With "scatter" advertising (buying ads just before airtime) at an all-time high, networks should expect a great upfront season, with advertisers trying to lock in prices now. According to AdAge however, recent events could complicate matters.
The earthquake/tsunami disaster in Japan last month could force auto advertisers to move their ad purchases until the third quarter. This will not only affect the Japanese auto makers but also domestic and other foreign auto companies who rely on Japanese parts.
Other events such as the impending AT&T and T-Mobile merger (which could result in a consolidated budget), the rise of prices for basic commodities for Big Food and the cost inflation for retailers could dampen what most experts believe will be a healthy upfront season. -- Tim Baysinger