US broadcasters register gains in upfront ad sales

MUMBAI: The US broadcast networks have managed positive responses on the upfront ad sales front.

Even Disney's struggling broadcast network ABC managed to complete its upfront ad sales for the year. The network was able to bring in $2.1 billion in total primetime upfront sales for the 2004-2005 television season.

A report in MediaDailyNews indicated that NBC was the winner in overall take of the upfront pie. However the sales figure of $2.9 billion in inventory was flat with the record upfront haul that was achieved last year. Of course one must consider the fact that advertisers have maintained their confidence in the broadcaster in the absence of Friends and Frasier.

The Viacom owned CBS reported the biggest jump in volume increases, from last year's upfront take of $2.2 billion to this year's $2.4 billion. CSI has consistently beaten the competition in the ratings. In India the show airs on AXN. CBS ad sales president JoAnn Ross added that advertisers rewarded CBS for its strong, consistent programme schedule and the ratings. CBS sold between 80 and 85 per cent of its inventory in the upfront market.

In all ABC will sell five per cent less inventory than last year. It is placing its bets on the fact that it can price content at a premium in the scatter market. In a company release ABC sales and marketing president Mike Shaw had noted, “Historically, over the last 11 out of 12 years, the scatter marketplace for all networks has seen increases over upfront pricing, so selling more scatter has been advantageous for the networks” .

NBC also held back more for the scatter. While it sold 83 per cent of its prime-time inventory during the upfront last year, this year the figure stood at 78 per cent.

In addition to revenue for the entertainment upfront, ABC’s total primetime upfront revenues include $500-600 million in primetime sports sales. These include Monday Night Football, the National Basketball Association and Bowl Championship Series. Then there is the Academy Awards. In India this event airs on Star Movies.

These sports and special events add up to six weeks of primetime programming, and include some of ABC’s highest-rated programming of the year. Another prime property for ABC is the Primetime Emmy awards.

CBS' sister network UPN was a major winner. Its reality show America's Next Top Model was a hit. UPN sold about $350 million in advertising for the next television season, compared to $250 million a year ago.

Latest News

Load More

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories