The upfront market is finally breaking with ABC and Fox now signing ad deals largely in line with the increases that NBC and CBS have seen.
ABC’s unit prices are up by double digit percentages over its rates last year, we hear. And Fox is up by high-single to low-double digits — still notable considering that it has younger audiences, and higher CPMs (the cost to reach each thousand viewers), than its rivals.
NBC and CBS have also been making deals with low-double digit percentage increases in unit rates.
If the prices hold, then they would top Wall Street’s expectations. For example, Nomura’s Anthony DiClemente forecast an average 7.8% increase in CPMs for the Big Four networks, with CBS up 9%, ABC up 8%, and NBC and Fox up 7%.
There’s no word yet on other details that will affect the final tally, including how much inventory is being sold and what ratings the networks are guaranteeing. DiClemente anticipated a 5.5% increase for the Big Four, to more than $8.4 billion. That would be a shift after three years of declines, due in part to drops in ratings.