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Automakers, Studios Dip Into Upfront Market

The movies studios and automakers have begun buying TV
commercials for next season, kicking off the upfront advertising market for Fox
and ABC.

Those two categories are extremely competitive when it comes
to buying high-rated shows near the weekend, so they are often among the first
to buy ads in the upfront market. They also tend to pay some of the highest

A source familiar with the deals said Fox was getting price
increases in the high single digits for its early upfront sales. ABC was
getting mid to high single digit increases, according to Advertising Age, which was first to report the deals.

Often, the first upfront sales create a rush on the market,
but one source indicated that things were moving a bit slower. During upfront
presentation week, buyers insisted this would be a deliberate market, and that
they would not be stampeded into paying higher prices in what they see as a
less robust market than last year.

Fox was first out of the gate last year. Having a smaller
primetime schedule combined with a young viewership creates demand for Fox's
commercial inventory.

This year, Fox faces a challenge in the upfront, because
buyers expect lower ratings for both American
and The X Factor than they
estimated -- and paid for -- last year.