NBC U, Starcom USA Wrap Upfront Deals

NBC Universal and media planning and buying agency Starcom USA completed their cable deals for the 2007-08 upfront.

As was the case with deals it constructed last month with Discovery Networks, Starcom’s agreement with Bravo was forged on minute-by-minute commercial data.

Conversely, sister services USA Network, Sci Fi Channel, MSNBC and CNBC came to agreements with the Chicago-based media-planning and buying outfit using average commercial ratings -- the currency that has driven much of this year’s upfront-market transactions for cable and broadcast networks.

Although deal terms were not disclosed, the parties indicated that the pacts include integration and digital elements for Starcom clients, which include Allstate, Best Buy and Kellogg’s. Universal HD, NBC’s newly launched HD channel, was also included in the cable buy.

“We made a commitment to our clients to offer better accountability and measurability based on the metrics that matter most to them," NBC U president of sales and marketing Mike Pilot said in a prepared statement. “Our minute-by-minute deal for Bravo -- the first deal NBC U has done based on this metric -- is truly about partnership and learning together in the changing media industry, and we're thrilled to work with Starcom as we explore new and innovative ways to create the greatest value for our advertisers."

Last month, Starcom cut a Discovery deal spanning 11 networks that also included digital and cross-platform vehicles. The pact not only represented the initial cable deal for the agency for the 2007-08 upfront, but it was the first marketplace agreement this year based on exact ratings delivery sources from Nielsen All-Minute data

Last year, Starcom inked exact-minute deals with The Weather Channel and Rainbow Media Holdings’ AMC and WE tv networks.

NBC U cable networks had been part of the deal that broke the 2007-08 upfront season -- the programmer’s deal with GroupM, which was valued at up to $1 billion.