‘Mixed-ish,’ ‘For Life’ and Live Sports Lift Disney to Increase in Ad Prices for Upfront Ad Sales

Oscars has already sold more than 50% of its ad inventory for next February

ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Disney closed its upfront sales, the first with its new Fox assets, with the company seeing gains in both pricing and revenue which was led by its portfolio of live sports, and shows like “Mixed-Ish” and “For Life.” Overall, the company landed CPM gains — the cost for reaching 1,000 viewers — in the double digits across all dayparts in broadcast and the low double-digits in cable and sports. The company was led by its live sports properties, which include the NBA, the NFL’s “Monday Night Football” and its College Football telecasts. Disney scored 10% CPM gains for its NBA games on ABC and ESPN next season, and an increase in the amount of ads sold for “MNF” (20%) and College Football (7%), compared to last year. Disney also saw increased demand for next year’s Oscars, with more than 50% of the available inventory for next year’s telecast already sold out. While Disney has not reported any specific prices, 30-second commercial spots for the Oscars usually cost north of $2 million. Disney was also led by advertiser interest in upcoming series “Mixed-ish,” “For Life” and the final season of “Modern Family.” New Fox assets including FX and NatGeo also buoyed the company’s ad sales, with “Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Mayans M.C.” and “Genius: Aretha Franklin” garnering strong interest. With Disney having wrapped up its sales, that means all five of the major broadcast networks have finished their negotiations during the upfront sales period when the majority of commercial time is purchased for the upcoming TV season. It was a stronger-then-expected year with most of the networks seeing double-digit pricing increases, compared to single-digit a year prior.