CBS Says It Will Finish on Top as It Completes Its Upfront Sales

Network claims it will secure the highest broadcast rates

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The CW is no longer the only network to have taken upfront sales off its summer to-do list. Three days after The CW finished its upfront business, CBS announced it too has wrapped things up.

The network said in a statement, "As we near the finish line, we feel confident that when the upfront marketplace comes to a close, CBS will have secured more total dollars—and the highest pricing—of all the broadcast networks. Agencies and clients continue to value the strength, stability and delivery that our schedule provides, and are increasingly committing dollars against C7. Looking ahead, Thursday Night Football and our new late night lineup will help us build on our no. 1 position and bode well for us throughout the year."   

A source says the network received the mid-single digital CPM increases it had been seeking, which are in line with last year's 5 percent increases. 

The news comes as CBS makes an aggressive push to end NBC's two-year reign as the top network in adults 18-49. One big 2015-16 event that should help it achieve that goal: Super Bowl 50, which CBS will air on Feb. 7.

CBS also hopes to draw large audiences when it debuts The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Sept. 8, and Supergirl—whose upfront trailer was viewed more than 10 million times in its first week—which launches out of The Big Bang Theory on Oct. 26. 

In addition to Supergirl, CBS boasts a fall lineup of on-brand freshman dramas, including Limitless (based on the 2011 film starring Bradley Cooper, who is executive producing the series and will also appear on it occasionally) and medical drama Code Black. The network is taking more of a risk with its comedies, opting for a pair of single-camera shows—Angel From Hell and the Modern Family-like Life in Pieces—over the multicamera comedies traditionally favored by the network. 

CBS hopes those new shows, alongside last season's three new hits—NCIS: New Orleans, Scorpion and Madam Secretary—will continue to inject flesh blood into a network that boasts more long-running shows (including NCIS, Blue Bloods, Survivor and The Good Wife) than any other network.


@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.