Barclays Predicts Big Upfront Gains

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Barclays Capital is predicting a 20% surge in upfront ad dollars for the big four broadcast networks. The investment bank, the first to release upfront predictions, suggests the total network haul will be $8.26 billion. Cable networks will be up 15% to 20%, according to the firms latest report.

Last year ,Barclays entertainment analyst Anthony DiClemente had projected a 15% decline in ad dollars to $7.4 billion. This years rosier forecast is based on surging automotive advertising, strong scatter pricing and the likelihood that media buyers will be more likely to want to lock in cheaper upfront rates than pay more in the year round market.

DiClemente suggests inventory sell-out levels will be around 77%, up from last year's estimate of 70%. "We expect CPM pricing increases to come out in the high single digit range as opposed to double-digit range increases," he added in an investor note today.

Read more at B&C here.