Lower CPM gains as upfront breaks
ABC and Fox have begun making deals with agencies
June 3, 2013
It looks as though analysts’ projections are correct: The networks aren’t winning the same CPM gains that they did last season.
Fox and ABC have both begun their upfront negotiations, buyers tell Media Life, and both are agreeing to lower CPM percentage increases than they did last year, when Fox saw gains of 8 to 9 percent and ABC saw 6 to 7 percent gains.
Both networks are still negotiating with a number of agencies, but they’ve finished up some of their deals.
“I couldn’t imagine Fox or ABC getting much more than plus 5,” says one buyer.
The CW has also reportedly made several deals. Last year it saw increases of 6.5 to 7.5 percent, but buyers say that gains will be lower this year.
CBS has yet to write any deals, buyers say.
The network, which finished No. 1 in adults 18-49 this past season, is pushing for higher CPM increases than the other networks, after seeing the biggest gains last year at 8 to 11 percent.
“CBS usually waits to go last and try and get the biggest CPM increase,” the buyer says.
As for NBC, its parent company, NBCUniversal, is pushing for combined cable and broadcast deals, says the buyer.
NBCU’s USA Network has been particularly aggressive, asking big dollars for its new package of “Modern Family” repeats debuting this fall.
Meanwhile another big cable company, Viacom, has also been active early on in the upfront.
“Viacom is supposedly very far along. They must be going for volume by asking for low increases,” says the buyer.
Going into the upfront, analysts predicted that CPM gains would average between 3 to 6 percent, depending on the network.
Last year the broadcast upfront wrapped up two weeks after the networks started writing deals, with final sales of $9.57 billion for the Big Five networks.
Cable, with many more networks, usually finishes several weeks or months after broadcast, as many agencies make their broadcast deals first, then move on to cable.
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