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Direct Response Marketing

Marketers Back Off Upfront Pricing Demand

1 Jul, 2009 Response This Week


NEW YORK – Initially demanding lower pricing in the upfront television marketplace due to economic concerns this year, advertisers are now backing off of their aggressive demands, reports AdAge.com. After weeks of delay, the marketing for advertising television time in the upcoming fall season is finally moving.

For the past several weeks, media buyers have reported that their clients were not willing to put up with steep pricing from networks and did not want to enter into firm negotiations. But at the start of this month, instead of holding out for double-digit price decreases for the cost of reaching 1,000 viewers (or CPM), clients have ordered buyers to soften their demands.

“To get double digit on anyone is going to be extremely tough,” says an anonymous buyer. “We’re going to try to get there. If the money is down as much as it could be, there would be validity to go that deep.”

The same buyer said that clients are now willing to settle for mid- to high-digit percentage decrease from broadcasters. Cable outlets could see similar results in the upcoming weeks.

Networks typically secure 70-80 percent of their season’s inventory at the upfronts, but this year, sales executives are comfortable selling more time in the scatter market. Marketers routinely commit more than $9 billion to broadcast television in the upfronts. Last year’s commitment for the five broadcast networks came to $9.23 billion and analysts expect that market to drop by 10-20 percent this year.


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