YEARS ago, to learn about the coming television season, ”you’d have to wait for the fall preview issue of TV Guide” each September, recalls Shari Ann Brill, vice president and director for the Carat Programming division of the Carat USA media agency in New York.
Now, coverage of the shows begins in May, appearing everywhere from ”Access Hollywood” to Entertainment Weekly magazine to televisionwithoutpity.com. And the networks offer elaborate sneak peeks at the new series on their Web sites, as well as on DVD’s, in custom-published magazines and through other sites like itunes.com.
As a result, discussions among viewers about what to watch (or avoid) begin earlier than ever. That becomes an opportunity for media agencies, which help marketers select the series on which to buy commercial time (or avoid). They can begin to gather consumer intelligence in the spring and summer, rather than waiting until fall.
The Internet also makes the task easier, as the consumer chatter on Web sites, blogs and message boards can be readily monitored.