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Myers Report Not Bullish on Cable Upfront

6/07/2005 8:39 AM Eastern

Cable is facing upfront prices that are either flat or reflect only small increases in the single-digit range, Jack Myers Media Business Report said Tuesday.

NBC, the last of the “Big Four” broadcasters to finish up its upfront, is taking a hit this week. After suffering a ratings nosedive, the “Peacock Network” has been forced to roll back its prices, and it is expected to rack up just over $2 billion this upfront, down from an estimated $2.8 billion last year.

But the close of the broadcast upfront paves the way for cable to start moving. And in this environment, “both Turner [Broadcasting System Inc.] and MTV Networks are reported to be holding the line with CPM [cost per thousand homes] increases in the mid-single-digits, but agencies are saying their ‘highest point of entry’ for meaningful negotiations is plus-2% to plus-3%,” according to Myers Report.

The media-industry newsletter is predicting that Turner and MTVN will lead the cable upfront this week, and that they will rack up CPMs averaging plus-3%.

“Buyers are still demanding cable CPMs ranging from plus-3% to as much as negative 10% for selected underperforming networks,” according to Myers Report.

September