Wednesday, January 26, 2022

ViacomCBS to Host 'Unified' 2022 Upfront on May 18, 2022

Nickelodeon, Paramount+, Pluto TV and the MTV networks will join CBS for the annual pitch to advertisers.

ViacomCBS will return to Carnegie Hall in midtown Manhattan for the company’s upfront presentation on May 18.

“We’re thrilled to return to the iconic stage at Carnegie Hall this year and spotlight the power of ViacomCBS in what will surely be a show-stopping event,” Jo Ann Ross, the company's president and chief advertising revenue officer told The Hollywood Reporter whilst confirming the news. “We look forward to delivering an entertaining and informative presentation that addresses the dynamic needs of our clients, which is absolutely critical as the marketplace continues to transform at a rapid pace.”

It will be the first in-person upfront for the company since 2019, with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing the 2020 and 2021 events to go virtual. It will also be live-streamed for those who want to watch from their homes or offices.

While CBS has held its upfront at Carnegie Hall for decades, the 2022 will nonetheless break with precedent by including the rest of the ViacomCBS portfolio, which includes the streaming services Paramount+ and Pluto TV, and the MTV Entertainment Group, which includes Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount Network, among others.

It's currently unknown whether Nickelodeon will also host a standalone Upfront presentation in addition to being included in the ViacomCBS event. Last year, Nickelodeon held Nickelodeon Virtual Upfront Show: Bring Your Kids!, a virtual upfront which invited marketers to attend with their kids. The show started out like a typical Zoom meeting, before veering off into a Nickelodeon wonderland and this virtual world.

ViacomCBS joins NBCUniversal in returning to its pre-COVID home for the upfront. Earlier this week, NBCU announced it would hold its presentation at Radio City Music Hall on May 16 and host a Telemundo-branded party that evening. The company is also planning a virtual developer conference in March and an in-person content preview in April, in New York and Los Angeles. NBCU had already shifted to an upfront that featured all of its TV and streaming brands.

Fox Corp., meanwhile, will leave its traditional upfront home for lower Manhattan, and will for the first time include Fox News, Fox Sports and the streaming service Tubi into its presentation to advertisers on May 16. Disney has not yet revealed its upfront plans, but with Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall undergoing renovations, will move to a new venue for 2022.

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