Upfront & NewFront 2021 Schedules: Broadcast, Cable & Podcast Companies Set Virtual Lineups

Nellie Andreeva and Dade Hayes
·4 min read

For a second year in a row, the May TV Upfront and digital NewFronts presentations are going virtual as the U.S. still deals with the effects from the coronavirus pandemic. Once again, there are no parties and other festivities that typically accompany the lavish in-person presentations. And the events during the traditional upfront week continue to expand, with the former NBC, CBS, ABC and TNT/TBS events now showcasing all ad-supported businesses of NBCUniversal, ViacomCBS, Disney and WarnerMedia, respectively, including streamers.

In addition to WarnerMedia, Discovery is the other non-broadcast presenter during Upfront Week; the company in 2019 took over the Tuesday morning slot vacated by ESPN, whose traditional breakfast presentation was folded into the ABC upfront later that day. In past years, Discovery had positioned its pitch to ad buyers before the mid-May broadcast blitz.

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The biggest change to the Upfront Week schedule this year is the CW’s decision to skip it and do a press conference the following week. Because of the fireworks expected by the big congloms presenting the week of May 17, the move likely was designed to avoid upfront fatigue by going last on Thursday of that week. As for presenting to advertisers, the CW has been doing that in private meetings and will continue to do so as its fall 2021 schedule takes shape.

As to the cable side, the decrease in volume over the past few years has been striking. One reason is the NewFronts, which have risen in prominence as dozens of digital and streaming outlets jockey for attention and ad dollars migrate away from linear. There has also been corporate consolidation; while it used to make sense for a number of major brands under one owner’s roof to do their own upfronts, efficiency now rules the day.

The NewFronts this year will feature some newer presenters, among them Amazon (whose IMDb TV is a rising ad-supported streamer), Roku and TikTok. Mainstays like YouTube and Condé Nast Entertainment are back, but longtime NewFronts anchor Hulu has decamped to become part of Disney’s upfront.

Here’s the full upfront 2021 schedule for broadcast and cable TV, digital outlets and podcast companies (all times PT). Please send any additions or adjustments to editors@deadline.com.

BROADCAST TV

Monday, May 17

NBCUniversal, 9 a.m.

Fox, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, May 18

Discovery, 7 a.m.

Univision, 10:30 a.m.

Disney, 1 p.m.

Wednesday, May 19

WarnerMedia, 8:30 a.m.

ViacomCBS, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, May 25

The CW (press conference only), 10 a.m.

CABLE TV

Tuesday, February 16

WarnerMedia Kids & Family

Wednesday, March 3

A+E Networks

Thursday, March 18

Nickelodeon

Thursday, April 15

TV One

IAB NewFronts (May 3-6)

(Details here)

Monday, May 3

Roku, 9:20 a.m.

Crackle Plus, 10 a.m.

Tubi, 10:35 a.m.

Fubo TV, 11:40 a.m.

Vizio, noon

Amazon, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, May 4

YouTube, 9:15 a.m.

Condé Nast, 9:45 a.m.

Channel Factory, 10:20 a.m.

Vevo, 10:30 p.m.

A+E Networks (A&E, History, Lifetime), 10:55 a.m.

Verizon Media, 12:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 5

Snap Inc, 9:15 a.m.

Vice Media Group, 9:55 a.m.

BBC News, 10:30 a.m.

BuzzFeed, 11:15 a.m.

Estrella Media, 11:35 a.m.

Audacy, 12:15 p.m.

Twitter, 12:40 p.m.

Thursday, May 6

TikTok, 9:20 a.m.

Meredith Corp, 10 a.m.

Digitas, 11:15 a.m.

Penske Media, 12:15 p.m.

Ellen Digital, 12:25 p.m.

NBCUniversal, 12:40 p.m.

IAB Podcast Upfront (May 11-13)

Details here.

Tuesday, May 11

NPR, 9:15 a.m.

Slate, 9:35 a.m.

Cumulus Podcast Network, 10:15 a.m.

Stitcher | Pandora, 10:40 a.m.

Vox Media Podcast Network, 11:15 a.m.

AdvertiseCast in conjunction with Libsyn, 11:40 a.m.

WNYC Studios, noon

CNN, 12:25 p.m.

LAist Studios, 12:45 p.m.

SpokenLayer, 12:55 p.m.

Kast Media, 1:05 p.m.

Wednesday, May 12

Meredith Corp, 9:20 a.m.

Wondery | Amazon Music, 9:45 a.m.

The Roost, 10:20 a.m.

Art19, 10:45 a.m.

Authentic, 11:05 a.m.

Wonder Media Network, 11:15 a.m.

At Will Media, 11:40 a.m.

QCode, 11:50 a.m.

Headgum, noon

Thursday, May 13

ESPN/ABC/Nat Geo, 9:05 a.m.

iHeart Media, 9:30 a.m.

Audacy’s Cadence13 and Pineapple Street Studios, 9:50 a.m.

Acast, 10:40 a.m.

ViacomCBS, 11:25 a.m.

LockedOn Podcast Network, 11:50 a.m.

Blue Wire, noon

Audio Up Media, 12:10 p.m.

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