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Fox Completes Broadcast Upfront With Flat Sales

Fox competed its upfront sales Wednesday, closing the book on a generally flat upfront.

Fox's sales were about the same as last year total of $1.9 billion. The network, whose ratings on American Idol and The X Factor, came in below expectations, was able to score prices increases in the 8% ranges while selling about 80% of its commercial inventory, similar to last year, according to people familiar with the activity.

Fox, which began selling some of the advertising in the online version of its shows in conjunction with its TV commercials last year, was able to do the same this.

Fox was among the first networks to begin writing upfront business, gaining advertising commitments from the automakers and movie studios. One automaker it didn't immediately make a deal with was General Motors, which was seeking price rollbacks from the networks. In reaction to that demand, Fox initially refused to sell GM ads in its football games.

It was unclear whether Fox and GM ultimately made a deal. Fox declined to comment.

Earlier on Wednesday, NBC finished its upfront sales, scoring a small increase in volume. On Tuesday, CBS and ABC wrapped up upfront business. CBS recorded a small gain in volume, while ABC's sales were flat.

The CW was the first to complete its upfront. The weblet's sales were also flat.