Fox Getting Upfront Price Increases; Where Do Things Stand With the Other Broadcast Nets?

May 31, 2013  •  Post A Comment

The Fox broadcast network has wrapped up a sizable portion of its upfront ad sales, and it is reportedly getting price increases. B&C reports that the network is pulling in cost-per-thousand-viewers (CPM) hikes in the 5% to 7% range, according to sources close to the negotiations.

The sales come after a season in which Fox’s ratings fell 22% in the key 18-49 demo. Because of the lower ratings, the network’s upfront volume is expected to come in below last year’s $1.9 million — which was already down from the previous year.

“Buyers said that most of the big agencies had gotten their deals done with Fox,” the story reports. “The network suffered a big ratings falloff on ‘American Idol,’ which lost its crown as the most watched primetime series. The buyers say Fox remains attractive because its audience skews relatively young, making it desirable to advertisers in businesses like movies, technology and quick-serve restaurants.”

Other networks continued to negotiate, with the story noting that only a few deals have been completed.

“ABC did some deals, with prices in the 7% to 8% range. But that handful of early deals might not yet be indicative of where ABC’s price will land,” the piece notes.

The report adds: “CBS, the top-rated network last season among adults 18-49, is expecting upfront price increases in the double-digit range, CEO Les Moonves told investors earlier this month. The network appears to be waiting until buyers, who are paying smaller increases with its rivals, come up to its price.”

A CBS spokesperson said today via Twitter and email: "We are in active negotiations with major agencies across the industry. We look forward to another successful upfront where we are confident we will lead in both volume and pricing.”

B&C notes: “NBCUniversal was sticking to its strategy of trying to sell advertising packages that include its broadcast network, cable channels and online properties. Despite resistance to a high asking price for ‘Modern Family’ on USA Network, buyers at major agencies said they were negotiating with NBCU on a portfolio basis. NBCU did manage to complete some deals with mid-sized to smaller buyers comprised of broadcast, cable and digital, according to sources close to the negotiations.”

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