AMC Networks has canceled its upfront presentation amid the growing concerns over the spread of the Coronavirus.
“In light of current events, we have decided to cancel our live upfront presentation scheduled for March 18 in favor of individual conversations with our advertising clients,” an AMC spokesperson told TheWrap on Monday. The meetings will be done either in-person in smaller groups or via teleconferencing.
AMC Networks follows A+E in electing to cancel its March event, which will hold its own “Virtual Upfront.”
Upfronts are a critical event on the industry calendar, when top advertisers get to see the upcoming fall television slates ahead of placing large advertising buys. Last week, Fox News canceled its own upfront event that was scheduled for March 24. CNN still held its own upfront last Thursday.
The upfront presentation period, which also counts digital TV services’ so-called newfronts, begins soon, but it kicks into high gear as the New York City weather warms. Mid-May is when the major media companies like Comcast, Disney and WarnerMedia bring their broadcast networks to New York for what is traditionally known as “upfront week.” All five major broadcast networks and cable outlets like FX, ESPN, TNT and TBS all present in a four-day span.
The spread of the COVID-19 disease has now reached more than 110,000 people around the world, and continues to have a major impact on the entertainment industry calendar. Cancellations have included overseas events like MipTV as well as stateside festivals like SXSW.