Executives with knowledge of the current network upfront buying and selling market said the leading broadcast network pulled in $2.65 billion -- well above its $2.4 billion projection. NBC, a unit of General Electric co., posted 7% to 9% price increases, called CPMs -- the cost per thousand viewers -- and sold 83% of its inventory, well above levels of a year ago, executives said.
Not over for CBS
CBS is projected to
Though Walt Disney's ABC had a bad year, the influx of strong ad dollars have helped it to ring up $1.4 billion with 4% to 5% CPM increases. Its nearest competitor, Fox, will pull down $1.3 billion. News corp.'s Fox, another network which had a hard season with low ratings, also received 5% CPM raises.
Good gains for small nets
Smaller networks as did well. The WB, part of AOL Time Warner, grabbed $530 million, while Viacom's other network, UPN, booked $210 million; both saw double digit CPM increases.
Virtually all network executives would not speak on record -- except for NBC.
In citing NBC's big day, Jeff Zucker, president of NBC Entertainment, said: "Obviously we are gratified advertisers had as much confidence in our schedule as we did."