×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

CW Expects Robust Volume Gains in TV’s Upfront Sales Market

Madison Avenue hopes to catch “Black Lightning” in a bottle.

Advertisers attracted to the prospect of a new night of programming boosted the volume of advance ad commitments at TV’s CW network, a signal that Madison Avenue is giving more credence to TV commercials than previously expected at a time when marketers say they are placing new emphasis on digital alternatives.

The network expects volume in advance ad commitments to increase by around 15%, according to a person familiar with the matter. That means the CW could expect to secure “upfront” commitments totaling between $564.5 million and $631.8 million, according to Variety estimates, compared with between $490.9 million and $549.4 million in last year’s negotiations. In 2017, the CW notched volume gains of between just 3% and 5%, suggesting demand in 2018 from advertisers was on the rise.

U.S. TV networks try to sell the bulk of their ad inventory for the coming programming cycle during the industry’s annual “upfront” market, which typically gets underway in late spring and early summer.

CW ad sales executives pressed for increases in the rate of reaching 1,000 viewers – a measure known as a CPM that is central to these annual talks between TV networks and Madison Avenue – of between 10% and 11%, this person said. In 2017, the CW pushed for CPM gains in the high-single-digit to low-double-digit percentage range.

The anticipated volume increases come as the CW had more ad time to sell this year. The network unveiled a 2018-2019 lineup with a Sunday schedule, the first time it has done so in many years. The extra night boosted national ad inventory at the network by approximately 20%.

Advertisers were interested in new programs like “All-American”and a reboot of the supernatural drama “Charmed,” the chance to align themselves with the final seasons of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” and “Jane the Virgin” and CW’s growing slate of superhero series, which include the sophomore season of “Black Lightning” along with “Arrow” and “Supergirl.”

The CW  sold about 80% of its ad inventory, this person said, on par with 2017 and 2016. When demand is higher, networks tend to sell more in the upfront market, rather than holding it back for sale on an as-needed basis for what is known as “scatter.”

 

More TV

  • EMPIRE: L-R: Toby Onwumere and Jussie

    Jussie Smollett's 'Empire' Character Ties the Knot as Actor's Future on Show Is Unclear

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched the April 24th episode of “Empire.” Jussie Smollett’s character on “Empire” got married in TV’s first-ever black, gay wedding, but the actor’s ongoing assault controversy makes his future on the show uncertain. The episode, entitled “Never Doubt I Love,” was Smollett’s last confirmed appearance in [...]

  • Riverdale -- "Chapter Thirty-Three: Shadow of

    'Riverdale' Airs Luke Perry's Final Scene

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear The Reaper,” the April 24 episode of “Riverdale.” “Riverdale” has aired late actor Luke Perry’s final scene as Andrews patriarch Fred. In “Chapter Fifty-Four: Fear the Reaper,” the 19th episode of the third season of “Riverdale,” Archie (KJ Apa) was worried about [...]

  • "We Turn Up This Music Louder

    TV Review: 'The Red Line'

    For all that broadcast TV’s power has attenuated in recent years, what they choose to put on still means something — and, from a certain point of view, something more than the choices made by prestige outlets. After all, the reach of broadcasters is without parallel. They’re simply in that many more homes than prestige [...]

  • Grey's Anatomy Season 15

    Broadcast Bubble Shows 2019: What's Coming Back, What’s Not

    While many broadcast shows have already been picked up for next season, plenty of favorites are still waiting to learn their fates. Given that the broadcasters are currently evaluating this year’s crop of comedy and drama pilots, some current shows will unfortunately have to shuffle off to that great network in the sky, where they [...]

  • Elizabeth Olsen Wanda Vision

    Elizabeth Olsen Says Disney+ Series 'WandaVision' Is Set in 1950s

    “Avengers: Endgame” star Elizabeth Olsen tells Variety that “WandaVision,” the forthcoming Disney+ series about her superhero character, Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch, will be set in the 1950s. “There’s quite a few other comic books that we’re pulling from and it’s going to be Wanda and the Vision, and I think at the Disney+ launch chat, they [...]

  • CBS HEADQUARTERS

    CBS Chiefs: Former Exec's Claim Network 'Has a White Problem' Is 'Disheartening,' 'Painful'

    Susan Zirinsky, president of CBS News, and Kelly Kahl, president of CBS Entertainment, sent emails to staff Tuesday expressing concern over claims made in an essay published in Variety in which CBS veteran Whitney Davis detailed racist discrimination and sexual harassment she witnessed and was subjected to at the network. In response, Zirinsky said Davis’ [...]

  • BBC Studios Making Prince Charles Series

    BBC Studios Making Prince Charles Series for ITV

    ITV has greenlit a BBC Studios-produced series about Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne. “Inside the Duchy” (working title) will follow the Prince of Wales over two one-hour episodes to mark his 50th year as the holder of the title of Duke of Cornwall. The producers said the series will give an unprecedented [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content