Cable Nets Seek CPM Gains In Upfront
"They are going to try to build some of their increases to close that gap," says one veteran media agency executive. Media executives say the cable market should start up beginning next week.
Just as the broadcast networks did in their part of the upfront, cable networks find themselves in a position where there could be a reduction in gross ratings points because of commercial ratings.
For cable it could be more than broadcast networks--anywhere from 5% to 8% shrinkage in gross ratings points for the 2007-2008 season. Even with cable viewership slightly up this season versus the year before, cable networks will need to catch up, looking to charge higher prices--at least in the 5% to 8% range concerning the cost-per-thousand viewers.
In addition, with fewer spots to sell, "it could force some cable networks in the scatter market to go out of sale in the coming season," warns one cable advertising sales executive.
MTV Networks has a more serious problem. Its commercial ratings history puts them some 15% to 18% below that of their respective program ratings--which is why MTV Networks made the decision to only ink upfront deals based on program ratings in this market.
Another cable sales executive said marketers might find it tough to turn MTV down. "Where would the money go?" he says. Another executive says CW, for one, could take some of the MTV upfront dollars. But overall the CW doesn't have that many ratings points to sell.
Media executives say before cable moves, possibly starting next week, the CW upfront deals need to be completed this week. Syndication as well might be squeezed in before cable.
"There is some pressure by syndicators to move now," says a media agency executive.
Syndication wants to start moving quickly--especially for some of its daytime programming. Broadcast network programmers took in healthy double-digit percent increases on the cost-per-thousand viewer prices for their respective daytime soaps.
Syndicators feel it is deserving of similar double-digit hikes for its daytime talk shows.