The competition for viewership between the major broadcast networks is fierce. As television audiences start to decline due to the internet, Networks continually shift and move their television shows to fight for the coveted Nielsen rating. The base lineup of the Prime Time schedule is the foundation for the ABC Network Ad Sales organization to sell advertising space against. This lineup is announced collectively for all major broadcast networks (e.g. ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX) at the annual upfront events at Ad Week in New York.
In the television industry, an upfront is a gathering at the start of important advertising sales periods, held by television network executives and attended by major advertisers and the media. Each major television network previews their upcoming fall and mid-season television shows for advertisers, the press, and the other networks. Annual upfronts for television generally occurs in early May.
Product Road Map
Phase I of this initiative was the development and implementation of a strategic planning tool for ABC Network that facilitated the creation of the Prime Time schedule (lineup) at the series level. Prime time is the block of broadcast programming which takes place during the middle of the evening for television programming between (Eastern and Pacific Time) (7 p.m. to 10 p.m. or 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.) respectively. The application is called Wall-E (Walt’s ABC Lineup Loader – Entertainment). Its secondary goal was to enable executive management the ability to manipulate and create the Prime Time lineup with almost zero learning curve.
Phase II of the project was the development and implementation of a tactical operational tool to manage the daily television schedule for ABC Network at the episodic level. This application was called EVE (Evaluate, Verify & Ensconce) which streamlined and automated the day to day scheduling and work flows between ABC Programming, ABC Studios Production and ABC Talent Acquisition.
Phase III was the collection, consolidation, ingestion and data visualization of ratings and viewership data onto the EVE scheduling grid creating a “heat map”. This would illustrate and high light viewership activity enabling strategists the ability to focus on specific shows and episodes by viewer consumption, genre or creative talent.