Fox Wraps 2016 Upfront Negotiations

'24: Legacy'

Maintaining the positive narrative of the TV advertising spend, the Fox Networks Group posts gains — particularly in cross-platform sales.

The Fox Networks Group has more or less closed the book on its 2016 upfront negotiations. Just two months after presenting the new schedule for media buyers in New York, the group has sold as much as 80 percent of its inventory for the coming season.

The cost of ads were up — with pricing increases varying from high single digits to low double digits. All in all, Big Fox is expected to finish with more than the $1.71 billion it's estimated to have made in 2015. The upfront sales were not just for Big Fox, however, as the group is now negotiating on behalf of the broadcast giant, Fox Sports, FX Networks and National Geographic (but not Fox News Channel).

Fox had more to sell this year. Volume gains across the portfolio were up roughly 5 percent. And the group is said to have made significant gains in total audience sales. Big Fox, in particular, has been aggressive in pushing the positive narrative of cross-platform views thanks to mobile devices, VOD and online streaming. (Just this week, Fox announced targeted advertising for the new live-streaming of its primetime lineup.)

Like all broadcast networks, Fox headed into the upfront with the advertisers anxious to lock spots after a robust scatter market last season. Still-open real estate will likely capitalize on those year-round sales.

The upfront market is still on track to best the previous year's estimated sum with north of $8 billion being spent on broadcast alone. This comes as traditional ratings continue to fall. Fox, the most stable among adults 18-49 aside from CBS this past season, finished the 2015-16 calendar down 5 percent in key demographic.

Fox heads into the 2016-17 season with considerable steam, thanks to its turn hosting the Super Bowl.

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