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CBS Scores Big In Ad Sales

By Kristine
June 8, 2004 - 4:07 PM

With advance advertising upfront sales for the fall 2004 season drawing to a close, CBS is poised to rake in as much as 2.4 billion dollars in advance sales.

Though the final deals are still coming through, CNN Money is already predicting CBS, home of CSI: Crime Scene Investigations and its spinoffs, to be the big winner in the cutthroat upfront competition. Driven by the ratings success of shows such as CSI, network television's top-rated drama, CSI: Miami, which regularly scores in the top 10, and the upcoming CSI: New York, which drew 23 million viewers when its characters were introduced on Miami, CBS is drawing rate increases of 9 and 10% over last year's ad sales rates. Citigroup Smith Barney research analysist Jill Krutick estimates that CBS could rake in $2.4 billion.

Experts are predicting that total ad sales at the upfronts won't be higher than last year, however, because networks are expected to up the prices of advertising and sell more right before the shows premiere in the fall. Advertisers are also exercising more caution, and turning some of their attention to advertising on cable networks. This is a contrast to last year, when, according to Traditional Asial Securities research analyst Paul Kim, "everybody threw money at the upfront."

The network that could be hurting the most after the upfronts are over is CBS-rival NBC. NBC tried to convince advertisers that the market had moved, a ploy that may have backfired on them. Analysts predicted that NBC would be selling advertising at rate increases of 7 and 8% over last year, but the network has underperformed, selling at only a 5 to 6% increase. "If anything there's been a little bit of a backlash," said Jack Myers, an independent media analyst. "NBC is the only network that appears to selling at a [rate] increase less than pre-market projections."

To read the complete story, please visit CNN Money online!

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