No Change For UPN In Upfront Market

By Lisa
July 2, 2001 - 10:07 PM

The advertising upfront ended last week, signalling an end to the period where television networks try to sell as much as their advertising stock as possible for the upcoming season. While other networks have suffered losses against last year's figures, UPN's advertising revenues from this year's upfront have been equal to those of 2000.

The network had asked advertisers to pay prices 1-2% higher than last year, but few have been keen to pay these. UPN traditionally fares less well during the upfront period, making up its ad sales closer to programme air dates. Advertisers are said to be haggling over prices for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Roswelll which have a unique audience demographic. Advertisers are seeking guarantees that the shows which moved from the rival WB network will be a hit their in new slots on UPN. The network's advertising revenues for the upfront period are expected to remain level at around $160 million.

NBC is this year's upfront market winner, with $2 billion worth of advertising commitments. However, even NBC has only sold 70% of available advertising, down from rates of 80-85%. ABC and Fox have sold about 75% of their advertising inventories. By contrast, UPN rival the WB actually saw revenues grow. Swelled by an increase in the number of 18-49 year old adults watching, its sales were up 5 percent, to $475 million.

Viacom-owned CBS was the only network to sell any advertising for higher rates than last year, buoyed by the success of shows like Survivor. But a Variety report suggested the network has only managed to sell 65% of its inventory, down from 85% last year.

You can find more details of the television networks upfront revenues in the original article at Media Week.

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