By Jon Lafayette and
The ABC Network, after a year of significant improvements in its ratings performance, has taken the lead in making upfront deals with advertisers. Media buyers said ABC has set a ceiling on price increases at about 5 percent, significantly lower than the double-digit increases CBS was able to wring out of advertisers during last year’s upfront.
CBS began making sales this week after many buyers said they were finished with ABC. While CBS went into the upfront looking to be the leader in terms of total dollars and price increases, sources indicated that the network appeared satisfied with price increases in the same range as ABC’s.
A CBS spokesman would not discuss specifics, but said the network has completed a “significant” amount of business and is “pleased” with the rates it is getting.
Fox, which has written a few deals, is expected to come in on the high end of the zero-to-5-percent range.
NBC, meanwhile, is trying to avoid deals at lower prices than it got last year, and it hasn’t yet registered any major sales, according to sources.