Upfronts 2013: The CW Wraps Up Sales on Par With Last Year

Tim Kenneally
The Wrap

The CW has finished up its upfront sales for the year, finishing up in line with its performance last year, an individual with knowledge of the negotiations told TheWrap on Wednesday.

In total volume, the network -- which finished up its sales a day earlier than last year -- is on par with last year's approximate $420 million haul.

Also read: Network Upfronts 2013: The Scorecard So Far (Updated)

As it has for the past few years, the network sold based on the convergence strategy that it pioneered, which packages on-air, on-line and digital content. The CW's commercial load increased on the network's digital platforms.

Overall, the network sold about 75 percent of its ad inventory.

In terms of CPMs -- the cost of reaching 1,000 people, by which ad rates are set -- the network increased its rate by 5 to 6 percent over last year.

The network's sales were influenced by the fact that the network has developed a broader audience that's bringing more men to the network. (The network is up double digits in male demographics this season.) To that end, shows that are more likely to appeal to male audiences next season -- such as the "Vampire Diaries" spinoff "The Originals," "The 100" and "Tomorrow People" -- were an important part of this year's ad sales.

"Arrow," which leads the network's offerings in total viewers, and "The Vampire Diaries," which is its best performer in the network's key demo, were also played a big part in the ad sales, as did "Supernatural," which has seen a boost in total viewers this season.

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