TV Upfront Ads: 20% Gains In Broadcast CPMs, But Volume Down 13% From 2019

The almost completed traditional TV upfront witnessed strong average 19% gain in primetime broadcast CPM and 10% higher for cable TV nets for the upcoming 2021-22 TV season, according to Media Dynamics. But total upfront dollar volume this year — $19.04 billion for broadcast and cable TV networks — is still under the levels of 2019, down a collective 13%, according to the media consulting company.

Roku Closes Upfront With Big Ad Gains, Double The Deals In 2020

Roku has finished its upfront TV-video advertising market, posting rising “commitments” from marketers, two times that of the previous year, according to the company. For the entire 2021, MoffettNathanson Research projected Roku to have amassed $902 million in total advertising revenue — up from a $566 million estimate for 2020. Above, Roku original Chrissy’s Court.

TV’s ‘Historic’ Upfront Secret: Primetime TV Sees Exodus Of Ad Dollars

Big entertainment conglomerates ranging from WarnerMedia to NBCUniversal have called this year’s haggle with Madison Avenue “historic” and “extremely strong,” because TV networks have managed to secure record increases in ad rates. Meanwhile, the process, which usually takes all summer to complete, largely wrapped in advance of the July 4 holiday. But those big hikes and fast deals have come with a different kind of cost: Media buyers familiar with this year’s discussions say the TV companies have likely parted ways with a significant chunk of the volume of dollars they once received for their primetime programing — perhaps permanently.

WarnerMedia Completes Upfront With Record Ad Commitments

This year’s upfront generated high prices because falling ratings meant a lack of supply in the market. At the same time, many businesses were looking to resume advertising as the effects of the pandemic and the resulting economic slowdown lessened. Broadcast and sports were among the most in-demand media

ViacomCBS Gets ‘Historic’ Price Increase As It Finishes Upfront

ViacomCBS is close to done with its upfront deals and is seeing what sources indicate were “historic” price increases. This year’s upfront was expected to be strong, with available rating points down and marketers looking to advertise as the pandemic eased. For ViacomCBS, demand was particularly heavy for its National Football League schedule and other sports. Marketers were also eager to get into CBS primetime programming, according to a source familiar with the situation.

Univision Expects Strong Upfront Volume Increases

Univision, the Spanish-language broadcaster that is operating under new ownership, has secured double-digit percentage increases in advance advertising commitments for its next programming cycle, the latest traditional broadcaster to benefit from an unusually speedy “upfront” market, when TV companies try to sell the bulk of their commercial inventory.

Fox Wraps Upfront With Primetime, Digital Growth

Fox saw increases in advance ad commitments for its primetime schedule and expanding digital venues as part of the industry’s annual “upfront” sales process, the latest of the nation’s big media companies to see robust activity as advertisers try to move forward as the coronavirus pandemic diminishes.

Disney Puts Focus On Streaming Ad Sales In Brisk TV Upfront

Madison Avenue’s interest in digital ads, sports and new concepts tied to bolstering messages of diversity helped Disney close a fast-paced upfront that saw more than 40% of total dollars committed to the company go to streaming and interactive venues, the latest sign of how advertisers are working differently with some of the nation’s most traditional media companies. “We led with streaming this year. You always hear how broadcast leads in the upfront, and we saw an opportunity this year to change that and we did it well,” said Rita Ferro, president of Disney Advertising Sales.

NBCU CEO Sees Robust Upfront Demand, But Offers No Details On Volume

The CEO of NBCUniversal said the company enjoyed robust demand in the TV industry’s upfront market, but offered no tangible detains on volume or pricing to help bolster his case. “It was the strongest upfront I think probably in the history of NBCUniversal,” said Jeff Shell, NBCU’s CEO, speaking during an investor conference with Credit Suisse Monday. “We saw results in this upfront far beyond what we thought we’d see. Demand was extremely strong.” He attributed that dynamic to an increase in demand from advertisers eager to ramp up sales as the nation emerges from the coronavirus pandemic as the TV networks’ supply of ratings continues to diminish as viewers migrate to streaming services.

CW Wrapping Upfront With Rebound In Demand For TV, Streaming Ads

A new lineup of Saturday programming and a surge of post-pandemic spending by Madison Avenue helped the CW boost its volume of advertising commitments in TV’s annual “upfront” market, a sign that advertisers continue to make the medium a central part of their plans even as they are showing new interest in chasing viewers to new streaming venues. The network, jointly owned by ViacomCBS and AT&T’s WarnerMedia, has wrapped its upfront negotiations, according to a person familiar with the matter, and believes it has obtained a greater volume of advertising for its next programming cycle than it did in 2020.

ViacomCBS, Discovery Face Showdown With Advertisers In Upfront Talks

This year’s upfront ad-sales session is shaping up to be one of the fastest in recent memory. But some TV companies are working to slow things down. At a time when advertisers appear willing to capitulate to significant pricing increases, they are still balking at demands from both Discovery and ViacomCBS, according to three media buying executives and other people familiar with the tone of these annual negotiations for commercial inventory between U.S. media companies and Madison Avenue.

Disney, NBCU, Fox Start To Sell In TV’s Accelerating Upfront Market

At least three of the nation’s big media companies are writing deals in an upfront ad-sales market that is moving more rapidly than in years past. Disney, NBCUniversal and Fox have all begun to sell advance advertising commitments as part of TV’s annual upfront market, according to five people familiar with the pace of negotiations. These people expect the volume of advertising dollars in support of traditional linear TV to rise by 2% to 6%, with other money being committed to new streaming venues.

TV Upfront Recovery: 2021-22 Forecast To Rise 7.6% To $19.9B

Following a similar recovery with other advertising platforms, the U.S. TV upfront market is estimated to climb 7.6% this year to reach $19.9 billion for the 2021-22 TV season, according to eMarketer. While this is an improvement over the $18.5 billion a year ago (2020-21 TV season) and up from the $19.2 billion for the 2019-20 TV season, it is down from levels of nearly $20 million-plus in preceding years.

TV Networks Hammer Buyers For Big Rate Hikes In Early Upfront Ad Sales Talks

TV ratings are down. But the networks aren’t letting that get in the way of demanding big price hikes in their annual negotiations with Madison Avenue.

Even as advertisers express concern about declines in the live audiences tuning in for TV staples like Young Sheldon, This Is Us and Grey’s Anatomy, they appear to be on the verge of capitulating to marketplace pressure. As part of early but intensifying upfront negotiations over sales advertising inventory for the next cycle of TV programming, the networks are pressing for notable increases in the rate of reaching 1,000 viewers, a measure known as a CPM that is integral to these annual discussions.

Fox Sports Makes Early Pitch To Woo Advertisers

In decades past, the networks’ sports departments were usually given just a sliver of the overall time in any upfront presentation. In 2021, Fox Sports is stepping out on its own. The Fox Corp. unit on Friday put on a separate presentation to advertisers, rather than just having Joe Buck take up a few seconds of the proceedings during the usual Monday-afternoon pitch devoted to the Fox broadcast network.

Fox News Selling Ads In New Streaming Weather Channel In Upfront

In the midst of a record revenue fiscal year fueled by an election cycle that elevated ratings, Fox News is launching a streaming weather channel and will start to sell ads on its subscription streaming service Fox Nation, where lifestyle programming might be appropriate for some advertisers. Jeff Collins, EVP, advertising sales, at Fox News Media, is looking to increase revenue again in the upcoming fiscal year and he’s counting on a dramatically changed news environment, with less emphasis on politics, to attract otherwise skittish advertisers.

UPFRONTS

Spring TV Ad-Sales Season Expected To Show Rebound From 2020

This year’s annual spring ritual known as the upfront, in which advertisers commit to buying commercials for fall programming, is expected to bounce back from a tepid 2020 and show more ad dollars migrating to streaming platforms.

Black-Owned Media Upfront To Showcase Programming, Promote Economic Inclusion In Advertising Industry

Byron Allen, founder, chairman and CEO of Allen Media Group and The Weather Group, will continue his crusade to win equity and inclusion for Black-owned media in the world of advertising by headlining  the first Black-Owned Media Upfront. The event, set for May 11 and 12 from noon to 2:30 p.m. ET, will turn a spotlight on the programming and audiences of his companies and others involved in the movement. Register here to participate.

General Motors Plans May 14 Upfront For Minority-Owned Media

General Motors, one of the nation’s largest advertisers, is trying to build new roads for minority-owned media outlets, part of a broader push on Madison Avenue to address a large gap between what is spent on large national media properties and media companies operated by owners from diverse backgrounds.

Media Buyers Upbeat As Upfronts Near, But See Shift To Programmatic

Media buyers are more optimistic in 2021, but they said they’re looking to spend less upfront and more programmatically, according to a study by the IAB. The group said that optimism among buyers has increased in just the past five month when its last survey was taken. In the new survey 21% were very confident and 40% were confident. Just 11% of buyers said they were not confident.

Nets Ask Advertisers To Move As Much As 30% Of Upfront Into CTV

Major TV networks are pushing brand TV advertisers to shift a significant part of their linear, live TV upfront budgets — 20% to 30% — into media company-owned connected TV platforms, according to media-buying executives. This comes a year after legacy TV-based media companies ramped up premium streaming CTV platforms, while recording sharply declining viewership on live, linear TV networks. “It is where their inventory is,” explains one veteran media agency executive.

TV One Unveils 2021 Slate At Upfront

TV One announced its programming slate of new and returning series and specials at its upfront presentation on Thursday. The presentation, led by TV One and Cleo TV President Michelle Rice and other executives, revealed that Cleo Speaks, Jazz Smollett and Jake Smollett’s Living by DesignJust Eats with Chef JJ and Jernard Wells’ New Soul Kitchen will return this year.

NBCU To Showcase New, Scaled Content, IP Opportunities At Upfront

The virtual event will premiere May 17, highlighting the company’s programming, scale and aggregation by taking marketers inside iconic shows across one platform.

Fuse Media Unveils AVOD Push And Streaming Restructure Ahead Of Upfronts

Fuse Media is doubling down on delivering to blended households and young, Latinx and multicultural viewers. As cord-cutting accelerates and viewing hours increasingly favor streaming, the media company has built a new streaming division to do it.

Univision To Debut ‘New Vision’ For Advertisers On March 24

Univision said that ahead of its May 18 upfront presentation, it will hold an event for advertisers that will introduce the company’s new management and its new direction to advertisers. The new event — set for March 24 — will be titled “A New Vision at Univision.” Earlier this year Univision was acquired by a group headed by former Viacom CFO Wade Davis.

Fox’s May Upfront Event To Include Tubi

Fox sats it will be holding its upfront presentation on May 17 and that, in addition to its entertainment and sports programming, this year’s event will showcase Tubi, the ad supported streaming service it bought last year.

WarnerMedia To Hold Virtual Upfront Event

WarnerMedia joined the list of media companies announcing plans to hold a virtual upfront event in May. “WarnerMedia will host its Upfront on Wednesday, May 19, in a virtual event to showcase its entire portfolio of offerings to advertisers. The event will take place in the morning,” a WarnerMedia ad sales spokesperson said.

A+E Networks To Shift To Total Audience Guarantees In Upfront Deals

Moving away from demographics metrics, A+E Networks says this year’s upfront deals with advertisers will shift to total audience guarantees as its primary mode of transaction. Demographic viewing groups — 18-49 viewers and 25-54 viewers, for example — will be offered as secondary guarantees. This will apply for all its networks — A&E, Lifetime and History — for its upfront deal-making. A+E will hold a virtual upfront presentation on March 3.

WarnerMedia Sets Virtual Kids Upfront For Feb. 17