Upfront: Cable's Final Numbers Up

TNT's The Closer To be sure, the deal-making took place before the recent economic troubles, but the cable industry posted a record high in upfront dollars this year, pulling in a combined $7.65 billion--a 9.3% volume gain over 2007. The figures were according to trade group Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau.

The results marked a second-straight solid upfront. In 2007, cable's $7 billion haul represented a 6.5% gain over the year before.

Among the reasons the CAB cited for the considerable increase this year were networks' continued investment in original programming, as well as ratings gains.

Networks such as TNT and TBS, with dramas such as "The Closer" and comedies like "The Bill Engvall Show," respectively, have been making a pitch that their offerings are on par with the broadcast networks. Parent Turner held its upfront presentation for the first time this year during the same week as the broadcasters. ESPN is now a mainstay there.



The CAB also said that although the performance may not be reflected in the upfront haul, cable's well-defined brands position the industry as the landscape evolves. "Well-established brands [are] fueling multi-platform solutions for a growing number of advertisers," the CAB said.

"Cable's performance has earned the cornerstone of any major advertiser's media plan," added CAB President-CEO Sean Cunningham.

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