Cable networks took in $9.797 billion in advertising
commitments during the 2012-13 upfront, according to new figures from the
Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau.
The $9.8 billion is a record and represents a 5% increase
from the prior year. Over the past three years, advertisers have increased
their upfront spending on cable by 46%.
The growth rate was lower than the double digit gains cable
racked up in the two previous upfronts. Cable registered a 16% gain in the
2011-12 upfront and 19% jump in 2010-11.
Though growth slowed, the cable upfront surpassed the
broadcast upfront. Sales volume for the English-language broadcasters was flat
to down. David Bank of RBC Capital Markets estimates that CBS, Fox, ABC, NBC
and the CW took in $9 billion, down 2% from the year before.
"Being in constant touch with agencies and advertisers we
are told that cable brands are being relied on to play an every larger and
leading role for U.S. advertisers in driving their consumer sales," CAB CEO
Sean Cunningham said in a statement.
Cunningham said advertisers cited three reasons for their
increasing investment in cable advertising. One is the strength of consumer
connections to cable content brands, the second is the high quality of original
programming content on cable, and third is "the fact that network cable brands
have grown audiences to a lead position in every form of video advertising
The CAB also said that during the upfront cable did more multi-platform
deals than ever before.