The upfront: numbers, syndication, cable, digital


As we mentioned last week, the major buyers are talking about the upfront, but off the record due to being in the thick of negotiations. Today we've compiled the latest on numbers estimates, along with where things stand with cable, syndication and digital package deals.

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 is still in motion. It's estimated the primetime upfront total could reach 9.2 billion, up about 5% from last year's 8.76 billion.

CBS had CPM rate increases of 8%. NBC was flat, revenue-wise, with CPMs up 5%. This upfront marks the first shift in currency from live-only ratings to average commercial minute ratings-plus three day viewing.

Said one buyer on Friday: "Cable is heating up now that the networks are done. There was some activity going down today and it will be happening next week and into the week after. It's going to take a while. There are a lot of cable networks and syndication out there."

The cable conglomerates with the most volume to sell will get the first deals, as usual.

Now on digital, there really isn't an upfront per se. It's more of a 52-week marketplace. However, there are digital packages sold in the upfront combined with television networks. How is that looking for Upfront 2007? "We're doing some deal with digital. That doesn't say we're doing them the same time we're cutting the :30 deals. Some things we are; some things we aren't. You buy 'The Office' and there's an Office digital opportunity."