AT&T-Discovery deal steals upfronts spotlight: Upfronts Download

Welcome to Upfronts Download, Ad Age’s special pop-up TV upfronts roundup where we bring you breaking news and some of the best (and worst) of TV’s (virtual) dog-and-pony show, curated by Jeanine Poggi, assistant managing editor. Get it in your email...

AT&T-Discovery deal steals upfronts spotlight: Upfronts Download

Star power

I can just see the NBCUniversal execs wringing their hands when they saw the AT&T-Discovery deal went through just hours before they kicked off upfront week with their virtual presentation.

The session was hosted by NBCU’s top talent, with the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Andy Cohen and Hoda Kotb taking agencies and their clients through the lineup for next season.

Talent will be central to NBCU’s pitch to the ad world, the Wall Street Journal reports, with the Peacock looking to serve as a power broker of sorts between celebrities and brands.

To be sure, NBCU paraded out new deals with big-named stars like Meghan Trainor, who will host “Top Chef Family;” Kevin Hart, who will host a new talk show; and Jonas Brothers, which will be featured in an Olympics special. NBCU also announced it renewed “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” for five years.

Elsewhere Disney-owned Hulu revealed a deal with The Beatles’ Paul McCartney for an original documentary music series event.

How is the TV industry responding to the streaming wars? On May 24 and May 25 hear from ad sales leaders, agency executives and top brands on the state of the TV ad marketplace and how streaming is poised to reinvent the $20 billion upfront marketplace. RSVP here.