The CW said June 4 it has wrapped up its upfront sales, and
as part of those deals has also sold a substantial amount of advertising that
will run during full episodes of its shows when they are viewed online.
With its young-skewing programming, The CW is expanding the
number of commercials that appear online. A key part of its upfront strategy
was getting sponsors to buy advertising in its shows both on broadcast and via
The CW says its strategy worked. "We're wrapping this year's
CW upfront, and thrilled that our convergence initiative has been a resounding
success with the advertising community as the vast majority of our clients have
bought both on-air and full episode streaming online," said Rob Tuck, executive
VP, national sales for The CW. "As the youngest skewing network with a full
schedule of original programming for the first time, we've seen tremendous year
to year growth in all key categories, including health & beauty, retail,
wireless and autos, both domestic and foreign."
The CW's sales were up 20%, to about $370 million. Prices
were up about 7.5% on a cost-per-thousand viewers basis. The network, owned by
CBS and Time Warner, also sold substantially more of its inventory than last
year, when just 65% of its spots were reserved in the upfront.
Fox this morning also confirmed that it had wrapped up its
upfront sales. The network said that its "volume and pricing levels [were]
consistent with our position at the number one network."
Sources indicated that Fox sold about 80% of its advertising
inventory for next season, up from last year, generating between $1.8 billion and $1.9
billion worth of revenues. Prices were up by 8.5% to 9%.
CBS and ABC have made some sales but are still
negotiating. The networks are seeking increases bigger than Fox's, but some
media buyers are resisting.