Five-Network Upfront Haul Tops Out at $9 Billion-Plus

NBC closes out advance ad sales up $100 million for a total haul of $1.7 billion.

The broadcast networks have completed upfront sales with NBC, CBS and ABC wrapping negotiations Thursday.

Estimates for the five-network tally are between $9 billion to $9.2 billion for a market buoyed by a recovering economy.

That’s up six to eight percent compared to last year’s estimated haul of $8.5 billion for the five networks.

Fox – which finished season on top in the ad-covered 18-49 demographic – wrapped its upfront sales last week followed by the CW last Tuesday.

NBC posted the smallest primetime CPM gains at 9 percent. The network sold just under 80 percent of inventory for an increase of about $100 million compared to last year for a 2011-12 upfront take of $1.7 billion.

CBS has taken biggest slice of the upfront pie with $2.6 billion to $2.7 billion on just under 85 percent of inventory followed by ABC ($2.3 billion to $2.4 billion), Fox ($1.98 to $1.99 billion), NBC and CW ($400 million to $420 million).

NBC’s haul does not include inventory for Super Bowl XLVI this February or the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. (Ad inventory for sports are counted separately.