The Pulse on Programming: October 2021 Preview

09.14.2021 Sara Brasfield4 min

Welcome back to our 2021 monthly programming spotlight! We are so glad you stopped by, and we know that as local business owners, it’s imperative for you to reach your target audience now more than ever. That is why we are continuing our monthly programming series that highlights three cable programs that not only are we excited about, but we hope you are, too. We will share when these shows will premiere, and what kind of audience is tuning into these high-value shows, to better prepare you as you start to build your media buy.

With Halloween on the horizon and the 2021 holiday season not far behind, October’s programming offers a lot of engaging, seasonal TV programming your business can target through your cable TV advertising. Even if inventory for these specific shows are “sold out”, we have a whole host of other shows that will reach your intended audience AND a team dedicated to discovering other opportunities with similar audiences for your business.

Here are three big programming opportunities for October:

1. The Walking Dead: World Beyond – Returning Series

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“The Walking Dead” is one of the most successful series in AMC’s history, and its spinoff series, “The Walking Dead: World Beyond” is following in its footsteps. The spinoff series drew an initial cable TV audience of nearly 1.6 million viewers for the premiere and the extended trailer for season two received more than 175,000 views during the first week of its release.

The show’s creators have officially announced the addition of one popular character from the original “Walking Dead” series to the new spinoff, and have teased future appearances by other favorite characters well-known to fans from the spin-off’s predecessor. That could spark renewed interest from viewers and drive its cable audience higher. For small businesses, there’s potential for great value in buying ad inventory around this 10-episode season ahead of its premiere on October 3.

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2. 31 Nights of Halloween – Holiday Event

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Freeform’s month-long celebration of holiday movies is a popular holiday-themed event that will pack the Freeform channel’s schedule with family movies that feature a spooky or supernatural story. The slate of programming has been a boon for Freeform’s ratings in the past: in 2020, its “31 Nights of Halloween” event launched the cable channel to the top of the primetime cable rankings among multiple target demographics.

While audience numbers will vary from one movie to the next, advertising opportunities are sky-high: Last year, Hocus Pocus drew a total audience of more than 8.2 million viewers for the network. Freeform may be a particularly useful advertising opportunity for businesses targeting young and adults, and adults with young children, in the 18-49 demographics. “31 Nights of Halloween” starts on October 1.

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3. Countdown to Christmas – Holiday Event

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For fans of the Hallmark Channel’s holiday-themed movies, Christmas can’t come soon enough. This year, the network’s slate of holiday content will get an early start with an official kickoff on October 22.

In 2020, Hallmark Channel produced eight new original movies as part of its “Countdown to Christmas” lineup, and those movies opened with an average viewership of 2.9 million. Overall, Hallmark Channel ranked as the top cable network on Saturdays and Sundays during its “Countdown to Christmas” season. While this year’s full slate of new movies hasn’t been announced, the Hallmark Channel is already teasing one movie starring Jordin Sparks, along with promises to reveal additional movies in the near future. Expect “Countdown to Christmas” to bring back its audience from 2020, giving your business a great advertising opportunity focused on women across all age demographics.

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Ready to plan new media buys that capitalize on upcoming programming opportunities? Contact Cox Media to get started today.

About the Author

Sara Brasfield

Sara is the Content Marketing Manager for Cox Media’s corporate team in Atlanta, with a passion for writing and delivering relevant insights for advertisers. With more than seven years of experience in B2B marketing, Sara aims to help Cox Media’s current and future clients connect with their customers find new and unique ways to grow their business. Outside of the (now virtual!) office, Sara loves spending time running, reading and supporting her favorite teams (Go Braves & Gamecocks!).

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