NBC Claims It Led Nets In Upfront Gains


BEVERLY HILLS -- NBC won the 2013-2014 TV season among key 18-49 viewers -- and apparently the most recent upfront advertising market as well.

In speaking at the Television Critics Association meeting here on Sunday, Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, said NBC led all networks in key gains in upfront dollar volume and pricing. He said NBC gained $300 million in volume from a year ago.

Media executives say NBC pulled in $2.52 billion in total upfront sales when including prime-time, late night and sports programming -- up 12% from the $2.25 billion a year ago.

Executives say NBC grabbed high price increases -- the price per thousand viewers [CPMs] -- of 7.5% to 8%. The average price gains for the broadcast upfront marketplace this year are estimated at around 4% to 5%.
NBC is still behind other networks in actual CPMs.

Concerning the upcoming season, CBS is revamping its prime-time schedule, running some expected big fall NFL games on Thursday night -- which analysts say will cause some networks some concern. In competing against this, Greenblatt says: “It’s bit of an opportunity. CBS won’t have its big comedy lineup -- through they will be be using [those shows] elsewhere.”

Greenblatt feels NBC could make some gains with new comedies on on the night: “We are hoping those Thursday games are going take a long time to take root.”

To date, including the summer, NBC is now up 10% in 18-49 viewers, the only network gaining year to year, Greenblatt says. He adds even without the high-rated Olympics, NBC ratings for the just completed season still topped over broadcasters.

One of the bigger performance measures, Greenblatt notes that it gained 27% in total viewers for last season --  good for second place to first-place’s CBS.

NBC continue to be strong in the summer -- helped with its top “America’s Got Talent" -- winning every week so far, except for two weeks when ABC had the NBA finals.

Greenblatt says its late night shows continue to be strong, especially “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”, which not only regular beats its competition but at times beat other late night network shows with repeat airings.

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