Fox Gets Impressive CPMs For Upfront, Trades On 'X Factor'

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The upfront deal-making has begun. Fox closed a significant amount of business, with CPM rates up in the 11% range, sources said. Fox declined comment.

Fox has been cutting deals where networks agree to accept some makegoods in the form of online inventory, such as on Hulu. One estimate had 10% of a ratings under-delivery coming online.

Some buyers may have initially balked because the value of online impressions is still taking shape -- and after all, they are buying TV.

As expected, Fox is using the anticipated success of the coming "X Factor" this fall to bring in more money. Under one scenario, an agency might want to place a $1 million buy and pay a 5% CPM increase. But Fox would want a 15% jump.

Then the parties would negotiate and settle in at 10%. Yet the buyer would agree to spend an additional $1 million on the Simon Cowell-led "The X Factor" alone.

Fox is the top-rated network in the key 18-to-49 demo, so its 11% CPM increase range should help the market take shape, with NBC and ABC coming in with increases at a lesser rate, maybe in the high single digits.

CBS with its stable lineup could rival Fox -- and will likely be able to land the double-digit CPM growth that company CEO Leslie Moonves has requested. However, rates will probably not hit the level Moonves has suggested with a strong scatter market. The broadcast market could be wrapped by the middle of next week, with cable cranking up swiftly thereafter and deals closing the following week.

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