CW ups volume in 2nd upfront


NEW YORK -- The CW has concluded its upfront negotiations, bringing in slightly more volume than the $625 million it received in commitments last year.

The network, which last year replaced the WB Network and UPN, got great buzz out of its upfront presentation in May but had been a bit behind the other networks in timing. Most of the other broadcast networks finished up their upfront deals early last week. The CW wrapped its negotiations late last week.

But sources said the CW was able to garner the highest CPM increases, with pricing 11%-12% above last year's upfront levels. Volume was up slightly to $600 million-$650 million, though it didn't reach the 5% volume increases off a higher base reported for ABC, Fox and CW sibling network CBS. The other networks do much more business than the CW, and ABC received CPM increases of nearly 10% on average.

"In just our second upfront we exceeded our revenue goals, adding over a dozen new advertisers with great strength in categories like wireless, retail and theatrical -- a bull's-eye for the CW's young adult viewers," executive vp sales Bill Morningstar said in a statement Friday. He wasn't available for interviews.

Like the other networks, most of the deals were made with Madison Avenue based on the live plus three-day commercial ratings metric that takes into account DVR viewing. The CW also received 15 new advertisers and got strong interest in the content wraps and "quickies," the five-second ads that it took to market this year.

NBC also completed its upfront negotiations late last week, with sources saying the broadcast deals totaled $1.8 billion-$1.9 billion, flat with last year. NBC received CPM increases of 5%-6%.

Meanwhile, the cable upfront negotiations are about to head into full gear this week. Cable industry sources said that they were likely to go swiftly now that the broadcast networks were done, at least for the upper-echelon channels.

NBC had done some cable deals with its big Group M deal, which included NBC as well as its cable portfolio including top outlets USA, Bravo and Sci Fi Channel.