Crown Media Family Networks Wraps Upfront Sales With Double-Digit Increases

Dade Hayes

Crown Media Family Networks said it has wrapped up its 2019-20 upfront ad sales, locking in double-digit gains for both price and volume.

The company’s twin networks, the Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, have bucked the broader trend of cratering ratings. With its wholesome, stars-of-a-certain-age-studded programming lineup and events like “Countdown to Christmas,” which will mark its 10th anniversary this fall, Hallmark has proven to be a draw for viewers and, therefore, advertisers. Demand was particularly strong in the retail and telecom categories.

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Hallmark recently renewed one of its mainstays, When Calls the Heart, for a seventh season despite the controversy swirling around one of its stars, Lori Laughlin, who was implicated in the college cheating scandal. The network wrote Laughlin out of the show and severed all ties with her.

The fourth quarter, with holiday programming and advertising, is always a potent one for Hallmark. The network finished as the top cable network for women aged 25 to 54 and 18 to 49 in the fourth quarter of 2017 and 2018.

Summertime is fair game for Christmas programming, the networks believe. Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is premiering Christmas Camp on July 7. The movie stars Lily Anne Harrison and Bobby Campo. On July 13, Hallmark Channel will debut A Merry Christmas Match, starring Ashley Newbrough and Kyle Dean Massey.

Crown Media Family Networks is a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards Inc. Its portfolio also includes Hallmark Drama and streaming service Hallmark Movies Now. Hallmark Drama features the Hallmark Hall of Fame library and does not duplicate the programming of its sister networks.

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