Looking ahead: Waiting for the upfront to break
With broadcast presentations done, waiting game begins
May 20, 2013
Now that the networks have presented their fall schedules to advertisers, the waiting game begins.
Sometime over the next few weeks the upfront will break and the networks will begin writing deals with media buyers for ad time in next season’s programming.
Last year the first upfront deal came early. Univision reached an agreement with Starcom just before giving its upfront presentation. As much as anything, the deal spoke to the great desire among advertisers to connect with Hispanics.
The English-language networks began to write deals shortly after, in the final two days of May.
The first budgets probably won’t be registered with the networks this year until late this week or early next week, as the two sides usually don’t begin negotiating until after Memorial Day.
This upfront may draw out longer than last year’s, as buyers have made it clear that they’re unwilling to pay steep CPM increases following a disappointing season for all the broadcast networks.
That means negotiations will likely draw out as the two sides haggle over pricing.
“Chatter is heating up, but no deal yet,” notes a report issued last week by UBS research.
It predicts that broadcast will win CPM gains slightly higher than the 4 to 7 percent growth that will be seen by cable networks.
In addition to waiting for the upfront to break, here are some other things in media to watch for this week:
The Obie Awards, which honor the top outdoor advertising campaigns of the past year, will be handed out Tuesday during the closing night of the 2013 Outdoor Advertising Association of America/TAB National Convention &Trade Show at the JW Marriott at LA LIVE! in Los Angeles.
Here’s a list of the nominees.
The French Open, the year’s second Grand Slam event, begins Sunday. It will be televised on ESPN2, the Tennis Channel and NBC.
Notable season finales
Showtime’s “The Big C” and CBS’s “Rules of Engagement” air their series finales tonight. CBS’s “Mike & Molly” and “Hawaii Five-0” air their third-season enders.
ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and NBC’s “Grimm” wrap up Tuesday.
On the final night of sweeps, Wednesday, a number of broadcast shows will air their season finales: ABC’s “The Middle,” “Modern Family” and “Nashville;” CBS’s “Criminal Minds;” and NBC’s “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” and “Chicago Fire.”
And the series finale of “Smash” airs on NBC Sunday night.
Notable season premieres
ABC’s “Motive” and Fox’s “The Goodwin Games” premiere tonight for brief summer runs.
Fox’s “MasterChef” returns for season four Wednesday night.
NBC’s “Save Me” and Fox’s “Does Someone Have to Go” make their series debuts Thursday, and ABC’s “Rookie Blue” returns for a fourth season.
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