The TV Ad Upfronts: Let The Unaudited Boasting Begin!

Categories: 1-Featured,TV Advertising

Written By

June 5th, 2013

If you follow the TV trade press, you'll know that the news of ad deals for the 2013-14 broadcast season has begun to appear, "The CW Wraps Upfront Sales"

A few things to keep in mind as you read those advertising upfront reports:

* I'd love to claim credit for "unaudited boasting", but I cribbed it from Ad Age's Michael Learmonth.

 
  • thesnowleopard

    Not a lot of individual show numbers to chew on there.

  • Geordiegirl1967

    Don’t they usually announce how much per minute each show attracts?

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “Don’t they usually announce how much per minute each show attracts?”

    Not the networks. You may be thinking of the Ad Age estimates that get published each fall before the season starts.

  • Joseph

    The broadcast network should reduce ad rates for most of their shows, given falling viewership.

    There may only be a handful of shows on the broadcast networks that deserve an increase in the price of their commercial spots.

  • Ryan

    Does anyone typically report the audited statements?

  • DarthSidVicious

    The broadcast network should reduce ad rates for most of their shows, given falling viewership.

    But then wouldn’t they have to show MORE ads just to keep revenue stable?

  • Tom

    After this season’s debacle, it baffles me why anyone would buy ad time on the CW. Especially at an increased price. The CW is almost literally the network no one watches. Furthermore, the CBS/WB joint venture has demonstrated that it’s unwilling to fund its productions at a level that will permit the CW to compete with the other networks. Spending ad money on an underfunded network that will likely continue to feature poorly rated programs hardly seems like good business.

  • DarthSidVicious

    Joseph:
    Posted June 5, 2013 at 5:28 PM:
    The broadcast network should reduce ad rates for most of their shows, given falling viewership.

    But then wouldn’t they have to show MORE ads just to keep revenue stable?

  • DarthSidVicious

    After this season’s debacle, it baffles me why anyone would buy ad time on the CW. Especially at an increased price

    Unless I’m mistaken, the whole point of ratings, like the ones posted on this site, is so networks and advertisers can agree a fair price. Presumably, networks like CW charge less for their airtime since they draw, on the whole, smaller audiences.

  • Doug

    The networks will get as much as the buyers will pay. Reducing their own ad rates is… kind of stupid, no?

    I’d love to see what The Walking Dead is getting versus TBBT. Both have similar ratings, but there’s still a broadcast premium.

  • TheFrenchGuy

    I’m not sure to understand it right. The Ad Upfronts are when networks decide the price for a 30-second ad during their Shows (depending on their ratings). If it’s not that can someone explain ?

  • Davide De Rea

    “When the volume of the product you’re selling (adults 18-49 viewers) declines from year to year”

    I think that quote is missing the word “to”, unless the TV networks have gotten into the human trafficking business (which I hear is quite lucrative; I don’t know whether it’s on the decline though).

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “I think that quote is missing the word “to”, unless the TV networks have gotten into the human trafficking business (which I hear is quite lucrative; I don’t know whether it’s on the decline though).”

    Many people are similarly confused.

    The viewers are not the broadcast networks’ customers, they are indeed its product.

    http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2012/09/18/broadcast-tv-viewers-youre-not-the-customer-youre-the-product-being-sold/146373/

  • Chris

    The CW’s commercial load increased on the network’s digital platforms, and the overall $420 million the signed for is almost static year-over-year, so that is a price reduction per unit.

    The network is up double digits in male demographics this season, and is targeting this demo with their new lineup.
    With Arrow and Supernatural both pulling a 1.0, and Vamp. Diaries doing even better, if only two or three of the new shows find their footing, the CW might have a good year. Too bad only one show caught my attention, though I will watch a the first few eps. of a second show and see if it is as hashed as the trailer makes it look.

  • zangadelf

    This is utter nonsense. It is completely a buyer’s market now with ad sales. Broadcast networks have no leverage at all with HUNDREDS of failed shows year after year. There is no reason for advertisers to trust what networks say ( they are guessing ) and “ad buyers” are nothing but clerks betting on a dog race. Advertisers would be best to fire their ad buyers and ask their own employees which shows to get in on. But that would mean a lot of useless executives would have nothing to do, and would destroy the whole stupid ad sales machine!

  • Ray

    “Broadcast networks have no leverage at all with HUNDREDS of failed shows year after year.”

    I don’t see how that’s possible. Can you please provide evidence that hundreds of broadcast shows fail year after year (I presume by fail you mean they are canceled).

    Even if it were true, if it happens year after year then it’s understood by all sides as business as usual so there is no reason to think this year should create a shift in leverage.

  • cas127

    “you need price increases as big as your viewership declines just to keep revenue stable!”

    You also need to invoke some black magic/Jedi Mind Tricks/bribery to keep media buyers from realizing that the same 1000 impressions (CPM) they are paying your television network $10 for, could be bought on Facebook for 50 cents or on Tumblr for 5 cents.

    Scale these numbers up a few thousand times and you are talking real money – money that the networks *somehow* manage to keep talking advertisers out of…

    …but the day of reckoning approacheth…

  • http://tvbythenumbers.com Bill Gorman

    “You also need to invoke some black magic/Jedi Mind Tricks/bribery to keep media buyers from realizing that the same 1000 impressions (CPM) they are paying your television network $10 for, could be bought on Facebook for 50 cents or on Tumblr for 5 cents.”

    Forget the internet comparison, broadcast TV ratings points still cost 2-3x what cable TV ratings points cost.

    That broadcast can maintain that gap over cable continues to surprise me.

  • david

    To add to the point i think the CW will be targeting males with The Tomorrow People in the fall and in the midseason i think the Hundred will be targeting male viewers too. The other new shows i think like the Originals and Reign will target females though. Just my thoughts on the topic.

  • Hillbilly

    Its total volume is in line with last year, when the network racked up about $410M in commitments at 7% CPM increases.

    The CW is entering TVBTN territory. ;)

    Rumor has it Bill & Robert will be launching their own channel in 2014.

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