Children’s Upfront TV Sales Make Slow Progress

14 May 2001

In line with previous reports [WAMN: 24-Apr-01], upfront advertising sales for children’s television have continued to move at a snail-like pace.

On current form, it is estimated that total national ad income on kids’ TV in this year’s upfront season could be as much as 10% lower than last year, leaving media buyers with the upper hand. Most networks have so far registered single-digit falls in the cost-per-thousand compared to 2000.

“It’s like a regular sales market,” commented Gary Montanus, senior vp–advertising at Disney Kids Network. “You go in discussing people’s needs and problems. It’s pretty interesting. It’s like old-time TV.”

So far, the Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon have sold around half their upfront inventories – the latter largely due to previously signed multi-year deals. Meanwhile, media network Starcom Worldwide has completed all its children’s upfront buying. MediaVest Worldwide, on the other hand, has decided to break with tradition by postponing its children’s TV buying until the adult upfront season starts and then doing both simultaneously.

The estimated value of children’s TV sales so far and the cost per million target viewers breaks down as follows:

Nickelodeon – $300 million ($16 CPM)
Cartoon Network – $125m ($7–$8 CPM)
Kids WB – $200m ($24 CPM)
Fox Kids Network – $130m ($18–$22 CPM)
ABC – $95m ($19 CPM)

Broadcast networks formally present next year’s adult programming schedules this week, with the upfront period due to start immediately after.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline