The medium found itself beset by problems, including a leveling off of ratings and penetration growth. It was no longer stealing viewers--and ad dollars--from
the broadcast networks while it faced a new competitor: the Internet. While that would seem an ill omen for this year's upfront, some media analysts say cable is doing fine and will get a spending
"It should be a better year than last year," says David Joyce, an analyst with investment firm Miller Tabak & Co. "It's possible this could be a year for mid-single-digit growth for the cable networks." A senior analyst at Kagan Research, Derek Baine, sees an increase for the full year, although a shift to year-round buying may dampen the upfront a bit.