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CW Closes Upfront Sales as ‘Black Lightning,’ New Sunday Night Block Drive Volume Gains

Network about 80 percent sold on its total ad inventory

The CW became the first broadcast network to wrap its upfront advertising sales on Friday, with “Black Lightning” and its new Sunday night block leading to increased demand, an insider with knowledge of negotiations told TheWrap.

Overall, the network has sold roughly 80 percent of its inventory for the 2018-19 season.

The CW scored CPM increases — the cost for reaching 1,000 viewers — in the low double-digits, roughly between 10-11 percent, according to the insider. Overall demand for ad space was higher, as volume was up 15 percent. A year ago, the network only saw volume increases between 3 to 5 percent.

The network finished its upfront commitments about two weeks earlier compared to last year.

Much of the increased demand was due to the network’s new Sunday night block of programming, along with increased demand for “Black Lightning,” “Riverdale” and the network’s new fare including “All American” and its “Charmed” reboot. Airing on Sunday night’s this fall will be the aforementioned “Charmed” along with the hit DC-comics series “Supergirl.”

This was the eighth consecutive year of The CW selling its inventory on a multi platform basis, rather than simply offering commercial spots during the shows’ primetime air dates.