It may take a little extra time, according to CEO David Zaslav, but Warner Bros. Discovery ended its advance talks, securing about $6 billion in commitments from advertisers.
Speaking Thursday on Warner Bros. Discovery’s second-quarter earnings call, Zaslav said the company has received low- to mid-teens price increases for its inventory.
The 2022–23 upfront is a first for Warner Bros. Discovery, when Discovery acquired WarnerMedia from AT&T.
WarnerMedia and AT&T both have their own cable networks and Zaslav has long complained that, despite declining broadcast ratings and the same level of cable viewership, cable networks need to be on a cost-per-thousand viewers basis compared to broadcasters. But get a low price.
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In the face of an advertising market softened by economic concerns about recession and inflation, Warner Bros. Discovery held for a higher price hike than other media companies. Other media companies had already completed their advance deals, but Zaslav said he was happy where WBD ended up.
“We did very well before and believe that we have outperformed our teammates,” said Zaslav. “We are positioned as essentially the fifth broadcast network due to our unique portfolio and our at least mid-teens CPM growth and nearly $6 billion in our commitments, clearly demonstrating that advertisers are now ok with us. look the same way.”
During the call, Discovery CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels noted that the advertising market overall is currently not particularly strong.
“Given the less favorable macro environment, we are seeing softer demand and a scarcity market at the moment,” Wiedenfels said. “As such, we expect Q3 global ad sales to decline from high single to low double digits based on current booking trends.”
Despite moderation in the short-term scatter market, media companies appear happy with Upfront’s results
Earlier on Thursday during Paramount’s earnings call, CEO Bob Bakish stressed that Paramount increased its share of advertising dollars during the upfront.
“It’s worth noting that we recently did our most robust multi-platform integrated upfront. We had increased broadcast and cable pricing at the same high single-digit rate. And we increased the digital volume in the range of 30%. Most importantly, it is very clear that we have increased the stake,” he said.
Bakish said Paramount offers advertisers more than just scale.
‘To attract the best partners and build the best business, you need to make it easy and efficient for advertisers to reach the audience of their choice. And at this scale, we give advertisers access to a wide variety of audiences across every demographic,” he said.
“At competitive pricing, this is a must buy Paramount for marketers who need to efficiently create awareness about their products. We see our teammates responding enthusiastically,” Baskish said. “Premium content with cross-platform scale and efficiency, it is this strong combination that differentiates Paramount in the advertising market and makes us an essential partner for advertisers.” Premiere.News