CBS' TV Ratings Down, But Upfront Performance Strong

Beverly Hills, Calif. -- CBS lost its 18-49 title this past TV season to NBC, but it maintained a strong position in the just completed upfront market  and, going forward, touts good creative momentum.

Nina Tassler, chairman of CBS Entertainment, in speaking at the Television Critics Association meeting here, noted CBS tops all broadcast networks when it comes to Emmy nominations (47) and second to HBO’s 99 nods.
Overall, she says, about the business: “We are in robust creative era.” 

Concerning the seemingly advent of media content consolidation -- in regards to 21st Century Fox bid for Time Warner, and analysts speculation about other TV content deals -- Tassler isn’t worried.

“The best voices always wins, that’s a rule of thumb,” she says. While CBS relies on its own production business, it takes TV shows from other studio groups.

In regards to new platforms, such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu continuing to grow, Tassler believes that ultimately all are good for those production TV shows. “The winners here are content creators.”

CBS 18-49 ratings fell 17% to a 2.4 average rating looking at Nielsen live plus seven days worth of time-shifted viewing -- numbers that declined, in part, because of bad comparisons to a year ago when it aired the Super Bowl.
CBS led all broadcasters in total viewers for the 11th time in 12 year; its average prime-time viewing audience sank 9% to 10.73 million.

“There are many more metrics many more standards by which we are measured,” says Tassler.

Analysts says CBS upfront dealing for the 2014-2015 season totalled more $2.6 billion (not including sports or other dayparts) -- about the same as year ago -- getting around 5% increases on the cost per thousand viewers [CPMs]. It also closed some C7 deals -- average commercial ratings plus seven days of time-shifted viewing. C3 being still overall industry standard metric for TV advertisers.
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