It’s Not Your Imagination: Broadcasters Are Targeting Men

Sep 10, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Broadcasters are taking a cue from cable, where male-skewing hits including "The Walking Dead" and "Breaking Bad" have helped change the way programmers are looking at gender, Advertising Age reports.

With broadcast viewers being predominantly female — especially when excluding sports — advertisers haven’t been targeting men with prime-time broadcast programming. But that appears to be changing.

“On the slate this fall season, which kicks off this week, are male-centric comedies like Fox’s ‘Dads,’ ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ and CBS’s ‘We Are Men’; genre series like ABC’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ and the CW’s ‘Tomorrow People’; along with gritty dramas like NBC’s ‘The Blacklist’ and the retread ‘Ironside,’" the story reports.

“The hope is that men will help halt the broadcast-ratings decline. The networks collectively lost about 8% of their audience last season. Fox relinquished its No. 1 spot as the most-watched broadcaster among adults 18 to 49 to CBS, while ABC came in last place among the Big Four in the demo.”

But networks will have their work cut out for them if they’re serious about attracting males.

“Broadcasters can’t get too racy, as they contend with decency standards cable channels can ignore,” the story notes. “And networks also can’t forsake female audiences.”

Said Amy Sotiridy, senior VP and director of national broadcast at Initiative: "Network isn’t the place to target males. If you are looking to reach young males you are buying sports or male-targeted cable."

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