The upfront is essentially done and the word is that broadcast networks booked about $200 million more than last year’s $9 billion in ad sales. Fox is believed to have gotten the biggest CPM increase, perhaps even a double-digit one, because of its strong 18-49 lineup, particularly “American Idol.” It was followed by ABC, which has also been strong in the key 18-49 demo, and then CBS.
But even the lagging networks did well. First NBC booked an impressive $1.9 billion in the upfront, beating pretty much everyone’s expectations for the big four network with the weakest ratings. Then The CW wrapped up with about $375 million. At first glance, that looks terrible against $600 million last year. But The CW recently outsourced its Sunday nights to Media Rights Capital, so it had one-third less inventory to sell. The LA Times reports that The CW was able to boost CPMs by 8% over last year’s upfront.
Fox, ABC and CBS finished selling out pretty much all of their upfront inventory yesterday, all with gains over last year.