Disney-ABC Completes TV Upfront Selling

Disney-ABC Television said it posted higher upfront advertising revenue for the 2017-2018 TV season in the “high single [percentage] digits across the board in all broadcast, cable and kids.”

Disney-ABC said overall price increases -- the cost per thousand viewers (CPMs) -- were in the “high single digits across all dayparts and cable.” More specifically, it said late-night and kids programming was even stronger -- with double-digit pricing increases.

The company did not provide more specific details. It was estimated that the ABC broadcast network pulled in around $1.8 billion in upfront prime-time sales in 2016.

Disney-ABC’s efforts -- along with recent CBS and CW results -- were higher than analysts' expectations. Broadcast and cable networks for total upfront advertising volume are projected to decline from 3% to 4%.

In addition, analysts estimated that TV networks would look to achieve mid-single-digit percentage gains in CPMs, in the 4% to 6% range.



Disney-ABC's efforts follow those of CBS and The CW, which completed their upfront advertising sales activity last week with higher overall volume gains and mid-to-high single-digit price gains, according to executives. According to media analysts, CBS is estimated to have pulled in around $2.6 billion in upfront deals for next season, while the CW is pegged at $525 million.

Earlier this year, Disney-ABC combined all its broadcast and cable upfront selling network efforts -- except for ESPN -- under Rita Ferro, who was promoted to president of advertising sales for Disney-ABC Television.

Disney-ABC also said digital-advertising spending grew 20% over a year ago -- with strong deals coming from technology, pharmaceutical, financial services, insurance and consumer-packaged-goods categories.

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