Disney’s ad sales group closed out its 2021-22 upfront with double-digit increases in both CPMs and revenue, behind a large interest in live sports, according to Deadline.

  • The rate gains spanned all parts of the broadcast day, cable and all major sports, including:
    • College Football
    • NFL
    • NBA
  • According to Disney, more than 40% of its total upfront dollars committed this year were directed to streaming and digital outlets.
  • While Disney+ is and ad-free offering, both Hulu and ESPN+ are offered with ads.
  • Hulu’s ad revenue is forecast to reach $3 billion this year, a number in the same range as Disney’s linear networks.
  • Disney also saw double-digit increases in overall revenue across broadcast, cable and all major sports.
  • Disney pointed out consumer packaged goods, financial services, media & entertainment, pharmaceutical, retail, technology and telecom, and travel & leisure as strong categories.
  • While Chapek was not asked about the upfront during today’s virtual appearance at a Credit Suisse investor conference, he was asked about the outlook for ESPN.
    • “We’re committed to sports because we value live sports, which drives viewers and interest like nothing else,” Chapek said.
  • Disney, and other companies, have seen a major revival in ad revenue this year after being hit hard by the pandemic in 2020.