Bear Stearns Sees Modest Broadcast-Upfront Gains

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Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. analyst Ray Katz predicted Friday that broadcast networks will sell $9.8 billion in ads during the upfront sales period, up 3% from last year.

He predicted in a research note that CBS will be the “biggest winner,” while ABC will be the “biggest loser.”

Bear Stearns expects broadcast networks to sell more of their inventory during the scatter market, noting that it expects 84% of their inventory to be sold during the upfront period, compared with 86% during the 2003-04 television season.

The broadcast upfront begins May 17.