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TV Upfront Deals Wrapping Up

5 Aug, 2009 Response This Week

NEW YORK – The five major broadcast TV networks are in final negotiations with advertisers for upfront deals, reports

As a result of the economic climate, the total broadcast volume is expected to reach between $7.8 and $8.2 billion, down from last year’s $9.23 billion garnered for primetime ad inventory.

With many advertisers feeling reluctant to purchase ad time so far in advance of the fall season, some networks believe they will fare well in the scatter market, when advertisers commit to purchasing advertising closer to the time shows are slated to air and network ad prices usually drop.

Walt Disney’s ABC intends to hold back its upfront inventory, with the goal of selling more ads in the scatter market. “We anticipate selling less of our inventory in this year’s upfront than in recent years,” said Tom Staggs, senior executive vice-president and CFO of Walt Disney Co.

Last year, ABC sold between 80 and 85 percent of its ad inventory in upfront deals – that is an increase from 2007 when it sold between 77 and 82 percent.

Individual volume of commitments for each of the networks could not yet be determined, but all are expected to fall below last year's totals.

All negotiations are expected to conclude within the next two weeks.

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