CBS Said to Boost Ad Sales by `High Teens' Percentage
CBS Corp., owner of the most-watched U.S. broadcast network, boosted advertising sales for the next television season by a “high teens” percentage from a year earlier, according to a person with knowledge of the sales.
CBS sold almost 80 percent of its ad inventory and raised rates by an average of more than 9 percent, said the person, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public. CBS drew $1.91 billion in so-called upfront revenue last year, Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente estimated in an April 28 report.
CBS joins News Corp.’s Fox and the CW network, owned by CBS and Time Warner Inc., which completed their upfront sales last week after broadcasters kicked off discussions with programming presentations for advertisers the week of May 17. Last year the big four networks -- Fox, CBS, Walt Disney Co.’s ABC and General Electric Co.’s NBC -- didn’t finish sales until August as marketers trimmed budgets amid the recession.
“As we close out the upfront, we are pleased to once again be in the leadership position, with rate increases and total volume commensurate with our No. 1 standing in the marketplace,” New York-based CBS said today in a statement without providing figures on its ad sales.
Fox, the top network among viewers aged 18 to 49, received $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion in ad sales for shows ahead of the season that starts in September, a person with knowledge of the results said June 4. The network boosted ad rates by 9 percent on average and sold about 80 percent of its inventory, the person said.
ABC and NBC are getting “high single-digit” percentage price increases, according to people familiar with the networks’ sales results who asked not to be named because the figures aren’t public. The networks haven’t completed selling ads.
The CW network finished its upfront negotiations with $350 million in sales, a 20 percent increase from last year, said a person familiar with the process last week. Ad prices are about 7.5 percent higher on average, and the network sold in the mid- to-low 70 percent range of its inventory, the person said.
Fox programs two hours in prime time, seven days a week, while rivals air three hours in primetime plus shows in the daytime and late-night. The CW programs two hours of prime time on weekdays.
CBS fell 5 cents to $13.31 today in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The stock has dropped 5.3 percent this year.
Disney, based in Burbank, California, gained 11 cents to $33.15. News Corp., based in New York, rose 19 cents to $12.58 on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
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