Several TV advertising executives are describing the 2009/2010 upfront as a correction year now that the majority of players have accepted that it's going to be a cut-price CPM marketplace."It happens about every ten years," one syndication executive said, "so we're due."
An ad industry consultant advising marketers echoed that sentiment: "The truth is it's time for a correction. We do it every 10 to 15 years."
The last down market occurred in 2001, following the dotcom bust, and before that a decade earlier during the 1991 recession. The 2001 upfront market saw broadcast networks cutting rates at anywhere between two and eight percent.
In an interview with B&C ahead of the upfront marketplace, NBC Universal president ad sales, Mike Pilot, appeared to acknowledge this market would in all likelihood be a down market given the economy. "There's been real pressure on pricing. I think if you are a buyer in these kinds of market conditions, in any industry, you're not feeling great about paying increases right now, and we're not immune to that."