Upfront revenues for November for the 2016-17 TV season are up 9% versus November 2015, with broadcast revenues 5% higher than a year ago and cable networks added 13%, according to Standard Media Index. In comparison, overall scatter revenues is down versus a year ago — 20%. Broadcast networks are off 29% in November scatter TV revenues; cable networks giving back 8%.
The nation’s five big English-language broadcast networks secured between $8.41 billion and $9.25 billion in advance ad commitments for primetime as part of the annual upfront market. It’s the first time in three years they’ve managed to break the $9 billion mark. The upfront finish is a clear signal that Madison Avenue is putting more faith in TV even as digital video options abound.
“As the Upfront season winds to a close, press reports are heralding advertisers’ return to network television, spurring both volume and cost-per-thousand increases. However, there are behind-the-scenes realities that tell a more complex story,” says Jack Meyers. “Yes, this year’s Upfront picture appears to be more robust than the past few years. But in my opinion, the data as reported is highly unreliable. Trying to get an accurate apples-to-apples read on stand-alone broadcast network television advertising economics fails to reflect today’s buying and selling dynamics.”
Add Fox to the list of networks seeing gains in TV’s annual upfront market. The 21st Century Fox-owned broadcast network saw improving interest across its Fox Networks Group, which includes Fox Broadcasting, Fox Sports, FX Networks and National Geographic. Volume gains across the portfolio were up approximately 5%.
Broadcast and cable networks’ advance ad sales for the upcoming TV season are expected to hit $18.6 billion, the best showing in three years, according to the consulting firm Media Dynamics.
Although the TV upfront market seems strong to many, one analyst says this could be short-lived for advertising selling periods going forward, as a result of long-term advertising factors.
Add ABC to the ranks of major broadcasters approaching the upfront ad sales finish line with a sigh of relief. Disney’s network saw low-double-digit increases in CPMs, the biggest increase ABC has seen since at least 2011.
Walt Disney’s ABC expects to close its annual upfront sales with a modest increase in volume in advance advertising commitments, the latest sign that Madison Avenue is focusing more intently on TV than it has in recent years.
ABC and Fox have signed off on the last of their advance ad commitments, joining CBS and The CW in the “effectively done” category, while NBC enters the home stretch.
CBS and NBCUniversal have almost wrapped sales, and the CW is done, moving more inventory than last year with much higher CPM increases as well. Networks are selling more deals on C7, too.
After finishing the 2015-16 season as the No. 1 broadcast network in total viewers and adults 18-49, CBS has now become the first broadcast network to cross the upfront finish line. The network is finishing with a 3%-5% volume increase over last year’s upfront, according to sources close to CBS. But more importantly for CBS CEO Les Moonves, the network made good on his recent vow for double-digit upfront increases, as it secured primetime CPM increases in the low double-digits.
Estimates are that networks are getting anywhere from 8.5% to 12% to 13% price increases on the cost per thousand viewers. It hasn’t been determined where the overall broadcast TV upfront dollar volume will land.
TV’s upfront advertising market is finally moving in earnest — with sturdy double-digit percentage pricing increases for the cost per thousand viewers, higher than early estimates. ABC, CBS and NBC are commanding the highest price gains — around 9% to 12%, according to media-buying and selling executives, in early deal-making.
If a historical upfront marketplace adage is true — that a tight scatter market presages strong upfront demand — then the 2016-17 upfront marketplace could well be a robust one, according to never-before-seen data analyzing the share of spending growth of upfront vs. scatter markets. The data, provided by Standard Media Index, shows that while upfront spending has risen 3% through the first seven months of the 2015-16 broadcast year (October-through-April), the scatter marketplace has expanded nearly four times that rate: +19%.
TV’s upfront market, which many assumed would move quickly given the robust pace of scatter sales at many TV networks in recent months, appears to be moving more slowly than expected, according to media buyers and other executives familiar with negotiations. Talks have bogged down over pricing terms, which buyers say are much too aggressive even if demand for TV advertising has been strong.
The Big Five have locked in 43 new scripted series for the 2016-17 season (or 44, if you count NBC’s Emerald City, which was first green-lighted two-and-a-half years ago), and 19 are set to premiere in the fall. Here’s a look at the five time slots that promise to be the among the most contentious hours on the fall schedule.
The telenovela certainly is far from dead but it’s no longer the only programming format. Telemundo has expanded well beyond it. Plus: The rise of programmatic and emphasis on sports.
Chief among the concerns of affiliates at the broadcast networks’ upfront presentations last week was what was being slotted at 10 p.m. (or 9 for the Fox affils). Having hits there makes a world of difference in the local news ratings that follow. One of ABC’s aspiring 10 o’clock newcomers for fall is Designated Survivor starring Kiefer Sutherland (above).
Broadcast has proven it remains relevant in the digital era, with advertisers moving dollars back to TV in recent months. Look for CPM gains of up to 9%, while volume rises 4% to 5%.
For all the talk about TV innovating and acting more like digital video, the message during this week’s upfront pitches was one of stability. From leaning on familiar franchises and showrunners, to keeping large portions of schedules intact, TV execs were hoping to provide some assurance to advertisers amid a year that has been rife with upheaval for the industry.
From the expected (Dick Wolf, Greg Berlanti, Shonda Rhimes) to the new arrivals juggling multiple shows, here’s a look at some of the most prolific producers in the Peak TV era.
Which networks have the most new shows, what the big themes are for fall, how many new shows from this season are coming back, how many views the biggest trailer has received, and more.
With its new Story House program development unit, whole ownership of Fusion and investment in El Rey Network, Univision Communications has evolved over the last year into a formidable dual-language media power. However, Spanish-language remains the company’s content foundation and that was the emphasis at its upfront event.
On the heels of the “vertically integrated” upfronts last year, where the networks went heavily for owned series, program ownership further strengthened its grip on pickup decisions at the 2016 upfronts. It shared center stage with the issue of in-season stacking rights, which has become increasingly important to the broadcast networks.
The CW positioned itself at its upfront presentation on Thursday as a network capable of offering advertisers an audience divided evenly between men and women. At the center of this positioning was a new addition to its prime-time lineup that the network hopes will appeal equally to both sexes — Supergirl.
Broadcast networks will only see a 2% rise in overall upfront revenues this season — with many cable networks witnessing lower revenues versus a year ago, according one media analyst estimate.
Mark Pedowitz discusses Supergirl‘s move, DC crossover plans, the future of Vampire Diaries, Riverdale‘s promise and the downside of reducing ad loads.
With some $9 billion up for grabs at the the 2016 broadcast upfront, TV network chiefs trotted out on famed Manhattan stages touting live programming and the “stability” of their fall schedules, even though many are poised to shake them up considerably come midseason. The broadcast networks shed a shocking 35 shows and replaced them with a familiar new crop that, for the most part, they own.
With the CW unveiling its fall schedule on Thursday morning, we now have a complete picture of what the first half of the 2016-17 broadcast television season will look like. And on a few of the more-ambitious networks, we also have a pretty good understanding of what will happen come midseason, too.
Supergirl will fly on the CW this fall at 8 p.m. on Monday nights, officially kicking off the primetime week for the youngest-skewing broadcast network, which revealed its 2016-17 schedule this morning. The CBS superhero export will serve as lead-in for Gina Rodriguez’s Jane The Virgin.
Once again, CBS broke from the TV network pack in upfront week by focusing on its success in broadcast TV — with little mention of new data or ad sales products.
CBS All Access said Wednesday that Christine Baranski will star in the new series. Its title wasn’t announced. The drama will pick up one year after the events in the finale of The Good Wife, which aired recently on CBS.
TBS and TNT offering shows that bring a little more spice to the comedy and drama genres. CNN adds three new series. Buyers do wonder at the efficiency of a huge presentation, though.
As it debuts six new shows for next season in the fall, CBS looks to take the overall crown for the current season in both total viewers and 18-49 viewers — for the first time in a few years. Adding new shows is now tougher than ever, says Les Moonves, chairman-CEO of CBS Corp., considering the complex issues around the new digital media program scheduling, measurement issues, and overall time shifted viewing. Above, Kevin Can Wait starring Kevin James.
CBS is kicking off a new Monday night comedy block with a little help from Big Bang Theory, which will again shift to Mondays due to Thursday Night Football. The show will serve as a lead in to the new Kevin James sitcom Kevin Can Wait. On the drama side, Bull starring Michael Weatherly will air between NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans on Tuesday nights.
Elaborate presentations, lunches, dinners and parties are part of the television upfronts, when the networks present their fall programming hoping to seal $9 billion in ad sales.
ABC is more concerned about competition from digital newcomers than from its broadcast rivals, based on its sales pitch to advertisers in its upfront presentation today. “TV works and great TV works greatly,” Disney-ABC Television Group President Ben Sherwood told the group. The medium “delivers more value than anything else by far.”