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CBS Upfront Price Increases Could Hit “Low Double Digits” Les Moonves Says

DAVID LIEBERMAN, Executive Editor
May 1, 2013
Les Moonves: CBS Wasn’t Hurt By Battle With Time Warner Cable
Les Moonves: CBS Wasn’t Hurt By Battle With Time Warner Cable

The upfront ad sales season would seem incomplete without a grandiose forecast from the CBS chief. But Les Moonves held his tongue regarding the upcoming market for 2013-2014…until tonight. He told analysts, following CBS’ Q1 report, that the network would see “high-single to low-double-digit increases” in the unit price for each 1,000 viewers an ad reaches. “There you have it,” he said. “The numbers you’ve been waiting for.” Moonves startled company followers two years ago when he predicted that his network would see a double-digit increase, and then made good on it. He was not so lucky last year when CBS’ prices rose about 9% after he again predicted a double-digit increase. Moonves says that this year “there’s a lot of noise out there” about the market — which some analysts say could be soft. “I can assure you that next season will be another terrific year” with stronger demand for inventory than at this time last year. What’s more, “unless there’s a network on Mars that we’re not aware of, we’re the No. 1 network in the entire universe.”

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