Independent Ovation Positions Itself as Brand-Friendly Alternative to TV Behemoths

Independent Ovation Positions Itself as Brand-Friendly Alternative to TV Behemoths 890 500 C-Suite Network

As another upfront season begins, most big media companies involved are in the midst of a mega-deal that has either just closed (Discovery-Scripps), is in progress (Disney-Fox and AT&T-Time Warner) or is possibly in the works (CBS-Viacom), while many of the remaining entities could soon be in play as a response to these other mergers. Amid the chaos, Ovation is proudly waving its flag as an independent outlet with no plans to find a partner—and a network that can offer buyers an alternative to the hoop-jumping required from many of their buys across large portfolios.

Liz Janneman, Ovation’s evp of network strategy, said that the network can “offer multiplatform opportunities,” utilize targeting tactics “with the essence of our upscale consumer” and create content for a brand that “meets the needs of that brand without having the requirement of 50 other things that we want you to do before we give you the one thing you want. We can meet the needs without all of these additional strings attached.”

In the upfront, Ovation will talk with advertisers about sponsorship opportunities around its three big offerings: hit series Versailles, which airs its final season in October; upcoming drama Riviera, which debuts next February; and new OTT service aimed at millennials, Journy. Janneman spoke about Ovation’s upfront plans at a late-afternoon event in New York’s Soho Grand Hotel.

Ovation is looking to build in its success in last year’s upfront, where it saw hefty volume hikes of more than 30 percent as well as CPM (cost per thousand viewers reached) gains in the high single digits. That volume jump was more than triple the percentage gains of even the most successful networks in last year’s upfront.

The centerpiece of Ovation’s upfront pitch remains its signature series Versailles, which is set during the reign of Louis XIV and the construction of the Palace of Versailles. In its first season, the show had the highest…