Upfront Forecasts: Cable Surpasses Broadcast

People-Watch-TvMore optimistic than other recent media analysts' estimations, Anthony DiClemente of Barclays Capital expects upfront revenue for the major four broadcast and cable networks to climb 4.3% and 6.3%, respectively.

Much like other estimates, DiClemente expects cable to be higher than broadcast overall -- getting to $9.88 billion and the broadcast networks $9.5 billion. A recent estimate from Morgan Stanley said broadcast networks could gain 1% to $9.2 billion, and 4.3% to $9.7 billion for cable. There are some 60-plus advertising-supported cable networks.

DiClemente guesses that CBS will reach nearly $3 billion overall; ABC will come in at $2.6 billion; and NBC will hit $1.8 billion.

Fox will come in after ABC with $2.1 billion, but DiClemente expects volume to be 2.1% lower, partly because of weaker current season “American Idol” ratings. “Idol” contributes a healthy overall share of Fox’s prime-time ratings. Also, Fox will hold back more upfront inventory for the scatter marketplace.

In a report, DiClemente says automotive advertising will push the market -- still representing some 20% of overall upfront spend. He says this year’s upfront will be still strong. although not as powerful as last year’s marketplace.

He believes CBS will have the best results when it comes to the cost-per-thousand viewers: 10% higher versus a year ago. Fox is expected to increase 9%; ABC, 8%; and NBC, 7%.

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4 comments about "Upfront Forecasts: Cable Surpasses Broadcast".
  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston , May 1, 2012 at 10:03 a.m.
    No surprise. There's essentially no significant benefit to shows distributed to 100 percent of TV homes over shows distributed to 92 percent of TV homes. Advertisers can reach the people they want with cable/satellite now, unless they think local news is somehow crucial. Stations are no longer a necessity in the entertainment equation.
  2. Tom Gray from WCMH-TV , May 1, 2012 at 11 a.m.
    While a few cable networks reach over 90 percent of TV homes now, only a limited number of cable programs can reach the audience levels of broadcast tv. A down Idol still reaches 18 million homes, while cable's top rated programs can only deliver 3-4 million. And local news is not part of the network broadcast upfront dollars.
  3. DM Drake from CableTV , May 1, 2012 at 11:16 a.m.
    While all advertising is good, more & more advertisers are recognizing the benefit of geo & demo-targeted marketing that cable provides as opposed to the shotgun approach of broadcast.
  4. Dan Auito from Next Century Studios , May 1, 2012 at 6:04 p.m.
    Don't forget web tv with its ability to reach 5.9 billion internet connected devices world-wide on demand. As far as reaching an interested audience, again, key words and meta tagging video will give the viewer exactly what they want to see at the specific moment they want it as well as the ability to watch it anytime they feel like it. Dan Auito COO at www.ncs.tv