Media Buyers To Wall Street: Demand Is Soaring, Upfront Will Be Strong, Especially For Cable

Demand for all media, but especially big, national media outlets like the major TV networks, will continue to expand through 2011, and will culminate in a strong upfront TV advertising marketplace later this year, according to results of a survey of 31 media buyers represent more than $5 billion in U.S. advertising budgets, released Thursday by Wall Street securities firm Deutsche Bank.

"Continued strength in the ad market bodes particularly well for large cap media, as within advertising, national is expected to grow faster than local (4.3% vs. 2.5%), and within national advertising, cable networks are expected to take the most share behind only digital, driven in part by continued strength in auto," the firm's equity research team wrote in a report sent to investors.

Citing strong four quarter 2010 results, and the most recent advertising sales "pacings" during the beginning of the first quarter of this year, the securities analysts said network scatter ad prices are running 35% or more above last year's upfront advertising rates.

"We expect another strong upfront will be on the books," the report concluded, noting, "Our preliminary upfront estimate is strong 8% CPM (cost per thousand) increases for broadcast networks and 6% for cable networks, with total volume up over 10%."

Demand is improving among many of the largest TV advertising categories, but especially healthcare/pharmaceutical, telecommunications, and entertainment/media marketers, though consumer packaged goods, technology and retail are also demonstrating relatively strong demand, according to media buyers responding the survey.

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