Although marketers, agency executives and even network TV salespeople have been challenging the relevance of the network television Upfront marketplace for more than a decade, it has remained the predominant influence in media buying and selling. This year's Upfront results will have significant impact on the future of the network television business for many reasons. As discussions between networks and agency buyers have stagnated there are few media sales executives, program content decision-makers, agency execs or Wall St. media investors who aren't withholding their own planning decisions until Upfront spending patterns become clear. These patters have begun to emerge. Just last week, most agencies finalized budget planning with their clients and Upfront negotiations should begin in earnest during the next several days. The fact that cable discussions have not been heated in the past two weeks suggests first that budgets have not been finalized but also that media buyers are planning to approach the marketplace following reasonably traditional broadcast-first models.
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This post originally appeared at JackMyers.com.