NBCUniversal will devote more time to news as it cuts commercial airtime

Key Points
  • NBCUniversal says it's offering resources like more access to talent and remote production to its advertising partners as it also reduces commercial time. 
  • Marketers are pausing advertising plans or shift messages and consumers are watching more content as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
Al Roker, NBCUniversal kicks off it's new Peacock streaming service on TODAY at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.
Nathan Congleton | NBCU

NBCUniversal said Monday it's reducing commercial time and offering resources like more access to talent and remote production without fees to its advertising partners. It comes as the company says marketers are pausing advertising plans, or shifting messages, while consumers continue to watch more content due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company wouldn't specify precisely how much commercial time was being reduced. In a blog post Monday, NBCUniversal's chairman of advertising and partnerships Linda Yaccarino outlined the changes. The company said it will air more content, such as extended episodes of some reality shows on Bravo, E! and USA. It will also run sponsored "movie marathons" with limited ad interruptions.

Because of reduced commercial time, NBCU said it will devote more time to news divisions at NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo for updates and special programming.

Yaccarino also said the company is providing more free resources for marketers to get spots to air. 

"Especially now, with many brick and mortar stores closed around the country and other companies facing significant challenges, our clients need more support to grow their businesses and remain connected to customers," the post says. "Meanwhile, producing traditional marketing assets has become more challenging."

Yaccarino said NBCUniversal is scaling new commerce technologies "while waiving technology fees." This could be something like the company's "ShoppableTV" format, which lets viewers buy products in the environment of the shows they're watching.

NBCUniversal is also giving advertising partners more access to remote production teams, brand assets and talent "all without the associated fees," along with editing and translation services to help reach people in English and Spanish. 

The company said its total TV consumption has risen 27% since March 16.

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.

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