Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman, Episode 35

Listen to (and share) episode 35 of our audio podcast Deadline Big Media With David Lieberman. Deadline’s executive editor joins host David Bloom to discuss the advertising upfronts this week, including the CBS victory lap and whether an auto ad spending blitz will finance this year’s pricey programming; Daniel Loeb’s (and possibly Les Moonves’) plans for Sony; and National CineMedia’s whiz-bang new technologies to give exhibitors and studios more bang for their in-theater ad bucks.

Deadline Big Media, Episode 35 (MP3 format)
Deadline Big Media, Episode 35 (MP4a format) Read More »

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CBS Hits Pause On Pre-Upfront Pickups

By | Monday May 13, 2013 @ 5:58pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

I hear CBS might be done ordering new series, at least until after its upfront presentation on Wednesday. The network already has picked up five comedy series and three dramas, including two pickups on Sunday, of drama Reckless and comedy Read More »

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TV Networks Will See Just Mid-Single Digit Growth In Upfront Ad Prices: Analyst

With sales cooling in television’s scatter advertising market, negotiations underway now for the huge upfront market  will generate less than networks would like Nomura Equity Research’s Michael Nathanson predicts this morning in his thorough quarterly  review of ad trends.  He forecasts that overall U.S. sales will grow 5.6% in 2012, making him more optimistic than ZenithOptimedia (which projects U.S. sales +3.6%) and MAGNA Global (anticipating +4.0%). Television will be +6.6% this year with help from the additional spending for the 2012 election campaigns and the Summer Olympics — but will decelerate to +0.9% next year. Demand in the broader marketplace “seems to be stable,” he says, after rising 5.3% to $19.2B in the first three months of this year vs the same period last year. The 11.8% boost in Q1 online sales to nearly $5B accounted for much of the growth. But television was up 6.0% to $10.2B.  The return of NBA games, following the basketball league’s lockout, helped cable networks to lead  the way, +7.9% to $4.8B. But the major broadcast networks enjoyed a 5.0% bump to nearly $3B. Nathanson says that Fox’s ratings struggles with American Idol (and not including the network’s boost from the Super Bowl) offset the mid-to-high single digit growth at CBS and ABC. Read More »

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Wall Street Predicts CBS Will Lead Upfront TV Ad Sales In A “Boring” Year

It’s in almost everybody’s interest to try and gin up excitement for next week’s major TV network upfront presentations: The celebrities are lined up, and the shrimp and booze ordered, in an effort to entice ad buyers to conditionally bet billions of dollars on shows that haven’t been written yet, and ratings points that can’t be accurately measured. Wall Street analysts say that CBS will be the big winner in light of its strong ratings. For example, Credit Suisse’ Spencer Wang predicts this morning that CBS will record commitments of $2.8B (+4%), followed by ABC at $2.4B (+2%), Fox at $2.0B (+2%), NBC at $1.7B (no change), and CW at $477M (-1%). But for the most part, analysts are preparing to yawn. ”As it currently stands,” RBC Capital Markets’ David Bank writes this morning, “broadcast year 2012/13 is setting up to be a ‘boring’ year for network TV advertising, with few surprises.” He reflects the consensus view that advertisers are less likely to be stampeded into making deals than they were last year. The economy looks wobbly — nobody knows how the European debt crisis will play out — and overall TV ratings continue to slide. Demand from auto companies is robust “but likely will decelerate,” Bank says. Meanwhile pharmaceutical companies have been standoffish “and likely will continue to remain so for the foreseeable future” with fewer new products teed up and some major patents due Read More »

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Will Fears About The Health Of The Economy Dampen Upfront Ad Sales?

By | Monday April 30, 2012 @ 6:34am PDT

They could, Barclays Equity Research analyst Anthony DiClemente says in a report this morning. He still predicts that sales in television’s pre-season marketplace will rise — by 4.3% to $9.49B for the Big Four broadcast networks, and by 6.3% … Read More »

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Look Out: Advertisers Will Cancel Upfront Orders As Economy Weakens, Analyst Says

Never mind the strong upfront ad sales for broadcast and cable networks. The slowing economy is “finally starting to impact marketers’ budgets,” UBS Investment Research analyst John Janedis said in a report today as he downgraded his investment … Read More »

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UPFRONTS: Fears About The Economy Drive Networks To Sell While They Can

As this year’s broadcast network upfront market just wrapped up, we can see the force that’s been driving sales: Fear. ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and NBC seem to believe that the economy will weaken. They’re selling as much of their primetime … Read More »

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CBS’ Les Moonves Says Fox’s Upfront ‘Game’ Sold Broadcasters Short

CBS chief Les Moonves pretty much accused Fox this morning of spoiling the advertising upfront season for the broadcast networks by failing to hold out for higher prices. CBS is angling for increases of about 18% vs last year in the price advertisers pay to reach … Read More »

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Upfronts: ABC Execs Jump On Digital Bandwagon

By | Tuesday May 17, 2011 @ 2:11pm PDT

From the presentations ABC, NBC and Fox executives have made to advertisers so far this week, you’d think they were more concerned about competition from digital media than they are about each other. ABC continued the pro-TV theme at … Read More »

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Upfronts: Advertisers Intrigued By ‘Smash’ And ‘Prime Suspect’ But Question Sitcoms

Upfronts: It’s All About Ads & The Economy

Advertisers like NBC’s and Fox’s decisions to add comedies to their fall lineups but say the clips shown to them today don’t show enough to suggest whether any will become hits. ”Comedies are the hardest … Read More »

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Upfronts: It’s All About Ads & The Economy

Just about everyone says that the 2011 upfront ad sales season that kicks off this week will be a record-setter. Barclays Capital analyst Anthony DiClemente expects advertisers to commit about $9.2 billion for prime time spots at ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC … Read More »

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Media Company Stocks Overvalued? That’s “The Big Question,” Wall Street Watcher Says

Here’s why: Media stocks are up 24.4% over the last six months, outperforming the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500, which rose 15.1% over the period. So they already reflect a lot of optimism. But investors may be disappointed by upcoming news about ad sales, ratings, and ticket sales, Nomura Securities analyst Michael Nathanson says in a report out this morning. His warning comes as media executives prepare to release their quarterly earnings and talk to Wall Street about the state of the business. They conduct hour-long infomercials designed to persuade the world that everything is fine — or, if it manifestly isn’t, that it’s someone else’s fault. 

But Nathanson says the companies’ go-go projections about over-the-top ad sales miss how much Japanese auto makers are cutting production as they grapple with parts shortages following the country’s earthquake and tsunami. For example, Toyota will crank out 35,000 fewer cars than planned in North America in March and April. That’s a big deal: Auto companies typically spend about $1,200 on ads for each car they sell. Meanwhile, overall broadcast and cable network ratings stank in the first quarter. The Big Four networks’ live ratings were down 15.9% vs. the same period last year. As for movies, if you don’t know about this year’s miserable ticket sales, then you aren’t paying attention — although Nathanson says that box office would have been up 11% if last year didn’t include Fox’s Avatar and Disney’s Alice In Wonderland. Read More »

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Discovery Communications’ Networks Unveil Upfront Slates

By | Thursday April 14, 2011 @ 8:43am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Discovery Communications’ networks will hold their upfront presentation in New York this afternoon. Here is the new programming they will be announcing. (The slate for OWN’s, Discovery’s co-venture with Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo, was announced separately.) Flagship Discovery Channel is adding four new unscripted series to its lineup, including Penn & Teller’s Secrets of the Universe. TLC has picked up new spinoffs of its Say Yes to the Dress franchise. New series also include the previously announced Homecoming, hosted by Billy Ray Cyrus, and I Kid, starring Brad Garrett. TLC also has acquired the U.K. series Big Fat Gypsy Wedding and will develop an American version. Animal Planet will add 14 new series to its lineup, including Romance is Dead, about a family running a taxidermy shop in Romance, Ark., and my personal favorite, Ned Bruha: Skunk Whisperer. On the heels of its recent facelift, Science announced a second season of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s An Idiot Abroad, An Idiot Abroad: The Bucket List. Here are descriptions of the new programs by network: Read More »

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UPFRONTS UP! Car, Cellular, Banking Want Primetime: May Be Strongest Since 2003

Cable channels are already making upfront presentations to advertisers, and those sales efforts will accelerate on Thursday when Discovery Communications introduces its fall shows. According to new forecasts out this week which do not take into account the deepening NFL labor strife, cable channel sales could hit $9 billion during the coming 2011 upfronts, up 11.5% over last year. As for broadcast, Miller Tabak analyst David Joyce projects a 14.9% increase to nearly $9.9 billion for the Big Four networks’ primetime schedule unveiling next month. Media services firm Zenith Optimedia also said this week that it expects double-digit gains in cable and broadcast sales. Car, cell phone, and banking service companies – eager to take advantage of the thawing economy – could make this upfront ad-sales season one of the strongest since 2003. Auto companies normally account for about a quarter of TV ad sales but were in a deep slump during the economic crisis giving the TV honchos fits. Now they’ll likely drive the market once more. They’re introducing 65 new models this year vs. 60 in 2010, and only 40 in 2009. Read More »

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CBS Corp. Chief Expects Double-Digit Ad Gains At Upfront

Nellie Andreeva

Deflecting any questions about the future of CBS’ top comedy Two and a Half Men, CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves today talked about the upcoming upfront market and his bullish projections for CBS. Speaking at a Deutsche Bank investor conference in Florida, Moonves predicted ad rate increases of … Read More »

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