Cable upfront seen closing soon


The bulk of the cable upfront is expected to move during the next two weeks.

Some deals have already been struck. Sources confirm Turner Broadcast Sales (representing WTBS and TNT) has struck deals with four big media buyers, including Starcom and MediaEdge at prices that are down single and double digits from last year. A Turner spokesman declined to comment on specifics, other than to say that none of the deals done to date were struck at rates down 15% (or worse) from last year.

Meanwhile, UPN sources say the network has completed about half its upfront business totaling between $85 million and $90 million. So far, sources say pricing is roughly flat with last year.

Advertisers are paying less for Buffy this year than they paid WB last year, but more for the UPN Tuesday time period where the network has scheduled the show for this fall. - Steve McClellan