Nickelodeon's Kids and Family Group is close to wrapping one of the first major upfront deals of this year with GroupM, according to two executives familiar with the negotiations. The deal is said to be valued in excess of $300 million.
The deal would include all the Nickelodeon brands for both kids and adults, including Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, Noggin and Nick Toons, and is said to represent significant volume growth for the cable networks.
A spokesman for GroupM had no comment, and a spokesman for Nickelodeon could not comment.
Racing for revenue
An early deal would put Nickelodeon ahead of its cable counterparts such as ESPN and Turner, which both held their upfront presentations alongside the broadcast networks this week. Both parties have been quick on the draw in the two most recent upfront sales periods, with GroupM closing the first major deal with NBC in 2007, valued at $800 million, and MTVN writing $300 million worth of business with OMD in 2006.
GroupM media agencies represent marketers such as AT&T, Ford Motor Co, Burger King, ConAgra, Hasbro and Warner Bros.
The deal also comes amid chatter that NBC is close to finishing business with at least one major agency. The broadcaster was in front of agencies a month early this year when it introduced its 2008-09 programming schedule ahead of its upfront event on Monday, which focused more on NBC Universal's company-wide offerings.
NBC has already closed at least one branded entertainment deal with General Motors, which will integrate its brands into the fall Christian Slater drama ‘My Own Worst Enemy’.