Writer's strike could affect media buying

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Media buyers are predicting that The Writers Guild of America strike in Hollywood will send more ad dollars online.

During the strike, popular televisions shows such as Heroes and Lost have gone into reruns during what would be the new fall season, potentially threatening ratings and advertising support.

“A different media consumption model has been evolving,” said Bill Koenigsberg, CEO of Horizon Media. “A prolonged strike may quicken it.”

A recent study from The Conference Board-TNS found that in the third quarter of 2007, 16% of US households watched a full TV episode online, double the amount from a year ago. As reruns prevail, consumers may be even more likely to head to the Web for entertainment that used to be reserved for TV.

For this season, advertisers are still safe with TV, but buyers say the strike will affect the media buying model. According to Koenigsberg, “If the strike is prolonged, it could disrupt the annual program development schedule and the upfront, then there could be some repercussions for 2008-2009.”

Doug McFarland, CEO of online video advertising firm ScanScout,  agreed. “I think we are potentially going to see a shifting of dollars, especially as advertisers are preparing their budgets for next year,” he said.


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