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Now that the negotiations for primetime broadcast TV network 2019-20 upfront ad sales are effectively completed, and most cable deals finalized, we project an overall 5.4% increase in ad revenues, for a total of $21.9 billion. As was the case last year, the broadcast TV networks performed strongly, gaining 5.7% in ad dollar increases, compared to cable’s 5.1% increase; this is likely a reflection of growing concerns over cable’s reach erosion due to continued cord cutting.
Media Dynamics, Inc. President, Ed Papazian, noted that the continued strength of national TV—especially the broadcast TV networks—is largely a function of advertiser disenchantment with digital video platforms, though spending on digital is also on the rise. “So far, national advertisers are playing it safe by sticking with linear TV,” Papazian points out, “but the picture may change dramatically if alternative forms of TV/video can attain greater audience scale, provide more quality content and deal with ad viability and fraud issues.”
TV Dimensions 2019 and MDI Direct subscribers received a more detailed report on the 2019-20 upfront, including three-decade trends and breakdowns for each of the broadcast TV networks in the August 13th issue of TV Dimensions Alert. MDI’s proprietary upfront CPM-CPP estimates will be released August 22nd in the annual ACES report, followed by CPMTrack in mid-September.