Broacast network NBC and the NBCUniversal-owned cable networks have narrowed the gap in ad pricing after being priced well below their rivals, according to NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke. Deadline.com reports that Burke told analysts this morning that the recent ad upfront turned things around.
Before the upfront NBC and cable channels including USA “were trading at a 20% discount to our competition,” Burke said, adding: “We’re now at about a 10% discount.”
"Comcast‘s entertainment arm says it bucked a trend in the upfront — seen as generally down 5% vs last year — as it benefits from the growing popularity of its shows, and a decision to sell broadcast and cable ad inventory together. 'If the industry was down 5% and we were up 10%, that’s a 15% difference vs what we would have done” if NBCU had sold broadcast and cable separately. 'It’s a swing of $750M' that will go 'a long way toward closing monetization gap,'" the piece reports, quoting Burke.
Burke downplayed the suggestion that traditional television companies were impacted by advertiser lobbying done by digital companies such as YouTube, Yahoo, and AOL.
Commenting on the upfront, Burke said: “Ad agencies decided to be less aggressive … They will show up in scatter. We may be wrong. But that’s our analysis. … If scatter is strong, this could be a good year for advertising.”