May 16, 2021

Media Decoder: CBS on Top, Again, as Upfront Market Ends

As the big English-language broadcast networks wrap up their advertising sales before the start of the 2011-12 season, in what is known as the upfront market, CBS is again taking the lead in total volume.

CBS completed its upfront sales process on Thursday, hours after ABC said that it had finished. Like ABC, and the other two broadcasters that are done, CW and Fox, sales executives at CBS are writing business with robust increases in total volume as well as in rates.

CBS’s total volume is being estimated at $2.5 billion to $2.55 billion, compared with $2.4 billion in the upfront market last year, which took place before the start of the 2010-11 season. Like last year, ABC’s total volume is second to CBS’s. ABC’s tally is being estimated at $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion.

Fox Broadcasting, which was first across the finish line last Thursday, is estimated to have sold $1.98 billion to $1.99 billion. CW, which was done on Tuesday, is estimated at $400 million to $420 million.

NBC is expected to complete its upfront sales later on Thursday or Friday. NBC is estimated to have sold $1.6 billion in total volume in the upfront market last year, and no analyst expects NBC’s take to grow so much that it would surpass CBS’s.

In terms of rate increases, known as cost per thousand viewers, CBS is also running ahead of its competitors.

The CBS increases in cost per thousand viewers are being estimated at 13 to 15 percent. The network’s sales executives were reported to have initially asked for increases in the range of 18 percent.

ABC, Fox and CW all increased their rates at around 10 to 11 percent.

Analysts had predicted that the five big English-language networks would do well because of the recent strong demand for commercial time on television.

As for its inventory, CBS sold about 80 percent of its total commercial time for the coming season in the upfront market.

Fox also sold about 80 percent and CW sold an estimated 75 to 80 percent. It was not immediately known what ABC decided to do about its inventory.

Commercial time that is not sold in the upfront market is held back to sell during the season in what is known as the scatter market.

In addition to the major English-language broadcasters, there are upfront markets for Hispanic television as well as cable channels.

ABC is part of the Walt Disney Company. CBS is owned by the CBS Corporation. CW is owned by the CBS Corporation and Time Warner. Fox is part of the News Corporation. And NBC is a unit of the NBCUniversal division of Comcast.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=75de7f22d222e446a044a563fd1bb95c

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