Monday, January 23, 2012

Sponsored or Sustaining ... It's all the same for NBC

The strategy used by NBC when dealing with sponsored and sustained programming was like many networks of the time. It was felt that the important role of radio in society and its continual popularity made it necessary to have programming that was sponsored and had commercial gain as well as program that service the public good. It didn’t take long for commercial programming to become the ultimate goals of networks.

Networks created sustaining programs to serve the as public services and yet many hoped that the shows would be successful and eventually lead to commercial sponsors. Topics or groups that were not considered “mainstream” were often rejected from getting any airtime. The same strategy was used with both sustaining and sponsored programming. Sponsorship became the primary goal of networks

            For NBC, sponsored programs were strategically created to cater to the need of the sponsors with programs that “closely allied with your selling thought”. Sponsors themselves created the commercial material that would be aired. Despite efforts by networks to continue to sell valuable time slots, for many sponsors there was no real stake in staying with any given network. This is not to say that NBC would not have many commercial successes in their sponsored programming.

Despite many efforts to continue to cater to the public service obligations it held as a network, it was evident that commercial programming continued to gain the importance of executives as the decades progressed. Initially, NBC did great in attempting to create programming for the greater good but commercial profit soon become the ultimate goal.

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