Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

TV execs, eager to court advertisers for their fall programming lineups, are turning to virtual "upfront" presentations to court marketers.

The intrigue: The "upfronts," a series of elaborate advertising pitches and parties that networks use to secure dollars ahead of time for their fall seasons, have been forced to go virtual for the first time this year due to the pandemic.

Driving the news: NBCUniversal ad sales chief Linda Yaccarino led a virtual presentation with her staff yesterday — usually an elaborate affair at Radio City Music Hall.

  • But instead of providing juicy details about the network's fall lineup, Yaccarino and team used the webinar event to assure marketers that "once we know the details about Sunday nights ... you'll be the first to know," referring to the network's Sunday NFL programming deal.

What's next: Unlike NBC, Fox announced a tentative fall schedule on Monday, filled with scripted and reality TV series that it can bank on producing, instead of elaborate shows that it may not be able to pull off during the pandemic.

  • ViacomCBS will host two virtual upfront presentations next week.
  • Disney, the parent company to ABC and ESPN, is hosting smaller presentations with ad buyers.

The bottom line: TV advertising, which was expected to be down around .4% this year, including the Olympics and elections, is now expected to be down nearly 13% this year, per ad buying agency MAGNA.

Go deeper: Ad market expected to take a big hit in 2020

Go deeper

Dozens of local stations blacked out for Dish customers amid pandemic

Dozens of local news and sports stations across the country are blacked out for customers of satellite TV giant Dish Network after it failed to renegotiate programming fee agreements with the station owners.

Why it matters: Dish is known for being a shrewd negotiator when it comes to hashing out fees with station owners. But its recent slew of local blackouts is creating an enormous local news draught for many communities during the pandemic.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
29 mins ago - Health

Rockefeller Foundation commits $1 billion for COVID-19 recovery

A health worker performs a COVID-19 test in New Delhi. Photo: Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The Rockefeller Foundation announced on Monday that it will allocate $1 billion over the next three years to address the pandemic and its aftermath.

Why it matters: The mishandled pandemic and the effects of climate change threaten to reverse global progress and push more than 100 million people into poverty around the world. Governments and big NGOs need to ensure that the COVID-19 recovery reaches everyone who needs it.

Updated 50 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Ex-FDA chief: Pence campaigning after COVID exposure puts others at risk — Mark Meadows: "We are not going to control the pandemic"
  2. Health: 13 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week — U.S. reports over 80,000 new cases for second consecutive day.
  3. World: Italy tightens restrictions Spain declares new state of emergency.
  4. Media: Fox News president and several hosts advised to quarantine after possible COVID-19 exposure