The CW has closed its upfront ad sales, according to a person familiar with negotiations between the networks and media buyers, with CPM gains in the range of 14%-15% and volume rising by a single-digit margin.
The 2019-2020 season that was sold this spring is the second in the CBS-WarnerMedia joint venture’s history to feature six nights of primetime programming. Sunday was added to the network’s calendar last fall.
About 80% of total inventory was sold, the source indicated, leaving the rest to the scatter market. Pharmaceuticals and fast food were particularly strong categories, the source indicated, and both digital and linear programming proved to be draws.
Last month in New York, the CW touted its lineup for the 2019-20 fall season during a tight 45-minute presentation led by president Mark Pedowitz. The schedule includes 12 hours of original scripted programming – more than Fox’s seven as the latter network shifts gears under its new structure.
CW primetime is also undergoing significant changes, with only four of its time slots feature same shows as last fall. A show featuring Batwoman is one of three new series joining 14 returning shows. Arrow, in its eighth and final go-round, will for the first time be paired with spinoff The Flash on same night, Tuesday.
The network has also made news on the streaming front, though that is unlikely to have played heavily into advertisers’ thinking. After a lengthy partnership with Netflix, the CW has decided to pull back and more carefully control its own library, while maintaining its own ad-supported CW streaming. It will of course also be connected through its owners to the forthcoming WarnerMedia streaming service.
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