The holiday season has always been prime commercial time for TV networks. Lots of people are watching, and, with holiday specials, lots of people are watching the same thing. This combination makes for a prime PR opportunity for both popular, and not so well appreciated programs on the major TV networks.
There are a lot of reasons why the midseason “holiday” break is a PR winner for both networks and fans. Ronn Torossian, president of5W Public Relations, breaks down five ways the break works out for everyone.
Honors the holidays
The vast majority of Americans celebrate one, or more holidays during the month of December. Taking a break from regular programming for classic, and new holiday programming encourages viewers to celebrate WITH the networks, instead of without them.
Takes a break when most people already are
Taking a holiday break allows the networks to join the rest of the country in breaking it’s routine for the holidays. Consider how odd would it be for everyone, and everything else to be celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years EXCEPT the top TV networks. Ignoring the holidays would never sit well with the viewers, sort of like that one house on the block that refuses to decorate for any holidays. A dark spot in an otherwise brightly lit holiday season.
Prime commercial opportunities
We mentioned earlier that more people are watching the same shows in December than at any other time of the year. Yes, the Super Bowl, and national championship games get more viewership, but this is a month-long opportunity of alternative programming. More viewers tuning in to the same shows means higher ad revenue, not just on one day, but most of the month.
Opportunities to promote to prodigal fans
Mid-season, many shows have lost some of their luster for fans. The advertising, and media relations opportunities over the holiday season, give networks ample time, and extra opportunities to hook, and real in lapsed fans. Targeted PR with inside information only known to regular viewers can help to reconnect them with the program that used to be “must see TV.”
More opportunities to recruit new fans
The best reason for networks to replace typical weekly shows with holiday programming is to recruit new viewers to shows they may have missed. Check out any holiday program this season, and you are sure to see advertisements for the networks’ other programming mixed in with their typical holiday good cheer.
Given the disparate ways people choose their entertainment these days, the holiday season is the best time to reconnect, recruit and re-energize their best – and worst – performing programs before January kicks off the second part of the winter season.