Quibi Cancels Launch Party, Upfronts Impacted Over Coronavirus Concerns

The growing outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is being felt all across the pop culture landscape. Earlier today, we reported on how Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune have shifted to tapings without studio audiences over health concerns. As public health official continue to warn against attending events with large crowds, we're learning that shortform digital service Quibi has cancelled its April 5 launch party in Culver City – though the app will still go live the following day.

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Quibi had this to say about the decision, in the following official statement:

"While we look forward to launching the Quibi app on April 6, we have decided to cancel our pre-launch event party out of an abundance of caution as we continue to monitor COVID-19. Supporting the health and well-being of everyone involved is our top priority."

Quibi recently revealed its list of programming content that will be available on April 6, when the service goes live. On the scripted side, viewers have Most Dangerous Game, When the Streetlights Go On, Survive, Flipped; while on the reality/variety side, viewers have Chrissy's Court, Punk'd, Murder House Flip, Singled Out, Gayme Show!, and more to choose from.

Quibi Cancels Launch Party, Upfronts Impacted Over Coronavirus Concerns

But Quibi is far from the company to feel the impact of the coronavirus. This season's "Upfronts" – when media outlets polish up their short-term and long-term programming plans to advertisers and media buyers during live presentations in New York City – is already seeing events canceled, postponed, or modified.

FreeWheel Media's presentation was scheduled for this week, but has been postponed. FOX News will not have an event, as was scheduled for March 24. A+E Networks will not have a live event on March 25, but will offer virtual presentations to ad agencies the week of March 23. AMC Networks has also cancelled its March 18 presentation, releasing the following statement:

"In light of current events, we have decided to cancel our live upfront presentation scheduled for March 18 in favor of individual conversations with our advertising clients."

For many of the companies – especially those with presentations in late April – the decision to go ahead or pull the plug will be a day-to-day decision. Here's a look at who's still in play: BBC News (April 27), Vudu (April 28), Roku (April 28), Verizon Media (April 28), Vice Media Group (April 29), Ellen Digital Network (April 29), Amazon (April 30), YouTube (April 30), Hulu (May 6), NBCUniversal (May 11), Fox Entertainment (May 11), Telemundo (May 11), Univision (May 12), Disney (May 12), Discovery (May 12), WarnerMedia (May 13), ViacomCBS (May 13), and The CW (May 14).

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About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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