NBCUniversal Closes Upfront Sales With Pricing Gains for Broadcast Prime Time and Late Night

“This Is Us,” “Today Show” and Bravo’s “Dirty John” drive advertiser interest

NBCUniversal closed out its upfront advertising sales with a 5 percent increase in volume and single-digit pricing gains over the entire portfolio.

“Underscoring the importance and value of all this great content to advertisers, we just completed another outstanding upfront, with high single-digit pricing gains, coupled with 5 percent growth in volume commitments,” said Brian Roberts, CEO of NBCU parent Comcast, during the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Thursday.

For primetime and late night on the NBC broadcast network, NBCU saw pricing gains between 11 and 13 percent on a CPM basis — the cost for reaching 1,000 viewers.

MSNBC had the strongest growth of any of NBCU’s channels, with a 30 percent increase in demand from advertisers, outpacing the entire marketplace for it’s best year-over-year growth. Coming off its first-ever World Cup, Spanish-language network Telemundo continued to encroach on Univision’s turf, netting $16 million in new business, a 3 percent increase from last year. 

NBC saw a market-leading CPM increase of 7 percent for its NFL slate, while its cable networks all delivered high single-digit CPM increases.

Advertiser demand was driven by NBC’s  “This Is Us,” “Today Show,” and Bravo’s upcoming “Dirty John.”

NBC also got full buy-in from advertisers for their new CFlight metric, which measures live, on-demand and time-shifted commercial impressions of episodes on every platform. It also sold out of its new, 60-second “prime pod” for “This Is Us” and “The Voice.” These feature advertising targeted based on audience demographics vs the usual age and gender breakdowns that Nielsen provides.

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