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Upfront TV ad spend in the U.S. 2016-2020

Upfront ad spending in the United States amounted to just under 21 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. By the end of 2020, this amount is expected to grow to about 21.6 billion U.S. dollars.

Upfront TV

“Upfronts” are gatherings held by television networks and attended by major advertisers. They allow advertisers to buy television ad airtime before the next broadcasting season begins. In the 2019/20 season, U.S. national primetime TV upfront sales reached approximately 22 million U.S. dollars, making it the season with the highest upfront ad sales numbers over the last decade.

Ad time per hour of primetime TV

According to data surrounding the average ad time on U.S. broadcast networks, an average 17 minutes and 36 seconds of ad time per hour could be expected on ABC in the first quarter of 2019. FOX had the lowest ad time per primetime hour during that quarter, averaging at about 12 minutes and 38 seconds. On U.S. cable network groups however, Warner Media had the lowest average ad time per hour: roughly fourteen and a half minutes.

Upfront TV advertising spending in the United States from 2016 to 2020

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Release date

April 2019


United States

Survey time period

2016 to 2018

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Statistics on "Advertising market in the U.S."

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