TV Upfront Forecast: Moderate Price Gains For Broadcast, Slight Volume Increase For Cable

The TV upfront market is forecast to see low single- to mid-high single-percentage price increases, according to the two latest estimates. For the top overall broadcaster, CBS could gain 7% on the cost per thousand viewers (CPMs) versus a year ago, with slightly lower price gains for NBC, Fox, and ABC, according to Brian Wieser, senior research analyst of Pivotal Research Group.

Wieser says all this would be slightly lower than historical trends over the last three and a half decades, which were at 8.5%.

In addition, he expects that broadcast networks collectively will be in the range of similar dollar volume versus a year ago, or slipping as much as two percent versus a year ago -- and says cable networks are likely to see volume increases.  



For last upfront period, estimates were that broadcast networks pulled in $9.2 billion, with cable networks collectively getting $9.8 billion.

Another estimate from Topeka Capital Markets report indicates that CBS is expecting a 7% CPM hike; ABC, an increase of 6%; Fox, a 5% rise; NBC, a gain of 3%; and CW, a 1.5% decline.

Topeka expects CBS to improve 2% in volume to $2.55 billion; with ABC up 0.5% to $2.35 billion; NBC down 5% to $2.01 billion; Fox flat at $1.8 billion; and CW down 2.2% to $490 million.

1 comment about "TV Upfront Forecast: Moderate Price Gains For Broadcast, Slight Volume Increase For Cable".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 14, 2014 at 10:45 a.m.

    We're hearing the same thing from our varied sources. As of now, and subject to revision as the major buys go down, it looks like an average CPM increase of about 5.5% for the five broadcast TV nets in primetime sales. This should not be confused with actual revenues, due to continued rating erosion. The growth in dollars that are taken in could well be flat, compared to last year, or a bit lower.

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