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The Upfront That Could Have Been

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As the broadcast network television Upfront moves forward quietly and with little momentum, it's becoming clear that procurement and financial officers of major marketers are dictating the pricing decisions and driving Upfront purchasing models. Based on the deals that are being negotiated and completed, overall apples-to-apples cost-per-thousand pricing is down compared to last year with total Upfront sales down considerably, leaving a higher than normal percentage of inventory available for scatter markets. Exceptional deals are available to marketers who would agree to flat to modest CPM increases, but instead of capitalizing on these potential opportunities, marketers are walking away from incumbencies and category exclusivities, ignoring major long-term relationships in return for cost efficiency considerations. In this week's subscriber report, I share detailed insights into this year's Upfront market conditions.

Jack Myers is a media economist and consults with media companies, agencies and marketers. He can be reached at jm@jackmyers.com.