In Depth

CBS Wraps Upfront With $2.5 Billion to $2.75 Billion in Ad Commitments; Eye Network Pressed Advertisers for More Substantial Price Increases Than Other Networks

By Brian Steinberg
Advertising Age

CBS Corp.'s flagship network has completed upfront negotiations, securing an estimated $2.5 billion to $2.75 billion in ad commitments for the new fall season, according to a person familiar with negotiations.

CBS sold approximately 80% of its inventory during the upfront, this person suggested, in line with how rival networks have managed their ad time in this year's bargaining session, during which the nation's TV networks sell the bulk of their ad time for the coming TV season.

According to ad buyers and other people familiar with the network's negotiations, CBS was securing deals that called for an increase in the cost of reaching 1,000 viewers, or a CPM, in the range of 13% to 15%.

CBS pressed for more substantial price hikes than other networks this year, even though many ad buyers felt News Corp.'s Fox, which enjoys the highest ratings among viewers aged 18 to 49 -- a demographic coveted by advertisers -- set the tone of the market by opting for a smaller percentage increase. The network has touted its status as the nation's most broadly watched TV network as well as the relative stability of its prime-time lineup.