Media Dynamics, a media consulting company, says the growth of prime-time TV upfront revenue has slowed over the last five years (for the broadcast year 2010-2011 through 2014-2015) from the previous five seasons.
The last five upfront markets witnessed 11% higher spending to $90.5 billion -- with cable up 29% and broadcast networks adding only 1%. Growth in the previous five-year period -- 2005-2006 to 2009-2010 -- was at 19% to $79.9 billion over the previous period.
Cable share of the upfront market has grown steadily to a 50.5% share of upfront revenues in the most recent five-year period -- up from 44.2% in the previous five, and higher than 37.9% in the period from 2000-2001 to 2004-2005.
In comparison, ABC, CBS and NBC in the early 1990s typically garnered 70% of all prime-time upfront sales -- now around 37%.
Ed Papazian, president of Media Dynamics, Inc., stated: “Clearly, the slowdown in upfront spending is a function of declined economic growth, but digital media has also begun to siphon off upfront dollars.”
Media Dynamics says over the past 25 seasons, advertisers have spent $307 billion in TV’s upfront marketplace
Papazian adds: “The 2015-16 [upfront] season should be the most significant upfront in years, and possibly a tipping point for traditional TV’s dominance.”