RBC Predicts Better Ad Sales at Discovery Communications

Upfront Central: Complete Upfront Coverage from B&C

A new report out from RBC Capital Markets predicts Discovery Communications will see first quarter ad revenue growth of 6%, up from the company's previous estimate of 5% and a full-year uptick of 6.8%, versus 5.8%

David Bank, managing director of global media at RBC, suggests cable will see continued strength as the ad market improves. "Near term Discovery is being bolstered by tailwinds from the recovering national advertising market that should lead into a much stronger upfront as well as contractual affiliate fee increases as Discovery and TLC," wrote Bank in an April 7 note to investors.

Separately, Discovery is holding its upfront presentation Thursday, April 8, at New York's Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Time Warner Center. (Click here for B&C's upfront calendar.)

The event is being helmed by Discovery ad sales chief Joe Abruzzese. The company will prep agencies for the launch of OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. (Winfrey may show up at the event, though Discovery would not confirm her appearance.)

It will be the second upfront that Discovery has discussed the service, finally slated to launch January 2011. Another Discovery service, ID, is also expected to take center stage at the event, along with other new shows and series.