Upfront a Wrap for Fox, Says Ad Exec Nesvig

Fox Broadcasting has called it a wrap on this year’s upfront, saying its sales effort was done and that the net would hold back “slightly” more inventory than usual, betting that the in-season scatter market would yield high rates.

In a statement issued late Wednesday, ad sales chief Jon Nesvig said, “As the Upfront selling season winds down, Fox Broadcasting has achieved its prime-time revenue goal. We also plan to have slightly more inventory available for the scatter market. And while the overall economic climate was difficult during the first six months of 2009, the short term market for national broadcast time remained strong. With a broader economic recovery seeming to take hold, we are very comfortable in our marketplace positioning for next year.”

Nesvig’s statement was issued shortly after News Corp. issue fiscal 2009 results which included a $3.4 billion loss for the full year, which company chairman Rupert Murdoch described as “one of the worst” in its history.

Murdoch also said that Fox network would hold back more inventory for scatter, noting that the current scatter market is very active with rates at or above last year’s upfront rates.

Nesvig didn’t get in to what kind of rates Fox got during the upfront, and Murdoch, when asked, declined to comment on pricing as well. But buyers have said the network’s prime-time ads are priced at below last year’s upfront rates by an average percentage rate in the low-single-digit range.

Related: Fox, The CW Close to Wrapping Upfront Sales