The CW saw advance advertising commitments for its fall schedule dip in the annual “upfront,” the latest network to face headwinds in what ad buyers have described as a difficult market for the sale of TV advertising time.
The network, owned jointly by CBS Corp. and Time Warner Inc., saw advance ad commitments come in below the $400 million to $420 million it secured in 2013, according to a person familiar with the situation. Ad buyers estimate volume could be down around 5%, meaning the CW could have secured between $380 million and $399 million for its coming fall schedule.
Like many of its rivals, the CW agreed to lesser price hikes in order to secure sales volume. The network agreed to increases in the cost of reaching 1,000 people, a measure known as a CPM that is central to these annual talks between advertisers and TV networks, between 3% and 4%, according to the person familiar with negotiations. In 2013, the CW secured CPM increases largely between 5% and 6%.
The CW touted a schedule with broader appeal for the fall, filled with a wider number of shows centered on super-heroes (“The Flash”) and sci-fi concepts. The network was able to broaden its ad base, the person familiar with the network said, adding to its clients in the automotive, fast-food, financial and movie-studio categories.