CW Completes Upfront Ad Sales With $400 Mln-$420 Mln Haul

The CW
Sarah Michelle Gellar in "Ringer"

The network's ad rates were up around 11 percent as the CW once again became the second broadcast network to complete advance ad deals after Fox.

NEW YORK - The CW on Tuesday finished its upfront advertising sales process with a haul of about $400 million-$420 million, up from last year's estimated take in the estimated neighborhood of $375 million.

The network sold about 75 percent to 80 percent of its ad inventory for the fall TV season in the upfront market, comparable with last year, and fetched price increases of around 11 percent, a source familiar with the situation said.

CW officials didn't comment.

Among the things that the CW ad sales team pushed this year beyond such new shows as Ringer, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, was the network's convergence play, which led to significantly more ad dollars this year.

Last year, the CW increased the commercial loads in its online streaming offers to nearly the same level as on-air broadcasts. Given that initiative's success, which the CW highlighted in its recent upfront presentation, the channel again made it a sales focus this year.

Among other things, the CW had said that the number of unique viewers of full episodes on has increased 55 percent, and the amount of time viewers spend watching online shows has climbed 175 percent.

Twitter: @georgszalai