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Disney begins selling in the initial TV (and streaming) market (

Disney begins selling in the initial TV (and streaming) market (

The market for “initial” television advertising sales is starting to move – and sooner than expected.

Just days after the networks wrapped up glitzy programming pitches to Madison Avenue executives, Walt Disney Co. is reportedly writing deals with at least one major media buying agency, according to three executives familiar with the recent talks. Disney is “ahead of the market,” said one media buyer. In the industry’s initial annual process, American television networks try to sell off most of their commercial inventory before their next programming cycle.

One such person noted that Disney’s initial conversations are “going very well” and that the company is “making significant progress” and seeing “strong demand” for entertainment programming, sports, live events and content for various audiences.

The terms on which Disney might do business could not be immediately known, but executives at the networks and various media agencies acknowledge that the TV companies have not fought for the massive rate increases they have won last year.

In 2021, the networks called for increases of 16% to 22% in the cost of reaching 1,000 viewers — a metric known as CPM that is key to those annual talks between television networks and Madison Avenue. In 2022, many of these people suggest that networks are haggling for CPM increases in the mid- to high-single digit range, hoping they can make money by driving a large volume of early ad engagements on content sites. streaming and linear, rather than forcing a portion of their trades into exorbitant rates of increase. One marketer suggested that if networks are heavily focused on volume capture, they might choose to relax some of their CPM demands further.

Disney has a lot of coveted commercial inventory for sale. The company has crafted a “mega-cast” for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” that will feature former Fox Sports hosts Troy Aikman and Joe Buck in the booth, and a second game-related show. directed by Peyton and Eli Manning. In addition to the NFL, ESPN also owns the rights to Major League Baseball, the NBA, and the NHL for dozens of games. And Disney is giving advertisers access to limited ad inventory in Marvel and Star Wars series, as well as other programs, that work. on a new ad-supported version of Disney+.

At the same time, Disney isn’t immune to how technology has changed the way people watch TV. More people who make up the mainstream watching “Grey’s Anatomy” or “Good Morning America” ​​have have migrated to streaming their favorite shows “on demand” at times of their choosing. This dynamic forces big advertisers to spread their dollars more from primetime television to ad-supported streaming sites. That money can go much further in streaming, where ad unit prices remain significantly cheaper than those found on TV. Competition for this part of the Madison Avenue portfolio began to heat up. Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max also offers limited business opportunities in an ad-supported version of the service, and Netflix has indicated that it too will soon seek to launch a version of its service that includes advertisements.

There has been speculation among media buyers that Publicis Media, the media investment arm of French advertising giant Publicis Groupe, has struck some initial deals. Publicis and Disney have been strong partners in the recent past. Earlier this year, Publicis has reached an agreement with Disney to test new audience measurement systems that will be implemented by Nielsen later this year. A Publicis Media spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In recent years, the initial market has generally not opened in earnest until after Memorial Day weekend. In 2021, however, advertisers’ interest in forging ahead in streaming inventory has forced them to move faster. In 2021, Disney, Fox and NBCUniversal had all been working on deals, and parts of their structure were revealed soon after the holidays.. Fox and NBCUniversal declined to make executives available to comment on their initial progress so far in 2022, as did two other big sellers, Paramount Global and Warner Bros. Discovery.


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