ABC plans to sell less advertising inventory in its upfront negotiations than it has in previous years. "We are comfortable with the rates ABC has been achieving," says Tom Staggs, CFO of parent
company Walt Disney." Staggs indicates that Disney believes it will fare well in the scatter market, when wary advertisers commit money close to the air time. He notes that "major advertisers remain
on the sidelines" in the current upfront marketplace.
The move shows how ABC is changing its strategy to accommodate shrinking demand. When scatter is robust, advertisers typically put
more money into upfront buys, in an effort to avoid paying higher rates for unsecured ad inventory. This year, they see little reason to part with their cash early when prices are holding steady or
even falling below what they paid in 2008.
ABC has been more aggressive than other networks in this year's upfront market, according to media buyers, and in many cases has refused to
offer the deeper price rollbacks on ad time many buying agencies have sought.
Read the whole story at Mediaweek »