The surprising drop in the cable upfront advertising market was a 6% decline, according to new figures from the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau.
The 6% drop left upfront spending on cable at $9.6 billion, the CAB said, following four years in which the cable upfront grew from $6.7 billion to a record $1.02 billion in 2013-14.
CAB said the upfront dip was caused by clients choosing to hold onto TV ad dollars longer, to gain the flexibility to make investments closer to the start dates of campaigns.
"Several big-spending advertisers stated that they anticipated spending fewer ad dollars in this year's Upfront, and nearly all cited increased flexibility as their reason why," CAB president and CEO Sean Cunningham said in a statement. "Cable networks are meeting this instinct for immediacy with multiscreen brand programs around hit shows."