Most Networks Plan to Use C7 in Upfront

The Video Advertising Bureau reports that in a poll of its members, the majority expected to use C7—which counts viewing for seven days after a show is broadcast live—as the primary metric for sales during this year’s upfront.

The C7 metric would replace C3, which includes three days of delayed viewing, as the key trading currency and allows the networks to monetize more impressions.

Sean Cunningham, president of the VAB, which includes the top broadcast and cable networks, says having more impressions available helps both buyers and sellers by creating more options for both.

Adding impressions helps television, which is battling both a decline in ratings and competition from digital video being offered on line and by streaming services.

“C3 dramatically undervalues the scale and impact of TV viewing,” said Cunningham. “The audiences for TV programs expand well past a three-day cycle. C7 data gives advertisers a more accurate view of the scale of premium impressions, so they can better account for TV’s impact on their marketing plans and sales goals.”

In part, the shift to C7 helps networks compensate for audience that isn’t captured as viewers watch network shows on digital devices.

The poll was taken before the current upfront negotiations began, and it is unclear whether media buyers and their clients are embracing C7. Impressions viewed on a delayed basis are more valuable to some advertisers than others. Movie studios, for example, need their spots seen before their films open, while marketers of household goods, like laundry detergent, have consumers that show for their products all week long.

(Photo via GotCredit's Flickr. Image taken on May 3, 2016 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)

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.