Fox Nears Completion On Upfront Deals, NFL Pushing Higher Levels

Fox Networks Group has nearly completed its upfront negotiations -- with slightly stronger results than a year ago, partly attributable to strong ad interest in new NFL prime-time programming.

For its broadcast prime-time programming, the cost-per-thousand viewer pricing (CPM) was in the “high single digit” percentages, according to media executives.

In addition, Fox Networks Group as a whole witnessed volume gains for Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, and its FX cable networks. Fox representatives would not comment about current upfront activity.

The Fox broadcast network had strong demand for its new NFL “Thursday Night Football” package. That NFL prime-time package was previously split among broadcast networks CBS and NBC.

Fox's programming on all its digital video platforms scored even better results -- with mid-double-digit percentage CPM hikes. Fox has a 30% stake in digital video platform Hulu, which has an advertising option for subscribers.

A year ago, Fox recorded 6% to 8% average growth on CPM gains, according to execs, with total volume for the Fox broadcast network at $1.6 billion -- about the same as the year before.

A week ago, The CW virtually completed its upfront deal-making, according to media executives, up 15% versus the year before to $630 million, with high 10% to 15% gains on the cost per thousand viewer [CPM] prices.

Fox’s highly touted efforts to slim down its prime-time broadcast advertising -- with its so-called JAZ two-commercial pods -- was sold out for the 2018-2019 season.

JAZ, which stands for “just A and Z” pods -- the first and last commercial positions -- will run on Sunday night during its animation block on the Fox broadcast network, and in a select number of other programs on Fox channels.

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