Wednesday, April 7th, 2010


  • More P18-49 than TBS (+27%) & More P25-54 than TNT (+39%)
  • Top 3 Scripted Originals: Burn Notice, White Collar and Psych

    • Tops FX’s Justified (+18%) P18-49 & TNT’s Leverage (+8%) P25-54
  • 3 of the Top 5 Acquired Series: NCIS, Law & Order: SVU and House
Characters Welcome

SOURCE:Nielsen Media Research. Click here for the full source data.

Cynopsis Media presents: 


Upfront 2010 – The Cable




Good morning. It’s Wednesday, April 7, 2010, and this is your second installment of this special five-part series on this year’s Upfront season. 

Cable Upfront 2010: By Daisy Whitney

With a slew of popular and acclaimed shows on their air, it’s good to be a cable network these days.

But it’s also possible to get too big for one’s britches and that’s something cable programmers will need to protect against heading into this year’s upfront, especially since ad-supported cable networks experienced a rare 2% drop in 18-49 ratings in the first quarter this year.

On the flip side, the dip can be explained away by the Winter Olympics. Plus, cable ratings in general have been on a steady rise, along with Emmy wins and industry respect on a par with broadcasters. Cable was also hit the least hard in last year’s brutal upfront.

But cable networks’ biggest strength lies in not being too big, ad buyers say. After all, broadcast ratings have declined partly because they are too broad. And advertisers like niche.

“We see lots of big growth from the little guys in cable,” said Natalie Conway, SVP and cable activation director at Starcom. “While we fully support the big broad players, we are also encouraging our clients to move further down the long tail as viewers move down the long tail.”

Despite the Q1 ratings blip, she and her colleagues at Starcom do expect cable upfront dollars to rise over last year especially in light of cable’s overall strength for the last several years. Upfront presentations from cable networks started in March and will continue into May. But don’t expect the buying to begin until broadcasters take their turn on stage in May. In fact, most marketers haven’t yet determined how much money they will commit to the upfront. Still, advertisers will likely up their cable spends this year.

“Versus last year, at least there is more health to the marketplace,” said Christine Olson, VP and cable activation director at Starcom. “Cable tends to do well because their CPMs tend to be more efficient.”

Agencies and brands also have their eyes on some of the new players in the market this year such Oprah’s OWN, slated for a 2011 launch, and Scripps’ Cooking Channel, which premieres in May with Fine Living’s distribution reach of about 57 million homes. They’re also eager to see how Martha Stewart fares on Hallmark Channel, how Travel does under the Scripps umbrella and how Lifetime performs as part of the A&E TV networks.


What’s Up with Scripps Networks? Everything.

The Fastest Growing Network Group in All Cable,
Scripps Networks Was Up 16% in 2009,
In the Biggest Demo (A25-54), in the Biggest Daypart (Primetime).

Scripps Networks. Our Brands, for the Life of Your Brands.

HGTV DIY Network Food Network Cooking Channel Travel Channel Great American Country

Source: Nielsen Company. For details, visit

Early Signs of Growth
There are early signs of a healthy upfront to come, said Mel Berning, EVP Ad Sales at AETN, who oversees ad sales for Lifetime, History and A&E. He said options – or advertisers canceling upfront commitments – are running at 2% now. That compares to 15% to 20% last year when advertisers backed out of prior buys as the economy tanked. He added that the scatter market pricing is up 30% over the upfront, indicating healthy demand recovery.

“We are 180 degrees from where we were last year at this time,” he said. “Last year we were in the midst of a terrible time and the market over corrected in last year’s upfront; and now the scatter market has been terrific and options have been low.”

Plus, key advertising categories are spending again in a big way, he said. That includes renewed strength from packaged goods, health and beauty, pharmaceutical, beverages, telecom, retail and others, though the financial services sector is still challenged and auto spending isn’t fully back on track.

Similarly, Viacom CEO Phillipe Dauman said in March at the Credit Suisse conference in Florida that the scatter market was strong. “As we head into the upfront, we are well positioned,” Dauman said. “I expect the upfront to be completed sooner than last year, and I expect the pricing in the upfront to be significantly higher.”

The SyFy is also upbeat about the selling season because of the strength of the scatter market. “It feels like advertisers are going to look to lean into the advantages of the upfront pricing,” said Mark Miller, SVP ad sales. “Volume will be strong and it’ll definitely be a positive marketplace.”

The key issues in the market will be pricing and flexibility, he said. Will marketers be ready to lock in buys at upfront prices?

That’s where the value equation for cable will come into play.
“We are pretty certain that as the consumer has forever changed their habits and continue to focus on value, that marketers will finally follow and do the same,” said Linda Yaccarino, EVP and COO of Turner Entertainment Ad Sales/Marketing and Acquisitions. “That means investing in big reach networks where value is highest in terms of quality originals and price.”


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New Ad Tactics

Both Olson and Conway at Starcom pointed out that cable has traditionally been ahead of the game in offering new marketing strategies. That should continue this year especially as some networks roll out new pricing and marketing programs.

At its upfront presentation in March, Syfy introduced a new marketing initiative called the “Syfy Effect.” That means Syfy ads score high on brand recall, engagement and time spent viewing, Miller said.

He points to IAG research which found Fox Film’s “Avatar” and Hershey’s Twizzlers had high recall when featured on Syfy shows. Specifically, viewers who watched Syfy’s “31 Days of Halloween,” sponsored by Hershey’s, were 53% more likely to purchase the candy. Since the network rebranded as Syfy last summer it’s added new ad partners such as American Express, Apple, BMW, Choice Hotels, Delta Faucet, Ebay, Office Depot, Pepsico, Shell Oil, State Farm and TD Ameritrade.

“Advertisers are looking for return on investment and accountability and this is about how to take a Nielsen guarantee to the next level and engage through media research,” he said.

Turner will also introduce new integration strategies during its upfront, Yaccarino said. “Turner Entertainment (TBS, TNT and truTV) will continue to push the boundaries of integrating advertisers into our programming and our network brands.This goes way beyond product integration. You will see an unveiling during the upfront,” she said.

Scripps’ new entrant Cooking Channel will come to the market with several integration opportunities for marketers when it launches May 31. That includes “From the Kitchen Of,” a new programming concept designed to show how viewers can create recipes from products from well-known brands, said Karen Grinthal, SVP of Ad Sales at Cooking Channel. “That’s a show that will have integration built in from the get go,” she said.


Television has the power to encourage positive change and change lives.

May 5, 2010
Congratulates these television programs that made a difference:

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Coup De Grace * GLEE Wheels * Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? With Maria Shriver * Explorer: Inside Death Row * Private Practice Nothing to Fear * Taking Chance * Unlocking Autism * Vanguard: The OxyContin Express

Help honor television with a conscience. For Tickets, click here .

New Entrants

Advertisers and agencies say they’re eager to learn more about Cooking Channel and how it complements Food Network.  The new network will be more centered on cooking instruction, while Food Network will offer those type of shows but also its more entertainment-centric ones like “The Next Food Network Star” and “Iron Chef.” The new network will also include more coverage of international cuisines and diet and health programming.

Cooking Channel will get a big leg up from its sister with Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay and Emeril Lagasse fronting shows on the new network. There will also be several new chefs on Cooking Channel.

“There’s an excitement from brands about who new we will be bringing that marketers can align with,” Grinthal said.

OWN won’t launch until 2011, but advertisers say they are eager to check out the Discovery-Oprah Winfrey venture.

Marketers are also eager to hear about Hallmark’s plans for Martha Stewart.


Upcoming Upfront 2010 Special Editions:
Syndication (4/21), Spanish Language (5/5), Broadcast (5/19)

Special Editions are sent to Cynopsis subscribers and available at .

Influence Brands and Agencies’ Upfront Buying Decisions.
Space is limited. Contact Mike Farina to reserve your advertising! 
[email protected], 203.218.6480

This Upfront 2010 Special Edition and all future Special Editions from Cynopsis Media are available to read or download after publishing on .

Later —
Daisy Whitney for Cynopsis

Cynopsis Ad Sales:
Mike Farina – Sr. Dir/Business Development & Sales – 203-218-6480 / [email protected]
Classifieds – Trish Pihonak- 203-926-9878 / [email protected]

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