Analyst: Broadcast Networks Upfront Ad Sales Will Rise 14.7% to $10.3 Billion

Miller Tabak's David Joyce projects CBS will lead the pack with 12.5% price increases and a total haul of $3 billion.


NEW YORK - Broadcast networks' upfront advertising revenue this year will rise 14.7 percent over last to $10.3 billion, Miller Tabak analyst David Joyce predicted in a report Tuesday.

Ahead of the upfront presentations of the broadcast networks' fall schedules next month, he predicted networks could sell slightly more ad inventory in advance this year to take advantage of high recent prices in the scatter market for last-minute ad buys.

For broadcast networks, "this upfront season could mark the first time that upfront pricing reaches the double digits," Joyce said after what he estimates was an average of 8 percent price gains last year. He is the latest expert to predict double-digit price increases.

This year’s average broadcast price increase could be 11.3 percent, with NBC at the low end with 10 percent for a total upfront take of $1.83 billion (up from $1.6 billion last year), ABC at 11 percent for a $2.75 billion haul (up from $2.4 billion), Fox at 11.5 percent ($2.28 billion versus $1.98 billion), and CBS at 12.5 percent ($3 billion versus $2.6 billion), he said.

Joyce projected a 12.8 percent increase in the kids’ upfront to  $1.1 billion this year.

He also estimated that cable networks will see an upfront take of about $9 billion, up 11.5 percent from last year. Price gains will range from 8 percent to 12 percent depending on ratings and genre.