Strong Upfront Revenues Continue To Flow Into Fall, Scatter Declines

Last summer’s strong national TV upfront deal-making continues to make an impression -- contributing to higher revenue this fall, with scatter sinking.

Upfront revenues for November for the 2016-2017 TV season are up 9% versus November 2015, with broadcast revenues 5% higher than a year ago and cable networks added 13%, according to Standard Media Index.

In comparison, overall scatter revenues is down versus a year ago -- 20%. Broadcast networks are off 29% in November scatter TV revenues; cable networks giving back 8%.

Still, some senior TV-media sales executives say scatter TV program pricing is healthy. In a recent earnings call, Les Moonves, chairman/chief executive officer of CBS Corp. said advertising is “accelerating in the fourth quarter due to higher pricing from the upfront that kicked in for the new season, and very, very strong scatter market.”

SMI also says direct-response advertising revenues from big scatter TV marketers witnessed a 26% drop in November -- with broadcast networks seeing a 60% decline and cable TV off 23%.



Other November ad categories  had declines: Large consumer electronics marketers sank 25%, with clothing/fashion off 16.7% and toy/video game manufacturers decreasing 9%. Looking at the upside: Specialty retailers' national TV spending improved 7.6%, and department stores witnessed 16.6% higher ad spend.

The research TV results come from SMI’s AccuTV product, which combines data from 70% of total market national media agency billing systems, with data modelling for the remaining 30%.

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