Fox Finishes Upfront With Volume Down 10%

Following a season in which ratings dropped sharply, Fox has
substantially finished its upfront ad sales with about 10% lower dollar volume
than last year.

Fox secured ad commitments of about $1.7 billion, selling
about 80% of its inventory at price increases of 5% to 7%, a point or so lower
than a year ago, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Fox moved early in the market and its prices compared
favorably with top-rated CBS, which has been getting increases in the 6.5% to
7.5% range.

Two weeks ago, theCW was the first broadcast net to finish its upfront with sales of about
$400 million.

Overall, ad buyers and sellers expect the broadcast upfront
to be down about 5% in volume from last year's $9 billion total. The lower
volume and lower ratings for the broadcasters has resulted in smaller price
increases than last year.

Cable ad sales have been moving along. Turner Broadcasting
has done a substantial amount of business and is getting prices similar to CBS,
according to a source familiar with the situation.

Having contained price inflation with the broadcasters,
media buyers are also pushing to get cable ad sales executives to accept smaller
increases than last year.

Viacom moved early and has completed just about
all of its upfront business.

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.