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CBS, ABC wrap upfront sales

Fox, NBC, Turner close to finish deals in 'healthy' market

CBS and ABC have wrapped their upfront sales. A CBS rep calling the Eye’s sales process “directionally done” in a Twitter post Tuesday afternoon — a first for the market.

ABC saw CPM increases in the 6-8% range and dollar volume about the same as last year, according to industry sources.

NBC is said to be almost done, up in the 5.5-7% range. Fox, the first of the Big Four to dive into upfront deals, is still in the finishing stage as well, with rate hikes averaging in the 8-9% range.

One source called it “a healthy, steady upfront for the entire market.”

CBS declined to comment on rates, which industry sources pegged at a solid 9%, the highest of all the networks. CBS is said to have sold several percentage points less inventory than it did last year, holding a bit more back for the scatter market. The net had pushed hard for double digit increases. Total dollars are up slightly from last year.

The CW finished its upfront sales last week, as did Viacom’s cable networks.

Turner Broadcasting is about 70% done.

The NBCUniversal cable group is actively writing business.

One industry source noted tech was strong led by Microsoft ahead of the Windows 8 launch, as well as Apple around new product launches. 

It’s still not clear what impact giant advertisers General Motors is having on the market after the automaker indicated it was seeking as much as a 20% cut in rates from last year. GM held its annual meeting in Detroit Tuesday where investors griped about the stock price and lack of a dividend and CEO Dan Akerson said the company needs to boost profit margins. No one mentioned ad spend.

Sources at several networks said they’ve been actively selling across TV and digital platforms, accelerating a trend several years in the making.