NEW YORK - As 4th quarter scatter activity in cable comes to a close in the next week or so, the only inventory left includes a little bit of daytime and weekend. Nearly all networks, including second-tier nets with limited cable penetration, are telling buyers they have little or nothing left, and what does remain they're asking for at 20-30% increases over upfront prices. One New York buyer said the last decent inventory left is on original fare and other time on TBS and TNT, which the buyer just bought into. Sports, consistently tight for the last month or so, is finally winding down, with ESPN telling buyers it is sold out in hockey and just about there with football inventory. Broadcast-year upfront negotiating remains stalled, as buyers still await the green light from clients.
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