"If last year's any example, it
recovered," Lifetime and History chief Nancy Dubuc said of the ad market
on a panel of cable executives moderated by Lionsgate Entertainment's TV
Group President Kevin Beggs at NATPE Monday.
Dubuc says Lifetime and History parent AETN last year beat
its projections "by quite a bit" and that they're still
seeing a "robust marketplace." She said she expects a robust
upfront and that she is "eager to see exactly how robust," adding
that there's "definitely a different mindset than it was 18 months
Panelists USA Network's Jeff Wachtel and
Turner's Michael Wright pointed out, however, that cable networks still have
a ways to go in achieving pricing parity with broadcast.
Bravo boss Frances Berwick, also a panelist, raised the point that many
of cable's biggest recent programming successes, such as AMC's The
Walking Dead, worked largely because they were "brand bulls-eyes." AMC
has a built not only a tradition of strong original series but also a
fall programming slate of scary fare leading up to Walking Dead's
Halloween debut, she noted.