- In the context of a 41 percent drop in second-quarter earnings, and what it called a "very slow," upfront market, NBC Universal says it will hold back more inventory for the scatter market, which is sold closer to air time. While ratings laggard NBC may be most interested in this strategy, expect others to follow suit, both because it's a bet the economy will improve and it creates false scarcity in the near-term.
- NBC is said to be offering declines in the CPM (cost-per-thousand) in the "mid to high single digits," with the other networks offering lower rates in only the one to three percent range, per Advertising Age. That story also says that CBS, which in May was predicting it would get CPM increases, is holding out hardest, but from all of the research I've done over the last few weeks, it looks highly unlikely that it would not have to settle for a CPM decline.
- The ever-aggressive Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau sent a letter out to agencies this week urging them, and their advertisers, to come into the open arms of cable first, with the network market, which usually goes first, at a stalemate. The CAB has told advertisers (with astoundingly faulty punctuation), "The stalemate can end tomorrow, call on your Cable networks to get the price/value your advertisers need from this upfront. "If advertiser's want to end this stalemate, they can buy Cable first, shift another 15% of their budgets into Cable and realize the kind of price/value they need in this year's Upfront marketplace"
- According to Alan Cohen, U.S. CEO with Omnicom Group media buying group OMD, the stalemate in the upfront marketplace is making agencies look harder at alternatives to buying broadcast TV: "The main thing we are doing is being proactive and talking to clients about alternatives to drive efficiencies. This situation has made us look at some alternatives that will give clients the ability to reach broad audiences in a different way."
Previous coverage of the upfront at BNET Media: