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Upfront market expected to change - Broadcasting & Cable

Upfront market expected to change

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Both buyers and sellers at the "AdWatch: Outlook 2002" conference in New York
Tuesday said the way the upfront market is conducted will change over time.

Marc Rosenthal, head of sales for MTV Networks, said the distinctions between the
different TV media (cable, broadcast network and local TV) continue to blur.

He noted that in April, cable's total share of viewing surpassed that of the
networks.

He added that in the future, it's possible that the upfront will be executed by
demographic, rather than by media.

"There's already a separate kids' upfront. Maybe we'll have a separate 12-to-24 upfront and there will be an 18-to-49 upfront," he said.

Rosenthal also said at the Tuesday conference that the "stall" in the cable
upfront market was "really about the unbranded general-entertainment networks
holding out for higher prices" from advertisers.

He added that it didn't affect specialty networks like MTV: 'We'll end up doing
extremely well," he said.

DaimlerChrysler's Julie Roehm said the upfront process is "antiquated."

A market that incorporates a make-good process, she added is "extraordinarily
inefficient."

Advertisers care more about the bigger marketing strategy and communicating
with viewers effectively in a world where they have hundreds of media choices but
less time to use them all.

Proctor & Gamble Co.'s James Stengel said the entire marketing process has to be more
"consumer-centric."

He said P&G intends to do more major cross-platform deals with big media
companies -- like the ones P&G has done with Viacom Inc. (now entering its second
year) and Discovery Networks U.S.

If managed properly, such arrangements offer a big upfront commitment to the
seller while giving the advertiser "more flexibility to adjust the mix and
spending throughout the year," he added.

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