The WB and UPN generated the largest increases among all network categories, nearly double those of the other networks.
In the cable sector, the large broad-based networks declined an average of 2%, Myers says, with the decision by USA Networks to sell large blocks of inventory early in the upfront season at CPM decreases ranging from 8 to 15% having a significant impact. The Turner Entertainment networks are reported to have held their CPM in the plus range, while Lifetime captured a larger share for its sibling movie network by offering CPM decreases in the low single digits.
The major cable niche networks experienced CPM increases of an average 4%, while specialty networks MTV, E!, Comedy Central and ESPN generated 6 to 8% gains. Cable news networks had 5% overall increases.
The syndication market experienced strong growth, especially among the top tier programming, such "Oprah," "Seinfeld," "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune," Myers says.
"All this reflects continuing positive news for the national television business," Myers says, "and is also positive for those media that tend to capture budgets that move down from network when that marketplace tightens, including syndication, the top 50 spot television markets, and network radio.