Viacom Upfront: Double-Digit Percentage CPMs, But Volume Flat

While deeply involved in a merger talks with CBS, Viacom has finished its TV upfront advertising deal making -- across all platforms -- posting low double-digit percentage pricing gains with flat overall upfront revenue.

According to media executives, Viacom maintained upfront dollar volume across its networks/platforms by “doubling” media agency deals across its digital, social and advanced advertising businesses.

Viacom took in 12% to 14% average gains in CPMs -- the cost per thousand viewers -- across its media networks, which includes MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, VH1, BET and Paramount Network.

For its fiscal year 2018 ending last September, Viacom posted a 4% declined ($157 million) in U.S. domestic advertising revenues to $3.6 billion, due to lower linear TV viewership.



Typically, anywhere from 65% to 75% of a TV network’s advertising inventory is sold in the upfront advertising sales period that occurs before the September-to-August TV season.

Viacom representatives had no comment regarding upfront activities.

In fiscal 2018 year, Viacom’s Advanced Marketing Solutions -- which comprises addressable ad inventory and Viacom brand solution across platforms -- pulled in more than $300 million in full-year revenues.

Deal-making for Viacom during this upfront period also included higher revenue for Advanced Marketing Solutions, influencer, branded programming, shopper and experiential campaigns.

CBS and Viacom set a August 8 deadline for their merger talks, according to reports.

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