CBS Nearly Done With Upfront Deals

Prices up 7.5%-8.5% on flat volume
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Amid reports that the upfront market was either quiet or sold, top-rated network CBS has nearly completed the sales it intends to make for the 2013-14 season, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

CBS got prices increases of 7.5% to 8.5% on a cost-per-thousand viewers basis and volume was estimated at $2.65 billion, about the same as last year.

It had been generally thought that CBS was holding out for higher prices than most buyers were willing to accept.

CBS CEO Les Moonves, always brimming with confidences, told investors last month that he expected CBS to lead the upfront in both dollar volume and highest price increases, and that those price increases would be in the "high single to low double-digit range." The actual prices appear to be within that range, if on the lower side. Those prices are also higher than the 5% to 7% earned by Fox, which is also done with the bulk of its upfront sales.

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