Fox Finishes Upfront, Putting Wrap on Broadcast

Fox finished its upfront ad sales Wednesday, wrapping up negotiations for the broadcasters.

With ratings sliding, Fox’s sales were also down, with some sources saying a drop of 10% to 15% was likely, in a market that was softer than expected for the entire broadcast market. Overall broadcast ad sales in the upfront were down somewhere from 5% to 10%, analysts said.

Fox was able to manage price increases in the 2.5% to 3.5% range on a cost-per-thousand viewers (CPM) basis, a smaller increase than the other broadcasters were able to manage. The network appeared to sell 75% to 80% of its ad inventory upfront, a level similar to last year.

Fox also did a number of deals with several agencies using the new C7 metric that includes delayed viewing of commercials for seven days after broadcast. C3, including three days of delayed viewing, has been the standard.

With all the networks done, only NBC reported higher sales. NBC also reported the biggest price increases. The peacock network finished the season in first place after a decade in the cellar. During that bad spell, NBC’s ad prices fell behind its rivals. This year’s upfront closed some of that gap.

CBS had the highest ad sales at the highest overall prices, but it was unclear how its sales compared to last year. Comparisons are made more difficult because CBS added Thursday night NFL football to its primetime lineup.

(Photo Credit: From Fox's Mulaney, Ray Mickshaw/FOX)

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.