Jul 18, 2022 - Economy

Disney secures $9 billion in its strongest Upfront ever

Photo illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Disney secured a record $9 billion in advertising commitments during its Upfront ad sales event this year, thanks in large part to its upcoming ad-supported tier for Disney+ and sports.

Why it matters: Upfront presentations were created decades ago for networks to sell their ad inventory to major agencies and companies ahead of their big fall season programs. Now, streaming has super-charged those efforts.

Details: In total, 40% of all Upfront dollars committed to Disney by advertisers and agencies this year are streaming and digital, the company said. Disney's streaming platforms, Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu+, led those efforts.

  • The company's Upfront included inventory from programming across all of Disney's brands, including ABC, Disney Channels, Disney+, ESPN and ESPN+, Freeform, FX, Hulu and National Geographic, on both TV and digital channels.

Between the lines: Sports also played a big role in securing a record number of dollars. The company said it saw double-digit increases in sports volume and pricing for the second year in a row.

  • Broadly speaking, rate increases helped Disney attract more dollars this year, the company said.
  • As media diets become more dispersed across digital channels, traditional TV networks — although shrinking — are able to command higher rates, as they are the last remaining place advertisers can reach audiences at scale.

The big picture: Disney isn't the only network to have experienced record-breaking success during this year's Upfront.

  • NBCUniversal brought in more than $7 billion this year, with more than $1 billion going to Peacock, per AdWeek.
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