Fox Network Group’s ad sales team should be able to relax over the Independence Day weekend now that they’re mostly done with their upfront sales negotiations. Word has it that revenues were flat, although pricing was up, for a portfolio that includes Fox Broadcasting, Fox Sports, FX, FXX, and National Geographic — but not Fox News.
This year “flat” may be the new “up.” Dollar volume in the TV market is expected to slip by a high-single-digit percentage. And it was unclear how badly Fox would be dinged after a season when the broadcast network finished No. 4 among 18-49 year olds with big disappointments including its former mainstay American Idol.
Last year, Fox Broadcasting generated an estimated $1.6 billion in upfront sales, down 12.1% vs 2013, although unit pricing was up around 3%. It will be hard to make apples-to-apples comparisons this year following the company’s decision to sell broadcast and cable together.
But it seems that Fox saw plenty of interest in shows including Empire, Scream Queens, Grandfathered, American Horror Story, The Americans, NFL and MLB playoffs and World Series.
The company also made progress in persuading advertisers to buy on the basis of viewers who see their spots over seven days, up from the norm of three. The company also made headway in its effort to sell ads across platforms including VOD, online video, and mobile.