ABC, Freeform & ESPN To Hold Joint Upfront With FX & Nat Geo Post Disney-Fox Merger

Jimmy Kimmel Upfronts

ABC’s May 14 upfront presentation is expanding to include the network’s new corporate siblings following the completion of the Disney’s $71.5 billion acquisition of key Fox assets, including FX Networks and National Geographic Networks.

The combined Walt Disney Company Upfront event on May 14 will feature ABC, ESPN, Freeform, FX Networks and National Geographic.

UPDATE: Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, who has been a staple at the ABC upfront for more than a decade, will be part of the crowded event as he is mulling the future of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the network confirmed. Expect It’s Always Sunny, AHS, Fargo and Genius jabs in addition to his barbs at his own network.

Once known as broadcast upfront week, the third week of May has evolved, with media congloms turning the presentations of advertisers to a platform to showcase their entire portfolio. The NBC upfront has been an NBCUniversal-branded event for several years now, with USA Network, Syfy, E! and Bravo pitching their lineups alongside the NBC broadcast network.

ABC’s upfront presentation morphed to an ABC and Freeform event last year. It is now adding sports giant sibling ESPN as well as FX Networks and Nat Geo, which had been featured in the Fox upfront presentation for the past few years. Meanwhile, CBS has been touting its streaming platform CBS All Access during its upfront.

“We’re thrilled to host our first ever combined Upfront presentation for the 2019-20 season,” said Rita Ferro, President Disney Advertising Sales. “We have some of the most iconic and inspirational storytelling in the industry, and best in class brands. The combination of our great content, audiences, insights and creativity, amplifies the partnerships and offerings we’re able to deliver to clients. We’re looking forward to a great event, and a great season.”

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