After working to take some of the commercials out of its primetime and late-night shows, NBC wants to do something similar in the morning.
The network said Friday it had extended a partnership with American Express in which the credit-card company will, next week, help to expand segments across three hours of its “Today” morning-show franchise, replacing time that would normally be filled with ads. On Today.com, the show’s web presence, pre-roll ads will be reduced. The 7 a.m. hour of “Today,” arguably the show’s newsiest and best-watched, will retain its original structure.
The effort follows a similar one made in February, in which American Express replaced regular commercial time on programs like “The Voice” and “Late Night with Seth Meyers” with extra content from the show or looks behind the scenes. American Express got a mention before and after each segment. NBC has this season begun to run fewer ad breaks during “Saturday Night Live’ as well.
A wide range of TV networks has begun to pitch Madison Avenue on the idea of swapping traditional 30-second commercials for sponsorship of video vignettes that play more directly off the programs that drew viewers to the screen in the first place. Time Warner’s Turner, 21st Century Fox’s Fox, Viacom and A+E Networks are among the TV companies using the idea to vie for advertiser dollars.
The “Today” partnership will be in place for the week of October 17, and NBC will use promos to call attention to it starting October 14.