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Cable Upfront Heats Up

Jun 6, 2006  •  Post A Comment

The cable upfront is getting underway with Turner Entertainment closing a deal with Starcom and OMD and MTV Networks completing a multinetwork, multiplatform deal that includes the linear and digital budgets of OMD’s clients.

Turner and Starcom often do their upfront business early, one source said. A Turner spokesman declined to comment.

The OMD-MTV deal was estimated to be worth more than $300 million-digital accounting for about 10 percent of that-and was believed to be the first major upfront deal done by a cable network. With its young-skewing clients-including Pepsi-OMD and MTV frequently get together early on upfront deals. This deal is broader than past agreements, encompassing more than 30 of the agency’s clients and would involve original digital content, according to an executive familiar with the negotiations.

MTVN said the deal was the first to take in all of MTV’s screens, including TV, online, VOD, podcasting and wireless, as well as new digital assets such as iFilm, GameTrailers.com, Neopets and Xfire.

OMD and MTVN also will work on a joint research project involving engagement and transference. The project will focus on multiplatform marketing and the transference of positive feelings consumers have for media brands to the advertisers that advertise in those media.

“Through this collaboration, we are able to provide our clients with even greater reach to a broad, yet targeted and highly engaged audience of consumers,” said Joe Uva, president and CEO of OMD Worldwide. “Our joint research project will help our clients better understand how the different media platforms work together to deliver better consumer experiences.”

Mr. Uva declined to discuss how pricing compared with past deals. “One would assume the reason for doing any upfront negotiation is you put yourself in a position where you have price predictability,” he said.

“By moving early with us, OMD has secured premium multiplatform opportunities for its clients in a market where viable digital assets are scarce,” said Sue Danaher, executive VP of ad sales for MTV Networks. “We are thrilled to be working with OMD in this groundbreaking deal where we intend to learn together on behalf of our clients.”