ABC Believed To Nab 5% Rise In Upfront Prices

Another TV network is nearing the completion of its upfront deal-making.

ABC said it's mostly done with the major media agencies -- which, according to analysts, comprise about 75% to 80% of the upfront TV advertisers.

An ABC spokeswoman said the network was pleased with where it landed -- that it sold the “appropriate” level of upfront inventory and that the network was in a good position for the scatter marketplace. Media executives believe that ABC grabbed around a 4% to 5% price increase -- the cost per thousand viewers (CPMs).

Last week, CBS issued a statement that it had concluded its upfront deal-making with analysts estimating that it also took in mid-single-digit percentage price gains.

Overall price increases are lower than the high-single-digit percentage gains that networks made a year ago.

NBC is also nearing completion of most of its upfront deals, according to media executives. An NBC spokeswoman had no comment. Early reports were that packaging NBC Television Network deals with its NBC cable networks slowed down the process for some media agencies looking to negotiate cable and broadcast separately.

Media executives say Fox is still working on deals, but at levels with lower price gains. Much of this is due to Fox's existing high CPM levels. A Fox spokesperson had no comment about its upfront activities.

Overall estimates are that the broadcast networks' upfront revenue take could be down around 5% or more from the $9.2 billion upfront totals of a year ago.

Cable networks are now working slowly on their upfront deals.



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