Broadcast upfront estimated at $7.3 billion


The broadcast network upfront is all but done, excepting NBC, which could conclude at any minute. CBS and ABC have just completed their upfront for the 2010-2011 broadcast season, along with Fox and CW, which finished last week. Reportedly, 17% more money was added to the prime time upfront versus a year ago, landing around $7.3 billion for the big five (up from $6.2 billion a year ago).

CBS scored some $2.0 billion; Fox and ABC $1.9 billion; NBC is reportedly aiming at $1.2 billion and The CW at $325 million, per reports.

Said CBS: “As we close out the upfront, we are pleased to once again be in the leadership position, with rate increases and total volume commensurate with our No. 1 standing in the marketplace.”

CBS achieved CPM price increases of between 9% and 10%; ABC 8% to 9%, and NBC is likely looking for at least 7%. Fox gained price hikes anywhere from 8.5% to 9%. NBC is estimated to be getting 7% to 7.5% gains. The CW scored a 7.5% increase in CPMs over last year.

Scatter next year should be interesting, as network sell-out levels were much higher than a year ago — 75% to near 80% of their respective inventory supplies. Last year, network levels in the 70% zone. As well, the yearly dance moved much quicker and sooner than last year, when deals were wrapping in late July.

Now it’s on to the cable nets.