NBC has finished its upfront negotiations, tying up loose ends well after the July 4 weekend, which has been the informal deadline in recent years, reports Jeanine Poggi in Advertising Age.
The network brought in a 20% increase in advertising commitments over last year, the story reports. Talks finished later than usual because the broadcast ad inventory was bundled for the first time with NBCUniversal’s cable and digital properties, the story notes. Last year, NBC had things pretty well wrapped up by mid-June.
NBC secured $2.1 billion in commitments, up from about $1.72 billion to $1.74 billion last year. CPM rates rose between 7% to 8%, while last year the rate increases were more in the range of 5% to 6%, the story adds.
Poggi reports: "The figures mean NBC comes in behind CBS, which brought in $2.5 billion to $2.75 billion in ad commitments at this year’s upfront market, where TV networks negotiate with ad buyers for commercial time in the approaching season. CBS’s dollar volume was in line with the prior two upfronts, according to a person familiar with the situation. The Eye Network notched price hikes similar to NBC’s, between 7% and 8%."
NBC is not alone in taking its time to conclude its upfront dealmaking this year. "ABC is still wrapping up deals, with media buyers claiming the network has been holding out for price hikes between 7% and 8%, higher than the 6% to 7% increases it saw last year," the story reports.
But $800 million may have evaporated from the broadcast prime-time upfront, compared with last year’s commitments, because of weak broadcast ratings, Poggi notes.
"While some of these dollars may have shifted to cable and digital, media buyers say clients are holding back money that may eventually resurface in the so-called scatter market, where advertisers buy commercial time close to the air date," she adds.