Upfront Negotiations in ‘Holding Pattern’ as Covid-19 Cases Surge

Buyers, networks remain far apart on pricing amid continued uncertainty

Even before the recent spike in Covid-19 cases, upfront pricing "was already going to be really tricky this year," said one buyer. Photo Illustration: Trent Joaquin; Source: Getty Images

By early July of a typical year, most media companies have already wrapped up their annual upfront negotiations. But like everything else in the industry, that timetable was upended this year by the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in a staggered upfront marketplace with some clients negotiating in the usual broadcast upfront timeframe, while others shifted to a calendar year upfront.

@jasonlynch jason.lynch@adweek.com Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.