ViacomCBS closed out its upfront advertising sales and attributes much of its growth to sports.
The network, which is still catching up with giants like Disney in the streaming wars, secured an estimated $2.03 billion to $2.66 billion for its linear primetime programming, up by as much 6% from last year.
CBS broadcast Super Bowl LV in February, driving its first-quarter ad revenue to $1.8 billion — up 40% year-over-year. Even though the Big Game will be on NBC next year, the NFL was still a key driver for CBS’ ad sales.
The company will pay more than $2 billion annually to broadcast NFL games on CBS and Paramount+ from 2022-2033.
In addition to the 100-plus football games CBS has on its schedule, the network emphasized its soccer, golf, and college football and basketball programming.
It’s been a banner year for advertising sales across the board.
- Fox reported sales were up around 20% for linear and digital.
- Disney had double-digit gains, primarily due to live sports.
- NBCUniversal and WarnerMedia each said this year’s upfront was the most successful in company history.
ViacomCBS’ revenue grew 14% to $7.4 billion in the first quarter. The media conglomerate recently raised nearly $3 billion to grow Paramount+’s global reach.