You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

ABC Expects to Nab Volume Gains in TV Upfront

Walt Disney’s ABC expects to close its annual upfront sales with a modest increase in volume in advance advertising commitments, the latest sign that Madison Avenue is focusing more intently on TV than it has in recent years.

Advertisers proved interested in ABC’s new slate of programs, according to a person familiar with the situation. The network unveiled a new drama,  “Designated Survivor,” featuring Kiefer Sutherland as a U.S. government official left to run the country in the wake of a terrorist attack, and a new comedy, “Speechless,” featuring Minnie Driver as the mother in a family with a special-needs child. In the TV industry’s annual upfront, U.S. TV networks try to sell the bulk of the advertising inventory for their coming cycle of programming.

Most of the nation’s TV companies are expected to nab a volume increase in the low-single-digit percentage range. ABC last year was able to secure between $1.67 billion and $1.88 billion in advance advertising commitments for its primetime schedule. If ABC were able to notch 2% to 4% more volume, it would have secured between $1.7 billion and $1.96 billion, according to Variety estimates.

ABC pressed for increases in rates, as well, another sign of a robust market. ABC sought hikes of between 8.5% and 10% in the cost of reaching 1,000 viewers, a measure known as a CPM that is central to these annual talks between TV networks and Madison Avenue. In 2015, ABC was able to secure rate hikes of around 4% to 5%. This is the first year in several that TV networks have had enough leverage to command broader rate hikes.

Other media companies have seen improving results in this year’s haggle. CBS, CW, Viacom and Time Warner’s Turner have all secured commitments from advertisers for greater spend, according to people familiar with the pace of negotiations. The results come after several years of advertisers earmarking funds for new types of commercials, including those found alongside streaming video, on mobile devices and in social media.

More Biz

  • Pamela Adlon

    Pamela Adlon Signs With CAA (EXCLUSIVE)

    Multi-hyphenate Pamela Adlon has signed with CAA for representation, Variety has learned exclusively. Due to the ongoing dispute between the Writers Guild and the talent agencies, however, CAA will not be representing Adlon for writing. In addition to writing, Adlon is an actress, producer, and director. She continues to be repped by Cunningham Escott Slevin Doherty [...]

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Talent Agent Joseph Eric Rice Dies at 61

    Joseph Eric Rice, a talent agent who headed JR Talent Group, died unexpectedly at his home in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 61. Rice headed his own talent agency based in Studio City where he primary handled actors. Earlier in his career, he headed the theatrical department at Abrams Artists Agency. Rice was born in [...]

  • Terry Back chairman ACF

    Veteran U.K. Media Investor Terry Back Joins ACF as Chairman

    CANNES — Veteran U.K. film industry investor Terry Back has joined ACF investment bank as chairman. ACF, headed by CEO Thomas Dey, has been at the forefront of the M&A activity around independent TV and film production outfits, mostly in the unscripted TV arena. ACF is in the midst of expanding its activities in the [...]

  • Santos Dumont

    Mipcom: International TV Output Picture Changing for U.S. Majors

    The global import-export strategies of the U.S. majors are in flux as the world’s major content companies gather this week in Cannes for the annual Mipcom market and conference. Disney, WarnerMedia and the other handful of media conglomerates that control the vast majority of the U.S. market are in the midst of a radical transition [...]

  • Jane Fonda Arrested

    Jane Fonda Arrested in D.C. During Climate Change Protest

    Jane Fonda was arrested on Friday in Washington, D.C. during a climate change protest, Variety has confirmed. “Today, the United States Capitol Police arrested 16 individuals for unlawfully demonstrating on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol,” Capitol Police communications director Eva Malecki said in a statement to Variety. She added that all were charged with crowding, [...]

  • Firefighters battle the Saddleridge fire in

    Saddleridge Fire Forces Evacuations, TV Production Shutdowns

    A wind-whipped wildfire has spread across parts of the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles and forced evacuations, threatened thousands of homes and closed parts of five major freeways. The Saddleridge fire has prompted mandatory evacuations affecting about 100,000 people between Porter Ranch, Granada Hills and Sylmar. Mandatory evacuations have been called for about [...]

  • amazon-studios

    Amazon Studios Pacts With Howard University for Entertainment Education Program

    Howard University and Amazon Studios have teamed to launch Howard Entertainment, a two-semester program based in Los Angeles that offers Howard students the ability to take courses, network with Amazon industry partners and gain work experience in the entertainment industry. The inaugural program will begin January. The curriculum and immersive experiences will start with academic [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content