Cable Prices Inch Up


Cable advertising remains a buyer's market on national and local levels. Scatter pricing for the 2Q is up from last spring's upfront by single digits, while local spot remains flat.

"The cable scatter market is getting a little stronger, but it's not robust," notes Andy Donchin, SVP/director of national broadcast, Carat. "Money is still coming in in dribs and drabs but at a more steady pace." He sees cable network pacing "flat to slightly up."

Another major agency player insists the number is more nearly flat to up five because "certain cable networks are getting 10%-plus increases over the upfront." Still, he notes, "network cable is not super-tight. They are working hard for their money."

Cartoon Network's Adult Swim says it has attracted 30 new advertisers, among them auto-aftermarket, financial, telecoms, and restaurants.

Spot-cable increases are in the single digits, according to Richard Cotter, MindShare senior partner and director of local broadcast. "Local broadcast is doing terrible, and that makes the spot market incredibly soft for everyone."

Anne Elkins, SVP/director of local broadcast, MediaCom, sees spot cable as "wide open," with "richer" local cable data playing a part. "Nielsen now reports wired cable versus alternative delivery systems, and ADS penetration numbers in some markets are reducing overall cable gross rating points," she explains. "That could drive up the cost for spot cable."

NCC reports "business is very good. We're pacing considerably ahead of last year."