Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Third quarter is traditionally the short form media quarter with the lowest rates, highest avails and some unique opportunities. So you would think that this year, especially, that rates would be low, avails high and the networks just hoping to get some business. But there are several factors that affect rates and availability is one of the most important. General advertisers buy quarter to quarter based on “cost per rating point.” And the rates these large advertisers are willing to pay are getting lower each quarter.

It has been reported that the upfront Broadcast Media Market is down three to five percent over last year. When general advertising rates decline like this, broadcasters try to make up the difference with direct response rates. In the current market, the cable networks would prefer to sell inventory at a 20-30 percent discount to general advertisers than it is to sell that same inventory to the DRTV market at a 50-70 percent discount. In addition, more and more general advertisers are placing “hybrid” or blended direct response media buys. They are using DRTV rates and placing “scatter” buys on inventory that may have been earmarked for direct response advertisers. Like we always say on this blog….your media buyer better be smart!

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