Upfront Still Humming Along

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As the weekend neared, upfront cable business continued apace for the industry’s two most active programmers.

Lifetime Television officials indicated that the women’s-targeted service, which jumpstarted its strong position via a major deal Tuesday with GroupM, will have completed 95% of its upfront business by the end of business Friday. The remainder should be finished early next week.

For its part, Turner Entertainment, according to sources, may be about 60% of the way there for TNT, TBS and Court TV by day’s end. Turner, which has been actively writing business over the past three days, will also likely complete its upfront later next week.

Turner has been conducting most of its business on the C3 metric -- commercial ratings average, plus three-day digital-video-recorder playback -- that has become the currency for much of this upfront. CPM gains, with a number of deals, have reached into the low double-digits, according to sources.

Next week’s activity figures to be complicated by the Fourth of July holiday, which falls Wednesday. Some shops and programmers may leave the office early Tuesday, delaying deal-writing until next Thursday and Friday.

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