Kids’ upfront market manages a 5% increase

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The kids' upfront market is 90% wrapped, eking out a surprising 5% increase despite worries about restrictions on marketing to kids and retail consolidation. Last year the market increased 13% to $850 million. This year's more modest rise has it settling around $890 million.

Broadcast networks saw a drop in revenue, and cable saw an increase. Viacom's Nickelodeon is up high single digits in revenue and Time Warner's Cartoon Network is up double digits. "[Broadcast] CPMs held strong, but overall ratings losses were comparable to the loss in revenue," said David Levy, president-entertainment sales and marketing at Turner Broadcasting, which sells Cartoon Network and WB Kids.

CPM prices for the pre-holiday "hard eight" period hovered in the low double-digits.Other inventory was negotiated down to low singles-a far cry from last year's 20%-to-25% rate hikes for prime periods.

Big spender Kraft Foods' outlay was down from last year. Sellers said food marketing as a whole was up, promoting reformulated products and healthful-food launches.

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