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Disney Closes Upfront With Commitments ‘In Line’ With Prior Year

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Disney is the latest publisher closing the wonderful world of upfront talks.

Today, Disney announced it had crossed the upfront finish line, with commitments across entertainment, streaming, sports and inclusion. Demand was driven by live events; addressable across sports and entertainment, including Hulu and the Disney+ ad tier; and programmatic and measurement offerings.

Overall revenue and volume commitments made in the upfront were “in line with the prior year,” according to the company. In 2022, Disney announced its strongest upfront ever, reporting $9 billion in advertiser commitments.

Additionally, more than 40% of the total upfront dollars committed this year went toward streaming and digital, with Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu leading the way, which is in line with last year. The company also announced increased commitments to Disney+ from all agency partners, which was led by the expansion of targeting, measurement and programmatic capabilities.

There were single digit increases in sports volume and pricing, for which Disney credits the strength of its rights portfolio and increased demand for its womens’ sports offering.

“Our investments in the most dynamic technology and streaming capabilities, coupled with the most enviable sports rights, powerful storytelling and impactful cultural moments, sets Disney apart,” Rita Ferro, president of advertising at Disney, said in a statement. “As we close the 2023-2024 Upfront, our insights led approach and deep understanding of consumers continues to deliver growth for our clients, while deepening their connection to the most engaged audiences at scale.”

Regarding categories, auto, consumer packaged goods, financial services, media and entertainment, pharmaceutical, sports gaming and travel and leisure performed well. Plus, the company secured “substantial inclusion commitments” from financial services, pharmaceutical, retail, tech and telecommunications brands.

In addition to Disney, NBCUniversal, Fox, Paramount, TelevisaUnivision and Warner Bros. Discovery have all closed talks, with The CW in the midst of winding down negotiations as well.

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