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NBC Upfront Sales Finalized

12 Aug, 2009 Response This Week

NEW YORK – NBC Universal has nearly completed its upfront sales and expects total dollars committed to be down between 5 and 9 percent, reports Overall, the company forecasts commitments across all of its properties to total nearly $4 billion.

The volume committed to the company’s broadcast network is expected to have declined greatly while the amount committed to its cable outlets is anticipated to be flat with last year’s total.

These results suggest that NBC will increase focus on its cable properties, which currently accounts for a majority of the company’s operations.

Several factors may have contributed to NBC’s drop in upfront sales. First, the company decided to sell 10 percent less inventory this year. Its cost of reaching 1,000 viewers (CPM) declined by mid to high single-digit percentages, the highest of any network.

Additional factors include that NBC is not broadcasting this year’s Super Bowl, less prime-time inventory available due to upcoming Winter Olympic broadcasts, and the five-nights-a-week Jay Leno Show is expected to attract fewer ratings than the scripted series previously aired at that time.

NBC has seen decent scatter sales in the first three quarters of the year and it expects to do well in the upcoming scatter market.

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