Snapshot of this year’s TV upfront, so far


Television's weakening ratings numbers via fragmentation may be a good thing for radio, as the Television bang for the buck isn't what is used to be and is eroding year to year.

The major television buyers are talking about the upfront, but off the record due to being in the thick of negotiations. Most everything on the broadcast TV side got done early last week. Overall, the big four are pretty much done except for some bits and pieces.

For primetime, the CPM increases were 5-7%. The average of all the dayparts were 4-6% up. But while CPM increases were up, the overall revenue is down from years' past due to overall shrinking ratings points. Primetime money could be flat to slightly up, but no record. "Another big thing this year is not only the demand, but also the capacity-how much inventory there is to sell," a buyer/negotiator told us. "Obviously there was a lot less available inventory because the ratings points were down. It's like cars to an auto maker. If you have less to sell, you have less to sell. They have less to sell. It demonstrates supply and demand. You keep paying more for less."

For prime, CBS is reportedly will score 2.45 billion; NBC 1.8 billion; ABC 2.4 billion and Fox 1.8 billion. The CW took in 650 million, 8+% higher than last year. CPMs were up 10%. CBS had CPM rate increases of 8%. NBC was flat, revenue-wise, with CPMs up 5%. It's estimated the primetime upfront total is near 9.15 billion, up about 300 million from last year.

Cable is heating up now that the networks are done, but as one buyer said last week, "It's going to take a while. There are a lot of cable networks and syndication out there."