The Upfronts: Where's There's Money, There's Drama

Getting closer to the upfront market, CBS has given advertisers one more reason to check their guns--and egos--at the door. It will launch a new broadband, CBS-branded channel, according to reports.

The timing is interesting. At this late hour--two weeks to go before national advertisers actually commit to their advertising dollars--advertisers must now need to rethink again how much money they'll spend this season with traditional television, and how much they'll put toward new digital platforms.

Could big media be throwing a curve ball in this upfront market--where the traditional TV advertising sales market seems to be soft? Media executives seem ready.

At many of the upfront panels, media executives talked about holding back money for new opportunities that might arise through the year. Dare we call it--The Digital Scatter Market? Others, like John Musyznski, CEO of Starcom USA, said, "The upfront is everyday."



By this estimation, the upfront takes on slightly new meaning--people that want to buy video stuff way ahead of time, way ahead of the competition, for way cheaper prices-- and, at any time of the year they want.

Networks sales chiefs have said that it really doesn't matter when the money comes in-- the only thing that matters is how much money they'll get at the end of the year.

Gee, that's so boring. Where's the drama, fun, and excitement of spending billions of dollars in a short couple of days? This is what television is all about--both on the screen and behind closed doors on Madison Ave.

Big media shouldn't want to make this a boring business, where fewer stories--both on a consumer and business front--are being written.

There's business in TV drama. There's drama in TV business.

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