NBC, ABC and CBS to tone down 'upfront' advertising sales events
Dave Keating | May 12, 2008 at 03:24 amby
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The networks are still having a tough time as viewership remains down after the writer's strike, and the sluggish economy is making advertisers hesitant to spend.
TV lineup presentations to advertisers are being scaled back because of the sluggish economy and lingering effects of the writers strike.
For decades, this has been the week for network television to strut its stuff. But not everyone is in the mood to party this year.
Typically, the major broadcast networks -- Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC -- have spent about $5 million each to whip up excitement among advertisers for their new fall schedules. They would fly hundreds of stars and executives to New York for extravagant presentations at tony Manhattan venues, followed by lavish parties.
The five networks, including the upstart CW, rounded up $9.3 billion in prime-time commercial sales in the weeks after last year's "upfront" presentations.
But a souring economy and a lingering hangover from last winter's writers strike, which cut short the TV pilot development season and depressed prime-time ratings, could cast a shadow over the kickoff of the industry's springtime selling season, which begins today in New York.