NBC, numero uno among America’s big six broadcast TV networks, closed its primetime order book on Monday with a record $2.7bn (€2.86bn; £1.84bn) in upfront sales – 83% of its commercial inventory.

According to those close to negotiations, NBC had successfully hiked its cost-per-thousand rates by an average of 7% to 9%, while increasing its overall take by 5% compared with 2001.

Leading the ad categories scrambling for NBC time were automotive and retail; and although other checkwriters inked-in fewer zeros, telecommunications and financial institutions were also among the eager high-spenders.

The other networks trail NBC by a considerable margin although all are said to be nearing completion of the upfront-fest. In second place, CBS is likely to log $1.7bn; ABC, $1.3bn; Fox, $1.2bn; WB $525 million; and UPN $225 million.

Data sourced from: MediaWeek.com (USA); additional content by WARC staff