Upfront Marketplace Still Stalled, NBC Finds ‘Jay Leno’ To Be Tough Primetime Sell

By Andrew Gauthier 

According to The Hollywood Reporter, NBC’s “The Jay Leno Show” is complicating an already lackluster upfront market…
As of Thursday, some small-scale cable upfront deals had been completed, and while none was comprehensive enough to suggest any prevailing trends, pricing was fairly consistent. One ad sales exec reported doing a deal at “a very low single-digit negative,” while another was said to have done business at a CPM down between 2 and 3 percentage points from last year’s average.

As much as NBC appears to be further along in its upfront sojourn, the eccentricities inherent in the network’s slate have added an extra layer of complication to its negotiations. Media buyers say they’ll fight having to pay a primetime CPM for “The Jay Leno Show,” which bows Sept. 14 in its new 10 p.m. weekday slot. According to one national TV buyer, agencies will look to devise a “blended price” that values the 10 p.m. slot at a lower rate than 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

NBC denied that it would sell Leno at a lower CPM despite acknowledging that the show isn’t likely to outdeliver 10 p.m. dramas like CBS’ “CSI: Miami” and “The Mentalist.” Full article…