At the Disney-ABC upfront presentation last month Sales President Rita Ferro vowed to “do better” following a year of declining ratings. And the company suggests today that advertisers believe it will: Disney says that it has “increased volume and CPMs” in its first effort to sell inventory across its media portfolio.
Total revenues are up “high single digits across the board in all broadcast, cable and kids,” the company says in a release — unusual, although not unprecedented, following upfront sales.
Increases in the CPMs — the unit cost to reach 1,000 viewers — were up “in the high single-digit across all dayparts and cable,” it adds.
That would beat many analysts’ expectations. For example, Evercore ISI’s Vijay Jayant forecast a 5% increase in CPMs.
Like with other networks including CBS and NBC, Disney is feeling especially good about non-prime dayparts: Late night and kids programming “saw low double-digit pricing increases,” it says.
Meanwhile, digital spending was up nearly 20% vs 2016, helped by demand from technology, pharmaceutical, financial services, insurance and consumer packaged goods companies.
The company says that advertisers “were especially drawn to series including: ABC’s returning comedies, realities, the TGIT programming block, and new shows inclusive of The Good Doctor, The Mayor, The Gospel of Kevin and American Idol; Freeform’s upcoming Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger, Sirens and 25 Days of Christmas; Disney XD’s Ducktales reboot; Disney Channel’s Andi Mack; and the entire Disney Jr. portfolio.”
All in all, Disney says, the company is “positioned well for the scatter marketplace.”
Last month Ferro told advertisers that her company is “in the process of breaking down silos and bringing together the sales teams from ABC, Freeform and Disney. We are committed to making it easier for you to work across all of our brands and content. And when I say all of our content, I don’t just mean the powerful collection of ABC news and entertainment assets. I mean the whole portfolio of Disney-ABC, and the entire Walt Disney company.”
That includes “access to Disney data” to create “unique experiences beyond traditional media.”