/// That’s a $6 Billion Upfront Wrap for All of NBCUniversal

June 24, 2014  |  Media Week

NBC broadcast has wrapped its upfront sales effort, securing $2.52 billion in ad dollars across prime time, sports and late night, say sources familiar with the conversation: it's a significant gain over the $2.25 billion the network logged last year for the same dayparts and due in large part to high commitments keyed to the Super Bowl, as well as a strong prime-time slate. NBCU sells its properties as a portfolio, including cable and broadcast in the same package, so the final tally is in for the cable networks, as well: just shy of $6 billion for all the properties, including roughly 75 percent of the digital inventory it's planning to sell in the upfront. Last year, the tally for the whole package was $5.4 billion. It's no surprise that the media company is reporting an uptick in sales: the whole-portfolio strategy gives NBCU plenty of sway over buyers and clients who all need time on something (likely more than one something) in the company's huge library of platforms. Moreover, ad sales head Linda Yaccarino has the Super Bowl to leverage this year, and the company is said to be asking $4.5 million a spot after an additional commitment of another $4.5 million elsewhere in the group. For broadcast prime alone, sources say pricing is up between 7.5 and 8 percent—not far off from last year's gains over 2011-12, with a volume increase of 15 percent in the bargain (a bold move that could come back to hurt the company if ratings decline this fall). The latter is something neither ABC nor CBS have boasted over the course of their upfront negotiations, though sources at competing networks are quick to point out that this is a corrective year for NBC—the network was down a few years ago, and now it's climbing back up.



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