SBD/June 13, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

CBS, ABC Win Higher Ad-Sales Rates; NBC, Fox Continue Negotiations

CBS and ABC yesterday "completed their ad-sales negotiations for the coming TV season, winning higher ad rates in what is proving to be a lackluster market," according to Suzanne Vranica of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. A source said that CBS "got roughly" $2.7B in ad commitments. Barclays Capital said that the total "was barely higher than last year," when advertisers agreed to spend about" $2.65B on the network. Another source said that CBS "sold less of its inventory than last year," which means that this year's "slight increase in total commitments came from higher prices for ad time." A source said that advertisers "committed about" $2.5 billion to ABC, about the same as what the network took in last year (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/13). In L.A., Meg James cites sources as saying that NBC and Fox "were continuing to negotiate with advertisers." Despite its "perennial rating woes, NBC was mustering rate increases of nearly 6%." Fox was "securing rate increases of about 8%." When all of "the money is counted, the networks will have sold roughly" $9B in prime-time commercials for the upcoming season. The biggest "wild card this year was Detroit carmaker General Motors' refusal to pay higher rates for advertising time during a period when networks are losing viewers." In recent weeks, GM said that it "would not advertise in the Super Bowl." Ad buyers said that the GM standoff "left several hundred million ad dollars on the sidelines during the television upfront market, and also contributed to the networks' smaller takes." It was "unclear" yesterday whether GM had purchased any time (L.A. TIMES, 6/13).

BUSINESS IS BOOMING: ADWEEK's Anthony Crupi cites PricewaterhouseCoopers' newly released global entertainment and media outlook for '12-16 as saying that U.S. broadcast ad revenues "this year are on track to reach" $18.9B, a boost of 7.3% versus $17.6B in '11. NBC's coverage of the London Olympics "will capture at least" $1B in ad sales commitments, "a tsunami of business that is likely to include a wealth of auto, financial services, movies, telco and retail dollars" (, 6/12).
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