Upfronts: Interest In Web Could Hurt Cable?


As the cable upfront kicks into gear, B&C’s John Higgins suggests a loss in momentum and an “almost unfair” vulnerability when it comes to the web. With many advertisers planning to hold back funds for broadband opps on the horizon, some buyers are saying it’s easier to cut back on cable than broadcast; cable traditionally sells about 50 percent of its inventory in the upfront compared to a predicted up to 80 percent for broadcast. (NBC may only sell 70 percent this year.)
Higgins suggests that cable’s stronger showing when it comes to broadband makes the potential of being hurt more by hold-backs “almost unfair. … Spend some time on ESPN.com or playing with ESPN Mobile’s cellphone TV offerings. Then surf over to NBC.com or CBS’ Innertube and compare.”
I could add a number of sites including MTVN’s broadband plays, The Vine at E Online, CNN.com, etc. Cable may turn out to be at a disadvantage for the TV primetime upfront but it should be doing just fine on the more level playing field of broadband.

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