Cable’s gains against broadcast in volume and price in the recent upfront have helped blur the line between cable and broadcast, a group of cable ad execs said at NAMIC. "This year was pivotal [for those gains], and it happened before the [writers’ strike]," said Discovery‘s Joe Abruzzese. The key was the inroads cable made in scatter, Abruzzese said. "We’re the bulls [on scatter,] broadcast are the bears… we want to solve our clients problems 52 weeks a year, not just at the upfront," he said. What happens ahead will depend on ratings, he added, noting cable ratings were up 8% for scatter, while broadcast was down 8%. Since cable and broadcast ratings are "very, very close," cable will be even or ahead of broadcast in the 2nd and 3rd quarters, too, MTV Nets ad chief Hank Close said. "Television is television." BET sales chief Louis Carr said cable has "done a great job re-training buyers about scatter." As for new media, Abruzzese said it’s "about 2% of our business" but "that it influences the other 98%… it’s not going to replace it, there’s a lot of money being lost in new media… I’m not sure yet [about new media]."

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