Industry News: Virtual Awards Shows, TV Ads, Vizio and More!

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VIRTUAL THEATER EVENT, TONY's TABLED DUE TO PROTEST: New York's Public Theater postponed its virtual "We Are One Public" event in the wake of George Floyd protests taking place across the country. The event, in place of its annual live gala and set to be hosted by Jesse Tyler Ferguson, was set for Monday. "In this time of national trauma, when the Covid crisis has so disproportionately impacted the Black community, when the injustices of our way of life have been made so clear, it just feels wrong for us to sail ahead with our event," the theater's statement says. The list of presenters included Antonio Banderas, Laura Benanti, Danielle Brooks, Glenn Close, Elvis Costello, Claire Danes, Danai Gurira, Anne Hathaway, Oscar Isaac, Nikki M. James, John Leguizamo, Audra McDonald and Sandra Oh. Broadway on Demand has also postponed the Tony Awards set for June 7th due to protests. Seam Cercone, the organization's CEO/president, said: "We are collectively saddened and angered by the senseless murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and disheartened by the ongoing racism and injustices that continue to permeate our society. We at Broadway On Demand do not tolerate hate, racism, injustice or bigotry of any kind. The continued violence against Black Americans is inexcusable. We stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter."

TV ADS PLUMMET, EXCEPT FOR MASKED SINGER: Millions of Americans are watching more TV while being stuck at home, but ad dollars for national TV spots fell by 26.7%, to $2.7 billion, according to Standard Media Index, via Variety. SMI says ad revenue for broadcast television fell 33.4% to $907 million in April, while ad revenue for cable TV fell 24.8% to $1.66 billion. Syndicated TV, however, has enjoyed a sweet spot, with revenue rising 12.1% to $140.2 million. In April, most ad dollars were generated by The Masked Singer on Fox.

ENDEMOL SHINE GROUP & VIZIO REACH DEAL: Endemol Shine Group and TV maker Vizio have reached a deal to bring four channels run by Endemol to Vizio's ad-supported TV platform. Two of the 24-hour channels available on Vizio's SmartCast platform focus on Deal or No Deal and Wipeout. The DIY Daily Channel focuses on home reno, with shows like Restoration Home, Restoration Man and Build a New Life in the Country. Reel Truth Crime, meanwhile, runs true-crime documentaries like Crime Investigation Australia and Missing Persons Unit. The four channels have 600 episodes, and one in every five smart-TVs in the U.S. use Vizio's interface.

WWE LAUNCHES FREE STREAMER: WWE Network made more than 15,000 titles free and ad-free on Monday. The free version, dubbed by executive vp Jayar Donlan as "a balance of providing a great experience for our fans by essentially offering unlimited access to a larger array of programming while still maintaining the value of our more premium content at $9.99 per month," will offer recent episodes of WWE flagships Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown and NXT.