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NBC and Group M Broker First Major Upfront Deal

NBC Universal and Group M have struck the first major deal of the upfront, the companies confirmed. The deal, valued between $800 and $1 billion, encompasses NBC and NBC Universal’s numerous cable properties, including Spanish language networks Telemundo and Mun2 on all dayparts as well as digital, product integration and branded content.

And while Group M’s four media companies – MediaCom, Mediaedge:cia, MindShare and Maxus – negotiated client specific packages, the overall deal is based on commercial rating minutes and live-plus-three, marking a departure from previous years’ metric of live-only program ratings.

Media buyers have been pushing commercial rating minutes as a standard metric but many have balked at paying for delayed viewing on DVRs.

"It’s going to be very interesting to see if (live-plus-three and commercial minute ratings) becomes the standard," said a Group M spokesman. "Are others going to follow us or not?"

Media buyers said that the metrics of the Group M deal are predictable, since advertisers have been advocating for rates based on the number of viewers who actually watched their commercials.