networks, which is happening throughout the industry,” Yox says. “Also, we have the flexibility to change our programming schedule to accommodate a client’s sponsorship needs with a really short turnaround.”

“At our core, we value our partners’ business, and we want to ensure we can deliver their message and reach their goals,” Lombardi says. “If that means being nimble and moving things around, we’re happy to do it.”

To help brands immerse their message in specific programming environments, FETV is not only grouping its line-up by genre but naming the blocks to give them more marquee value. “We have sitcoms, we have westerns, we have dramas and we have crime fighters,” DuPont says. “We can package those blocks so they’re more digestible to media buyers and the environments they are seeking for their clients.”

Key to the value proposition, says Yox, is that FETV is truly family-friendly. “The safety issue is a priority for most advertisers. Often on other networks, clients don’t even know where their ads are airing.” Coming from the Warner Bros. Discovery behemoth, he notes, “Over the years I’ve had to deal with serious liability issues, and that’s something clients wish to avoid when they are adding a new network. Since I came here it’s been refreshing to not have a history of liability. We are poised to deliver for our clients, and they really appreciate that, especially in today’s environment.”

Claffey echoes the importance of a program-safe scenario among a growing number of brand verticals. “I rep a lot of pharma and family-friendly CPG brands that really do, particularly in television, care about what [programming] their brands are near. And we provide an environment that serves as a solution,” he says. As a result, “I’ve seen success and momentum with big advertisers that have large budgets in both scatter and upfront deals,” Claffey adds. “I came from larger, legacy networks. FETV is just over 10 years old, we don’t have legacy pricing and we are priced efficiently. We show [clients] our planning costs and they say, ‘Oh, that’s fair.’”

A CYNOPSIS MESSAGE FROM FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT TV

“Obviously we want to grow our business, and we are going to do that again this year, but at the same time we don’t go out with irrational ratings projections that we can’t deliver,” DuPont says. “We want to start off on the right foot with our new partners.”

The north star for the team is FETV’s value, and a focus on building awareness and targeting advertisers that make sense for the network. “We can deliver the audience,” Lombardi says. “We’ve had many instances of advertisers who come to us with a budget and then are actually looking to add incremental dollars to that budget after they go to order. That is proof we’re offering something of value at the right price.”

Family Entertainment TV and Family Movie Classics are certainly on the rise…and advertisers are taking note.

Cynopsis Team

Robbie Caploe
VP/Group Publisher
[email protected]

Lynn Leahey
Editorial Director
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Kerry Smith
Division President
Access Intelligence

Albert Nassour
Executive Director of Sales
917-545-3129
[email protected]

Stephanie Cronk
Senior Marketing Director
[email protected]

 

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