Cable's no better
Like broadcast, upfront predicted to be off as much as 15%
By Steve McClellan -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/15/2001 8:00:00 PM
One thing you can say about that $1 billion missing from this year's broadcast-network upfront: It ain't going to cable. Execs on the cable sell side admit they also are going to get fewer dollars this year. One cable network exec says it wouldn't surprise him to see cable's overall pool of upfront money decrease 15%, to $4 billion.
Others don't expect the drop to be that steep but acknowledge that there will definitely be a drop. "There is going to be a correction from last year in what was a very overheated market," says one source.
The cable upfront market still has a way to go. Turner sources say TNT and TBS are about halfway done, with price declines in the single-digit to low-double-digit range (that is, below 15%).
Lifetime is about 25% finished, according to Senior Vice President, Ad Sales, Lynn Picard. Industrywide, cable appears to be taking price cuts ranging from 6% to 20%, she says, adding that Lifetime is somewhere in the middle of that range. But the network is demanding that clients spend more money than originally allotted for the price concessions.
One report had A&E willing to take deals at 25% below last year's prices. The network declined to comment.
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