You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Upfront 2015: NBC Primetime Entertainment Volume Expected to Be Flat

NBC is expected to secure the same amount of advance advertising commitments for its primetime entertainment schedule as it did in 2014, the latest signal that TV networks have had to work through a difficult process in the 2015 upfront market, when U.S. TV networks try to sell the bulk of their ad inventory for the coming season.

In a prepared statement NBCUniversal said its entire portfolio of media properties secured “almost $6 billion in revenue commitments – up 2% from last year.”

Volume of commitments for the primetime entertainment schedule at NBC is expected to be flat with the estimated $2.3 billion the network notched in 2014. That figure excludes sales attached to NBC’s primetime football broadcasts and Olympics telecasts but is likely to include ad commitments associated with the network’s latenight programming, according to a person familiar with the situation. Including football, NBC’s volume may have increased around 1%, this person said, meaning NBC’s total primetime volume may have come to around $2.53 billion.

In contrast, NBC was able to secure a 15% increase in ad commitments in 2014 for its primetime offerings.

To get deals done at NBC, NBCUniversal had to accept more moderate pricing than it has in recent sessions. NBC struck agreements that in many cases called for an increase in the rate of reaching 1,000 people, a metric also known as a CPM, of around 5%, this person said. In 2014, NBC did deals that called for a CPM increase of 7.5% to 8%, the same conditions it pressed for in 2013. If many of NBC’s 2015 deals were struck at about 5%, it would mark the first time in about three years that the network has not been able to maintain or increase its pricing leverage in the upfront, another signal of the pressure being placed on traditional media outlets as Madison Avenue places more emphasis on digital media.

NBC’s cable properties were believed to be striking CPM deals similar to others in the market, according to people familiar with the situation. Viacom and Time Warner’s Turner both were doing deals that called for an increase of between 3% and 4%, according to people familiar with the talks.

NBCUniversal also said its digital-video business “grew 50% in this upfront, which we believe reflects the growing importance of multiplatform partnerships driven by premium video content.”

NBC’s broadcast results mirror activity in the rest of the market. Ad commitments for primetime at Fox Broadcasting and CBS are also believed to be down. Among larger media companies, volume at Turner is seen as being flat to down. Volume at Fox Networks is seen as flat and volume at Viacom is expected to edge up slightly.

More TV

  • How 'Catherine the Great,' 'Chernobyl' Challenge

    How 'Catherine the Great,' 'Chernobyl' Challenge the Hollywood Script on Russia

    Hollywood loves a good baddie, and for the last 50 or so years, a large proportion of those villains have been Russian. Take Ivan Drago (Dolph Lundgren), who killed Apollo Creed in the ring in “Rocky IV,” or Ivan Korshunov (Gary Oldman), who hijacked the President’s plane in “Air Force One,” or more recently the [...]

  • HBO Max Orders 'Crazy Rich Asians'-Style

    HBO Max Orders 'Crazy Rich Asians'-Style Docuseries 'The Ho's'

    HBO Max is continuing its content push with an order for a “Crazy Rich Asians” inspired docuseries. Titled “The Ho’s,” the eight-episode half-hour series hails from Lionsgate TV and plunges viewers into the over-the-top world of the Ho’s, a Vietnamese immigrant family who built a multi-million dollar bank, a real estate development company and a [...]

  • Fox Corp Names AMC's Yoel Flohr

    Fox Corp Names AMC's Yoel Flohr Executive VP of Technology, Digital

    Fox Corporation has hired Yoel Flohr as executive vice president of technology and digital, Variety has learned He will report to Fox Corporation chief technology officer and president of digital Paul Cheesbrough. In his new role, Flohr will lead the digital product portfolio for Fox Entertainment, overseeing existing digital products and relationships, including Fox Now. [...]

  • Monica Lewinsky

    Monica Lewinsky to Produce Documentary ‘15 Minutes of Shame’ for HBO Max

    Monica Lewinsky has teamed with “Catfish” co-host and producer Max Joseph to produce “15 Minutes of Shame,” a documentary for HBO Max about the culture of public shaming. “15 Minutes of Shame” is described as a look at people from around the world who have been caught up in a situation that involved public criticism [...]

  • 'Riverdale' Team Sets Drama Pilot at

    'Riverdale' Team Sets Drama Pilot at HBO Max

    “Riverdale” Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and two of the show’s writers have set up the drama “The Shelley Society” at HBO Max with a pilot order, Variety has confirmed. The project follows a young Mary Shelley and a band of her fellow Romantics, including Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron, as they battle supernatural threats, including the [...]

  • Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner's Hazy

    Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner's Hazy Mills to Co-Produce SAG Awards

    Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner’s Hazy Mills Productions have joined the SAG Awards producing team. The guild announced this morning that Kathy Connell will once again serve as the show’s producer along with Hayes and Milliner in partnership with Avalon Harbor. “Attending the SAG Awards has always been a pleasure and a privilege for me,” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content