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ABC Winds Down Its Upfront; CPM Increases Appear to Be Down Significantly From Last Year Variety

ABC confirmed it has essentially wrapped up its upfront ad sales negotiations, Variety reports, with the network apparently settling for significantly lower CPM increases than what it was able to secure in 2013.

ABC is "the latest broadcast outlet  to acknowledge it had completed negotiations in what buyers have characterized as a tepid market, the Variety story reports. "Ad buyers estimate the Walt Disney network may see its volume of advance ad commitments fall by as much as 5% to 10% in this annual market for commercial inventory sold for the coming programming season."

The report adds: "In 2013, ABC secured between $2 billion and $2.2 billion, according to Variety estimates, which means the broadcaster of 'Grey’s Anatomy' and 'Scandal' may have secured between $1.8 billion and $2.1 billion. An ABC spokeswoman declined to comment."

Along with sales volume, CPM increases appear to be down.

"Like many other broadcast networks this year, ABC was able to secure deals by offering a lesser rate of increase in the cost of  a CPM, a measure that looks at the price of reaching 1,000 viewers which is instrumental in these annual talks," Variety reports. "Last year, ABC held out for as much as 7%; in 2014, the network did deals with CPM increases ranging from 4% to 5%, according to ad buyers and a person familiar with the situation."

CBS has also indicated it is finished with its upfront, as we reported last week. Negotiations continue for Fox, NBC, CW and cable channels.

Variety adds: "As it did last year, [ABC] is likely to place emphasis on the so-called 'scatter' market, when advertisers buy commercials closer to their air date, and can often face paying a premium if demand is high. Other broadcast and cable outlets are taking a similar outlook, according to executives on both sides of the haggle."