TV Upfront

ABC Wraps Upfront Talks

Network Secures Price Increases Between 4% and 5%

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ABC has largely wrapped its upfront deals, according to a network spokeswoman, making it the second broadcaster to conclude its annual summer deal-making.

The alphabet network declined to provide guidance on pricing and volume, but said it is pleased with where it landed, secured "appropriate" volume and is "well poised" to sell the remaining inventory closer to its actual air date, in the so-called scatter market.

ABC secured price hikes between 4% and 5%, according to a person familiar with negotiations. That's down from the 7% to 8% increases it garnered in 2013.

Last year ABC secured total dollar commitments that were even with or slightly below the $2.2 billion it secured in 2012. In this year's negotiation, total volume is believed to be down from 2013, according to media buyers.

ABC once again ended the season in fourth place in the all-important 18-to-49 demographic. Its total audience slipped 3%, averaging 7.6 million viewers in prime-time, putting it in the No. 3 slot.

CBS said last week that it largely completed its upfront negotiations, declining to comment on pricing and total ad commitments.

"As we near the finish line, we are very confident that CBS has once again achieved the highest pricing and most total dollars in the upfront marketplace," the company said in a statement. "Agencies and clients continue to value the strength, stability and delivery that we provide as a pure-play broadcaster, and we are very pleased that in addition to C3, C7 is now playing a meaningful part in our negotiations."

GroupM, the powerful ad-buying network, agreed earlier in talks to pay for commercials seen up to seven days after they air, a standard called C7, instead of the industry-standard three days.

Fox, NBC and The CW are still in the process of negotiating ad time for next season.

And on the cable front, there appears to be little business written yet outside of NBC Universal, which packages its broadcast inventory with its cable inventory.

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