ABC’s Karey Burke Takes On SVODs As She Touts Advantages Of Broadcast Television Over Streaming – TCA

ABC’s President of Entertainment Karey Burke made a passionate pitch to top talent and creators to side with the broadcast networks over streaming services.

During her presentation at the TCA summer press tour, Burke said that the broadcast networks are in a better place to promote shows and less likely to cancel shows after three seasons.

“Broadcast matters because our shows endure,” she said. “Shows like Grey’s Anatomy… 15 seasons in, this incredible show is as vital as ever… and in November we celebrate its 350th episode. That phenomenon is unique to broadcast television and certainly not to be found on our streaming competition, who [tout] hits one day and cancel them the next, usually around season three.”

The latter was a clear dig at Netflix, which has regularly cancelled its originals after three seasons. The digital platform was also in Burke’s crossfire in terms of marketing with a gag about Netflix’s prevalence to advertise on billboards above Sunset Blvd. “Most shows on competing platforms these days, sometimes they get a billboard on Sunset and sometimes they disappear into the sunset. We believe we offer creators the superior platform, big, broad audiences all year round,” she added. “That has been our pitch to creators, if you care about telling stories that appeal to lots of people and have the capactity to endure over time and be watched by generations, ABC is where you have the best chance. If you create that show for us, it will get launched, it will get marketed. We invest heavily in making people aware of our shows and actually knowing about their work.”

Elsewhere, the former Freeform boss touted the creation of Disney Television Studios and called it a “gamechanger”.

She also said that she wasn’t surprised that all of the broadcast networks are launching fewer shows this fall with ABC airing new titles Stumptown, Emergence and mixed-ish. “It’s peak TV. There’s too much content and I think we owe it to the shows and the creators of those shows that they’re getting legitimate marketing campaigns and legitimate chances to be seen by audiences. That was a definitive strategy on our part and I’m happy to see other networks doing it.”

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