The major broadcasters’ upfront ad sales season is just about wrapped up: Fox Networks Group is preparing to wind things up after cutting deals with high-single-digit- to low-double-digit increases in per-viewer prices, we’re told.
The operation sold 75%-80% of the inventory, contributing to a 5% gain in the total volume of sales at the Fox network, Fox Sports, FX Networks and National Geographic. Fox News Channel is sold separately.
Volume and prices were up across Fox’s broadcast, cable and digital properties, including gains for VOD and digital video.
The company’s sales appear to have been roughly in line with those of other broadcasters — and ahead of some analysts’ expectations. For example, Nomura’s Anthony DiClemente forecast that Fox’s broadcast network would sell 68% of its inventory with prices for each 1,000 viewers up by 7%.
The network probably ended up beating the $1.71 billion it’s believed to have sold in last year’s upfront. But that depends on how many viewers Fox guaranteed to reach. Last season its ratings fell by about 5% — and buyers had big questions about the programming for the coming season which won’t include American Idol.