Also: See Network Household Share Chart (.pdf)

NBC UPFRONT CHAMP WITH $2.65 BILLION SCORE

Has Sold 83% of Inventory; CBS Has Only Sold 50%

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LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- With the TV broadcast upfront virtually completed, NBC has made a bigger score than first realized.

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

Related Resource:
2002-2003 NETWORK HOUSEHOLD SHARE CHART
Compare Program Audience Draw in This PDF File

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do $1.7 billion in sales -- but could do more. Media executives said the Viacom network is writing business somewhat slower than other networks, having only sold about 50% of its inventory so far; CBS is attempting to extract higher CPM increases than NBC, shooting for the 10% to 11% range.

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."

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