CBS Finishes Upfront Sales With Higher Volume

CBS and the CW have largely completed theirupfront advertising sales, taking in commitments for more dollars than last season, according to people familiar with the situation.

CBS' primetime ad sales were about flat, but the network got a boost from news and late night, which have been boosted by interest in the activities of the Trump administration.

Sources said that some of CBS’ upfront deals used a new form of ratings—C35—which includes commercials viewed in shows watched as long as 35 days after their originally aired. The majority of CBS’ deals were based on C7, which counts commercials that are viewed up till seven days after they aired live.

Monetizing delayed viewing and viewing on on-demand platforms has been a priority for CBS and other networks.

Prices, on a cost per thousand viewers, or CPM basis, for ads on CBS were up in the high-single digit range in primetime. In mornings, late night and news, where CBS has been posting viewership gains, CPMs were up by high single digits to low double digits, sources said.

There had been expectations that overall volume could be down during the upfront. CBS’ gains came mainly from advertisers in the consumer packaged goods, pharmaceutical and quick-serve restaurant categories.

At the CW, volume was up 3% to 5%, according to sources close to the situation. Prices were up in the high-single digit, low double digit range.

The network, a joint venture of CBS and Time Warner, sold about 80% of its inventory in the upfront.

With it's young base of viewers, the CW sells its TV and online impressions in a converged manner, boosting its supply of ratings points.

Jon Lafayette

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.