Sports Helps ViacomCBS Wrap Upfront Ad Sales

Advertisers’ continuing interest in live sports helped ViacomCBS close its upfront sales process even as the company met resistance from Madison Avenue over the rate increases it sought to bolster its business.

ViacomCBS has come to the end of its sales effort, according to a person familiar with the matter, notching noticeable growth in sports, particularly the NFL. Ad buyers expect the company to secure advance advertising commitments for its linear primetime schedule that are flat to up 6% from what it nabbed last year, with advertisers placing new emphasis on digital and streaming outlets, such as Pluto and Paramount Plus.

ViacomCBS is said to have sought higher-than-market rates in the cost of reaching 1,000 viewers, a measure known as a CPM that is central to these annual talks between U.S. TV networks and Madison Avenue. The company made a push for CPM increases in the low to mid 20% range, according to buyers, while most networks saw CPM hikes of 16% to 22%.

More to come.

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