Despite the bluff and bluster, US TV network NBC is bowing to the inevitable and cutting its advertising time rates for next season.
The GEC-owned broadcaster, under pressure during the 'upfront' sales following dismal ratings at the end of the 2004/2005 season, is reportedly doing deals with agencies at rates lower than last year, in some cases as much as 3% less.
Some media analysts predict NBC could lose anything from $400 million (€327m; £220m) to more than $600m in ad dollars this year.
The move by the network to 'go negative' reverses a decade-old trend that saw NBC pricing itself above the other broadcast networks and commanding premium rates thanks to its once mighty audience figures.
But this season's upfronts have been comprehensively won by the Walt Disney Company-owned ABC network, on the back of its hugely successful Desperate Housewives and Lost shows. In second place was Viacom's CBS, closely followed by Fox TV [WAMN: 6-Jun-05].
Data sourced from AdAge.com; additional content by WARC staff