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Just over a year into his tenure at the top of Roku Media, president Charlie Collier sees his service, “the number one TV operating system in America,” as the streaming industry equivalent to a hit primetime series airing ahead of your new show on broadcast TV.

“We host the experience of television,” Collier told Variety co-editor-in-chief Cynthia Littleton at Variety‘s Entertainment Summit at CES in Las Vegas Wednesday. “And as a creator and a programmer, the programs that my team are working on are phenomenal original programs and we’ll build a lead-in for them. We’re going to be the lead-in to most of television, if not all of television. And that is an incredibly powerful thing.”

As former CEO of Fox Entertainment and general manager of AMC Networks, Collier is well-versed in the stacking a linear lineup to bring the most ROI to his network, and to its advertisers.

“If you want to look at what the highest-value new show is every year, look at what they put behind playoff football,” Collier said. “It was true in 1960 and ’70, and it’s still true today: the single biggest influence on a rating of a new show on a linear service is the lead-in.”

Collier pointed to the ratings return his former employer Fox saw when it debuted new Dan Harmon animated series “Krapopolis” behind the NFL on a Sunday, and CBS’s bump when it did the same thing with the Golden Globes this past week, as two examples of the importance of slotting real estate.

“That is why you do it, because — at least for the beginning of the show — some audience will be there,” Collier said, adding: “If we build the lead-in to television — again, you don’t just go to your show or channel anymore… you actually get hosted through an experience, and we are the hosts of that experience.”

Variety kicked off its Entertainment Summit at CES at the Aria in Las Vegas Wednesday, exploring how new technologies and innovation are steering the future of film, TV, digital media, music, podcasts, gaming and more.



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