CBS' Moonves: Upfront Going 'Phenomenally Well'

CBS’ Les Moonves says the current upfront market for the network is very strong -- much better than a year ago.

Speaking at the Cannes Lions event, the chairman/CEO of CBS said: “Upfront selling is happening as we speak, and it’s going phenomenally well. We had a rough year a year ago at the upfront and that’s because people were confused about digital.”

Media-buying executives say the major broadcast TV networks are nearing completion of upfront deals with some big media agencies.

Estimates are that networks are getting anywhere from 8.5% to 12% to 13% price increases on the cost per thousand viewers. It hasn’t been determined where the overall broadcast TV upfront dollar volume will land.

Networks are also continuing to package more digital TV premium advertising of shows, with programs running on their digital apps/platforms, into traditional linear TV upfront deals with advertisers. Moonves said: “We’ve figured out the combination of television and digital is extremely effective.”



Looking long-term, Moonves said: “We believe OTT [over-the-top digital TV] is our future.”

Although it took some convincing, Moonves now believes OTT services like CBS All Access will be a big business. In that regard, CBS All Access is launching one of CBS’ “crown jewels,” a new “Star Trek” starting in January -- not on the traditional linear CBS network.

Many executives believe TV networks are benefiting this year from a return of ad revenue from digital advertising -- thanks, in part, to concerns over digital ad-blocking, transparency, ad fraud and viewability issues.

3 comments about "CBS' Moonves: Upfront Going 'Phenomenally Well'".
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  1. Leonard Zachary from T___n__, June 24, 2016 at 11:44 a.m.

    Dead Cat Bounce Going 'Phenomenally Well'

  2. B Sass from U of C, June 24, 2016 at 5:17 p.m.

    Does anyone know if more deals are being written outside of the traditional Nielsen GRP construct or is it based on Nielsen data plus some other conventions, leaving the market still dependent on Nielsen? Thanks for any feedback. 

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 25, 2016 at 5:42 a.m.

    B Sass, Nielsen viewer ratings remain as the base currency in almost every one of these "special" targeting machinations. The "non-Nielsen info is merely an add-on to the Nielsen ratings, usually on an index basis.

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