Nov 24, 2020
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Headline, Industry News

Upfront approach

Upfront advertising sales activity began to percolate over the weekend, and the major networks are preparing for the onslaught of dealmaking on advance blurb commitments for the 2008-09 season that will hit in earnest this week.

There was talk Friday that ABC was being aggressive and had cut its first round of deals. The Alphabet’s first deals were inked with media buying firms Starcom USA and Zenith, according to published reports. ABC declined comment.

Turner’s cablers are making an aggressive push to write their business sooner rather than later, as opposed to sticking with tradition and holding back until after the Big Four networks and CW have inked most of their deals. NBC Universal’s cablers, particularly the top-rated USA Network, are also expected to be out in front during the first round of dealmaking.

The major broadcasters generally book advance commitments for as much as 75%-80% of their ad inventory in primetime and other dayparts during the annual upfront sales frenzy, which follows the nets’ mid-May schedule presentations. The economic slowdown and a rough 2007-08 season for broadcasters are expected to generate a less-than-robust marketplace for the major nets this year.

One influential upfront watcher, Merrill Lynch’s Jessica Reif Cohen, has suggested that upfront sales for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW could be down anywhere from 2% to 14% from last year’s upfront haul of nearly $9 billion. Cable is projected to be flat or only slightly up with a take of $7.5 billion-$8 billion.

But one factor that may help upfront sales is that pricing in the scatter market, or spots purchased during the regular season with a much shorter lead time, has continued to be strong, so marketers may want to put more money down in the upfront to avoid paying higher prices later, particularly with the influx of political and Olympic-related advertising in the second half of the year.

With programming for the 2008-09 season still somewhat in flux due to the lingering impact of the writers strike, there had been speculation that upfront dealmaking could be delayed to as late as July. But industry insiders said over the weekend that the process appears to be moving along its traditional path — which means most of the business will be written in a three- to four-day flurry of dealmaking among Madison Avenue’s top media buyers and ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW.

Top media buying firms were said to be busy last week registering their budgets, or the amount of money their clients intend to spend, with nets last week — the precursor to the arm-wrestling negotiations about rate increases and what shows advertisers want to be in.

Turner’s move is no surprise given the cabler’s bold incursion last month into the week traditionally reserved for broadcast sked presentations with its own razzle-dazzle event for advertisers and media buyers.

A few Turner deals could be announced in the next five days.

Turner’s confidence springs from an overall increase in primetime ratings, bolstered by scripted originals including “The Closer” and “Saving Grace” on TNT and “House of Payne” and “The Bill Engvall Show” on TBS. It’s understood that Turner could end up selling more than the usual 60% of its primetime ad spots in this season’s upfront because the demand is likely to be strong for TNT and TBS, which have harvesting increases of as much as 30% in the scatter market compared to the same period in 2007.

Source: Variety

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Headline, Industry News

Upfront approach

Upfront advertising sales activity began to percolate over the weekend, and the major networks are preparing for the onslaught of dealmaking on advance blurb commitments for the 2008-09 season that will hit in earnest this week.

There was talk Friday that ABC was being aggressive and had cut its first round of deals. The Alphabet’s first deals were inked with media buying firms Starcom USA and Zenith, according to published reports. ABC declined comment.

Turner’s cablers are making an aggressive push to write their business sooner rather than later, as opposed to sticking with tradition and holding back until after the Big Four networks and CW have inked most of their deals. NBC Universal’s cablers, particularly the top-rated USA Network, are also expected to be out in front during the first round of dealmaking.

The major broadcasters generally book advance commitments for as much as 75%-80% of their ad inventory in primetime and other dayparts during the annual upfront sales frenzy, which follows the nets’ mid-May schedule presentations. The economic slowdown and a rough 2007-08 season for broadcasters are expected to generate a less-than-robust marketplace for the major nets this year.

One influential upfront watcher, Merrill Lynch’s Jessica Reif Cohen, has suggested that upfront sales for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW could be down anywhere from 2% to 14% from last year’s upfront haul of nearly $9 billion. Cable is projected to be flat or only slightly up with a take of $7.5 billion-$8 billion.

But one factor that may help upfront sales is that pricing in the scatter market, or spots purchased during the regular season with a much shorter lead time, has continued to be strong, so marketers may want to put more money down in the upfront to avoid paying higher prices later, particularly with the influx of political and Olympic-related advertising in the second half of the year.

With programming for the 2008-09 season still somewhat in flux due to the lingering impact of the writers strike, there had been speculation that upfront dealmaking could be delayed to as late as July. But industry insiders said over the weekend that the process appears to be moving along its traditional path — which means most of the business will be written in a three- to four-day flurry of dealmaking among Madison Avenue’s top media buyers and ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW.

Top media buying firms were said to be busy last week registering their budgets, or the amount of money their clients intend to spend, with nets last week — the precursor to the arm-wrestling negotiations about rate increases and what shows advertisers want to be in.

Turner’s move is no surprise given the cabler’s bold incursion last month into the week traditionally reserved for broadcast sked presentations with its own razzle-dazzle event for advertisers and media buyers.

A few Turner deals could be announced in the next five days.

Turner’s confidence springs from an overall increase in primetime ratings, bolstered by scripted originals including “The Closer” and “Saving Grace” on TNT and “House of Payne” and “The Bill Engvall Show” on TBS. It’s understood that Turner could end up selling more than the usual 60% of its primetime ad spots in this season’s upfront because the demand is likely to be strong for TNT and TBS, which have harvesting increases of as much as 30% in the scatter market compared to the same period in 2007.

Source: Variety

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headline, Industry News

Upfront approach

Upfront advertising sales activity began to percolate over the weekend, and the major networks are preparing for the onslaught of dealmaking on advance blurb commitments for the 2008-09 season that will hit in earnest this week.

There was talk Friday that ABC was being aggressive and had cut its first round of deals. The Alphabet’s first deals were inked with media buying firms Starcom USA and Zenith, according to published reports. ABC declined comment.

Turner’s cablers are making an aggressive push to write their business sooner rather than later, as opposed to sticking with tradition and holding back until after the Big Four networks and CW have inked most of their deals. NBC Universal’s cablers, particularly the top-rated USA Network, are also expected to be out in front during the first round of dealmaking.

The major broadcasters generally book advance commitments for as much as 75%-80% of their ad inventory in primetime and other dayparts during the annual upfront sales frenzy, which follows the nets’ mid-May schedule presentations. The economic slowdown and a rough 2007-08 season for broadcasters are expected to generate a less-than-robust marketplace for the major nets this year.

One influential upfront watcher, Merrill Lynch’s Jessica Reif Cohen, has suggested that upfront sales for ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW could be down anywhere from 2% to 14% from last year’s upfront haul of nearly $9 billion. Cable is projected to be flat or only slightly up with a take of $7.5 billion-$8 billion.

But one factor that may help upfront sales is that pricing in the scatter market, or spots purchased during the regular season with a much shorter lead time, has continued to be strong, so marketers may want to put more money down in the upfront to avoid paying higher prices later, particularly with the influx of political and Olympic-related advertising in the second half of the year.

With programming for the 2008-09 season still somewhat in flux due to the lingering impact of the writers strike, there had been speculation that upfront dealmaking could be delayed to as late as July. But industry insiders said over the weekend that the process appears to be moving along its traditional path — which means most of the business will be written in a three- to four-day flurry of dealmaking among Madison Avenue’s top media buyers and ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW.

Top media buying firms were said to be busy last week registering their budgets, or the amount of money their clients intend to spend, with nets last week — the precursor to the arm-wrestling negotiations about rate increases and what shows advertisers want to be in.

Turner’s move is no surprise given the cabler’s bold incursion last month into the week traditionally reserved for broadcast sked presentations with its own razzle-dazzle event for advertisers and media buyers.

A few Turner deals could be announced in the next five days.

Turner’s confidence springs from an overall increase in primetime ratings, bolstered by scripted originals including “The Closer” and “Saving Grace” on TNT and “House of Payne” and “The Bill Engvall Show” on TBS. It’s understood that Turner could end up selling more than the usual 60% of its primetime ad spots in this season’s upfront because the demand is likely to be strong for TNT and TBS, which have harvesting increases of as much as 30% in the scatter market compared to the same period in 2007.

Source: Variety

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Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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