Now that second-quarter earnings are over for the media sector, we can finally take a good look at what senior media company executives actually said on calls to investors when they were in the hot seat at the end of the summer.
It's obvious by now that something has gone wrong in the television advertising world—upfront dollar volume fell by 6.1 percent to $18.125 billion, including a 4.7 percent hit for cable, which dipped for the first time in four years to $9.675 billion.
If everybody waits out this upfront for better inventory in the fall, will anybody get enough of it?
Fox is essentially done with its upfront sales, according to a source, gaining pricing increases of 2.5-3.5 percent but losing volume after a rough 2013-14 season in which ratings for American Idol, in particular, hastened the decline that had been all but certain for years. Poor showings from The New Girl and The Mindy Project didn't help, either.
The CW has finished its upfront sales, making Fox the last man standing in this year's ad sales bazaar. Volume for the network was down slightly (as it has been everywhere but NBCU, this season's first-place finisher), with CPM bumps up between 3 percent and 4 percent, said a source familiar with the network's deals.
This upfront season, it's all over but the shouting for CBS, according to a statement released by the organization itself today.
The broadcast ad market is on its feet and moving toward deals as of this week, but one thing that seems to be in much greater play this year is accountable, verifiable data—and not necessarily from the usual sources.
Three of the major broadcast networks have started to write upfront deals—NBC, CBS and Fox are all said to be signing contracts for inventory in the 2014-15 season.
CNBC, the financial news network, is done with daytime Nielsen ratings. "They are no longer guaranteeing the business day, which is the most important daypart for a financial client," a source told Adweek. "They believe that their primary business day viewing is done in offices and therefore not monitored by Nielsen and underrepresented."