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CBS Completes Upfront Sales with Big Gains

CBS took advantage of a strong upfront market, recording volume gains of more than 5% in primetime.

Despite lower ratings and more digital alternatives, media buyers bid up prices for commercials for next season’s shows by 14% to 16%, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

Related: CW Completes Upfront with Prices Up in Mid-Teens Range

CBS did even better in late night, where Stephen Colbert has become the top-rated host. Volume was up as much as 20%, with prices up in the mid-teens.

CBS also saw an increase in the amount of sports inventory it sold, including its NFL and college football packages. Prices there were up in the mid-single digits.

Digital sales were also up significantly as CBS’s over the top offerings, including CBS All Access drew advertisers.

As expected upstart direct-to-consumer marketers continued to increase their TV spending.

Other strong categories included insurance, financial services, pharmaceuticals and wireless.

Previously, the CW, co-owned by CBS and AT&T, said it had wrapped up its upfront sales.

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.