CBS Chief Les Moonves Predicts “Double Digit” Increase In Upfront Ads

“There you have it. Let the games begin,” Moonves told the Deutsche Bank Media & Telecom Conference this morning. Although he’s typically the most bullish TV exec in making these kinds of forecasts before the upfront market opens in May, his ambitious target for unit prices doesn’t seem far-fetched for CBS  based on his and other executives’ recent observations about ad sales. Moonves says that demand is “exploding” in the current quarter, especially from auto makers and in local markets. Prices in the scatter market are up by mid-teen percentages vs last year’s upfront sales, he says. And with his network’s strong ratings “there are no make-goods at CBS; other networks have that issue.” He’s also salivating over the likely flood of political ads. “We expect an extraordinary year,” he says — rivaling two years ago when CBS saw $180M from various campaigns. The addition this year of Super PACS — which have been spending heavily in the GOP primaries, mostly on negative ads — will be “beneficial to us.” (more…)

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