Fox, CW Set to Finish Upfront Sales

By Andrew Gauthier 

The Hollywood Reporter

Amidst an unprecedented cloak of secrecy on both sides of the table in upfront negotiations, broadcast network sales executives and media agency buyers are finally making steady and rapid progress, with at least two broadcasters–Fox and the CW–poised to complete their upfront selling by the end of this week.

Sources familiar with negotiations say, however, that ABC is still taking a hard line and refusing to sell its prime-time inventory at negative cost-per-thousand increases compared to last season.

NBC is also said to be quite far along, but unlike Fox and the CW, is negotiating many of its deals for NBC inventory in conjunction with its cable networks, which slows the process. CBS is also doing deals, according to sources, at low negative percentages, despite vows from executives at the top that the network would not sell at lower rates than last year.

Sources said the CW is doing deals at -2% to -3% for its prime-time inventory, while Fox is averaging prime-time CPMs at -1%. More…