NEW ORLEANS -- As ratings at some TV networks continue to fall, even though prices for ads have not, are advertisers paying more for less? A group of network sales executives on a 4As conference panel Tuesday morning said no. But they made some salient points while arguing the case.
If advertisers do pay more for less, it’s their own fault, said Linda Yaccarino, president, ad sales, NBCUniversal. “There’s more choice than ever for advertisers to mitigate CPM inflation."
David Levy, president of sales at Turner Broadcasting, agreed. Buyers and planners continue to think of cable and broadcast channels as different media. “You should buy TV,” he said. That is for advertisers looking for reach.
Jo Ann Ross, president of CBS network sales, added that no one is holding a gun to advertisers forcing them to buy either network or cable. “They can walk away if they don’t see value there,” she said.
There seemed to be agreement on the panel that the TV Everywhere initiative hasn’t worked so well. “It's awful from a consumer standpoint,” said Levy. But he is hopeful it will get better as programmers agree to commit more content to the initiative, which allows cable subscribers to access programming across an array of media.
Jeff Lucas, head of sales for Viacom’s Music & Entertainment Group, agreed. “It should be a lot better,” he said, noting that only about half of U.S. pay subscribers are technologically enabled to authenticate.
The executives said measurement needs to improve particularly on the cross-platform front. “Counting every eyeball across screens is important,” said Ross.