The broadcast upfront crosses the finish line
July 14, 2016
The broadcast upfront is just about wrapped up.
Fox Networks Group finished the bulk of its negotiations this week, including Fox, which saw much stronger pricing increases than last year and also sold more volume, according to Media Life sources.
The network earned CPM gains of between 8 and 10 percent, which is much better than last year. It is not, however, as strong as the increases seen by the other broadcast networks, which owes in part to the fact that Fox’s pricing skews very high thanks to years of getting big dollars for “American Idol.”
The network also sold more volume than last year, always a sign of a healthy upfront. Networks will sell more now if it’s in high demand. If not, they’ll wait to auction that extra ad inventory off during the scatter market, when ad time that didn’t sell during the upfront is sold.
Buyers say there was a lot of interest in two shows in particular, the new Major League Baseball drama “Pitch” and the “24” spinoff “24: Legacy.”
Cross-platform and cross-media sales
Overall, Fox Networks Group sold about 75 to 80 percent of its inventory, and total volume for FNG was up 5 percent.
FNG sold across platforms, including video on demand and online video.
The upfront closes much earlier than the past two years, when media buyers and sellers were still haggling into August. It’s a sign that this year was much more of a seller’s market than the past two years, when buyers pushed for lower pricing.
Bigger broadcast network gains
The other networks saw larger pricing gains this year as well. ABC, for instance, was up about 10 percent, double what it averaged in CPM increases last year.
CBS and the CW both sold more inventory than last year, while posting double-digit percentage gains. NBCUniversal posted gains in the teens, though that includes its cable networks as well.
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