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The Death of the Upfront?

August 11, 2006 4:45 PM

Everyone is weighing in now, playing Monday-morning quarterback on why the recent TV upfront was such an exasperating, disappointing time for sellers. The answer is simple: After years of hearing about the complexity of cross-platform deals, the past upfront market was the litmus test, where the talk became reality.

It took months, for example, for Turner Network Television to enter the broadband space, which is does Aug. 15, because online ads for its DramaVision streaming media initiative for 30 movies were sold amidst the chaos of negotiating TV time.

Media buyers have been very demanding as they seek return on investment and wanted their TV, VOD, Internet and mobile deals all tied up together with one pretty ribbon.

Now that the upfront is largely over, maybe it’s time to sit on the beach and reflect: The TV upfront buying bazaar needs to be rationalized or maybe just abandoned. What a nightmare of multitasking this past one was indeed. I’m sure some hard lessons were learned by all.

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