CBS topper Leslie Moonves unofficially opened the annual upfront haggle last week by declaring that the Eye should be able to secure hikes for ad time prices that could be at least as high as 10%.
For weeks, analysts and ad buyers have projected mild price hikes for this yearâs upfront, the annual mid-May session when the nationâs TV networks try to sell the bulk of their ad inventory for the coming TV season. But in an earnings conference call with investors May 1, CBS Corp. CEO Leslie Moonves said in no uncertain terms that the price increases ought to be much higher.
Moonves often makes bold predictions regarding CBSâ ability to secure price increases in the upfront, but he typically unveils them earlier in the year. âAnd there you have it, the numbers you have been waiting for,â he joked.
Buyers have privately suggested advertisers will pay no more than a mid-single-digit percentage increase in CPMs.
In the 2012 upfront, CBS won CPM hikes of 8% to 9%; Fox won hikes of 7% to 9%; ABC secured 6% to 8%; NBCâs was 5% to 7%; and the CW notched 5.5% to 6.5%.
Moonves said he felt it was time for him to speak. âIâve read at least three stories (saying), âOh, the networks arenât bullish because Moonves hasnât said double-digits.â So Iâve said double-digits the last two years.â