The curtain is finally drawn on the tumultuous broadcast primetime upfront of 2009 and the range of final dollar estimates–based largely on hearsay and back-of-the-envelope calculations rather than network guidance–is as wide as a barn door.
With the networks keeping mum, agencies are putting the figure anywhere between a 10% to 12% drop from last year’s $9.2 billion, which leaves the upfront finishing around the $8 billion mark. Other estimates are more aggressive about the decline, with MediaWeek suggesting a tally of $7.2 billion and The New York Times estimating $7.8 billion. Whatever happens in scatter, the missing billion dollars will no doubt affect forward planning inside major media conglomerates looking to reconfigure the network model.
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