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Turner Entertainment Nets See Upfront Wrapping With Increased Volume

Is Time Warner cable unit's effort a sign of ad money moving to cable?

In a potential signal that advertisers may be placing additional funds at cable networks in the coming TV season, Time Warner’s Turner unit expects ad-dollar commitments at its TBS, TNT, TruTV and Adult Swim cablers to increase in this year’s upfront market, according to a person familiar with the situation.

This person said the networks had been able to secure increases in the cost of reaching 1,000 viewers, a measure also known as a CPM, at between 7% and 8%. Fast-food advertisers, telecommunications marketers and consumer-electronics companies were among the more active categories involved in discussions, this person said.  Money available from automakers appeared to be down, however – a trend that has been echoed by ad buyers.

Turner is not completely done with its upfront talks, this person said, but is moving toward wrap-up. Other cable outlets have also been writing business, Discovery and Fox’s cablers among them.

Ad buyers have cautioned that clients were more amenable to putting money into cable and other non-broadcast venues. Fox saw volume dip 10% this year, while CBS and CW expect volume flat with advance ad commitments generated in both 2012 and 2011, according to people familiar with the negotiations. In another sign advertisers are putting more money elsewhere, Univision last week had completed about three-quarters of its upfront process, and expected to finish with volume up about 15%, according to a person familiar with the situation.

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