×

Fox Wrapping Upfront Sales With Lower Volume As Cable Starts To Move

Time Warner's Turner seen securing price hikes of 7% to 7.5%

News Corp.’s Fox network expects to complete its upfront sales effort with volume about 10% lower  than it was in 2012, according to a person familiar with the situation, the result of ratings declines at the network as its flagship property, “American Idol” starts to show signs of wear.

The network saw healthy demand, this person said, but has fewer ratings points to sell. Fox expects to secure ad commitments totaling between $1.78 billion and $1.79 billion, according to a this person. Fox was able to negotiate deals with an increase in the cost of reaching 1,000 people – a measure used in these talks known as a CPM – between 5% and 7%, according to this person as well as several ad-buying executives. In 2012, Fox secured ad commitments totaling between $1.98 billion and $1.99 billion, with CPMs increasing between 7% and 9%.

Fox’s performance is indicative of advertiser attitudes in this year’s upfront, during which the nation’s big TV networks attempt to sell the bulk of their ad inventory for the coming season. According to buyers and TV executives, the overall pot of dollars available for the upfront appears to be down – the result of reduced spending by automakers and movie studios as well as some ambivalence on the part of advertisers regarding the effectiveness of broadcast TV.  Diminished ratings at the English-language broadcast networks could mean advertisers will move money to cable and digital, these executives said. Some may keep the money in their pockets and opt to buy so-called “scatter” advertising, which is purchased much closer to air date and can, in a healthy market, cost more than upfront purchases.

Advertisers have not been willing to pay a higher rate of increase than they did in 2011. Both CBS and the CW have moved toward completion by settling upon a lesser increase compared to last year. CBS agreed to deals with a CPM increase of around 7.5%, compared with 8% to 9% in 2012. Likewise, the CW did deals this year with CPMs rising between 5% and 6%, compared with 5.5% and 6.5% last year.

ABC and NBC have been seeking CPMs on par with or higher than last year’s terms, and, as a result, have been slower to secure commitments, according to buyers. ABC has been seeking CPM hikes of between 7% and 8%, compared with CPM incrseases of between 6% and 8% in 2012, while NBC has sought CPMs of 8% or more, according to ad buyers and other people familiar with the negotiations. In 2012, NBC secured CPM commitments of between 5% and 7%.

Both ABC and NBC have been writing deals, according to people familiar with the networks’ status. The Peacock’s parent, NBCUniversal has been engaged in an effort to get advertisers to agreed to “portfolio” deals that encompass ad inventory from across the company’s broadcast, cable and digital assets, and has moved broadcast and cable inventory as a result, one of these people said.

As some of the broadcast networks try to wrap their deal making, a number of cable companies have already begun to move, according to several executives familiar with the pace of negotiations.

Time Warner’s Turner unit is more than halfway complete with sales for its entertainment networks, which include TNT and TBS, according to a person familiar with the situation. TBS and TNT have been securing deals with CPMs rising between7% and 7.5%, this person said, approaching the top of the market in response to healthy demand. In last year’s upfront talks, the networks’ CPMs rose in the high-single-digit percentage range. Discovery Communications networks and cable networks operated by News Corp.’s Fox cable were also said to have written some business in recent days.

More TV

  • Charles Levin Obit

    Missing 'Seinfeld' Actor Charles Levin's Body Believed to be Found

    Oregon authorities believe they have found the body of the missing “Seinfeld” actor Charles Levin. He was 70 years old. According to Associated Press, Levin’s son reported the actor missing from Grants Pass on July 8. On July 12, search and rescue teams determined a search area in a remote area northeast of Selma with [...]

  • Oliver Jackson-Cohen Invisible Man

    ‘Haunting of Hill House’ Star Oliver Jackson-Cohen Returning for ‘Haunting of Bly Manor’

    Oliver Jackson-Cohen, who was recently cast as the titular character in the upcoming Blumhouse-Universal Pictures feature “The Invisible Man,” is set to haunt viewers once more on Netflix. Jackson-Cohen, who starred in “The Haunting of Hill House,” will return to star in the second installment of the Netflix anthology series, titled “The Haunting of Bly Manor.” [...]

  • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

    Amazon to Develop 'Jack Reacher' Series

    Watch out Tom Cruise, there’s going to be another Jack Reacher in town. In a competitive situation, Amazon has won the rights to develop a series based on the protagonist from Lee Child’s novels. The series hails from “Scorpion” creator Nick Santora, who will write, showrun and executive produce. Child’s “Jack Reacher” series has sold over [...]

  • Fox News Media Taps Jason Klarman

    Fox News Media Taps Jason Klarman as Executive VP, Marketing

    Jason Klarman, a veteran TV executive who has served stints at NBCUniversal and Fullscreen Media, has been named executive vice president of Fox Corporation’s Fox News Media, and will supervise brand strategy for Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network and other assets that are part of the division. Klarman will report to Suzanne Scott, CEO [...]

  • Sean Diddy Combs

    MTV, Sean 'Diddy' Combs Reunite for 'Making the Band' Return

    MTV and Sean “Diddy” Combs are reuniting to reboot the reality competition series “Making the Band.” The show is slated to premiere in 2020. Its return was prompted by a tweet Diddy recently posted suggesting it was time for a comeback. Originally featuring the creation of early 2000s boy band O-Town (the show was conceived [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content