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Illustration: Axios/Rebecca Zisser

Despite the onslaught of bad headlines around cord cutting and the death of traditional TV, Madison Avenue hasn't given up on the big cable and broadcast networks just yet.

Driving the news: Despite viewership declines, Variety's Brian Steinberg reports that ad commitments saw an increase of 5.2% to more than $20.7 billion in 2018, citing data from Media Dynamics, a media consultancy.

Yes, but: As Steinberg notes, higher upfront ad commitments for the networks' primetime lineups are a result of higher rates, which networks still have the leverage to demand.

  • The bottom line: Amid an endless number of new on-demand streaming options, TV networks are hoping that ad buyers are willing to cough up big bucks to actually reach viewers in real-time.

The big takeaways so far:

  • NBC: NBC positioned itself as the home for must-see primetime television, touted its renewable of "This is Us" and teased bringing "The Office" to its ad-supported streaming network, which ad chairman Linda Yaccarino said would go live mid-2020.
  • Fox: In its first UpFront since spinning off as standalone company after the Disney merger, Fox is positioning itself as the network that's leaning the most heavily into live sporting events. It's message to Madison Ave: We're smaller, but still mighty.

What's next: Disney will present ESPN and ABC together on Tuesday. WarnerMedia and CBS will present on Wednesday. The CW will present on Thursday.

Go deeper: Upstaging Upfronts, NewFronts rally Madison Avenue

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.