In a report to clients, Merrill Lynch media analyst Jessica Reif Cohen said that ads for NBC's Friends, which sold in the upfront market last year for $500,000 apiece, are now going for just $275,000. On the other hand, CBS is now asking $400,000 for each Survivor ad airing on the same night, compared with $50,000 for Thursday-night spots pre-Survivor.
Wall Street showed little reaction Monday to the settlement reached on Friday between the Writers Guild of America and the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the Los Angeles Times observed Monday. Noting that if a strike had materialized, most TV and film studios would have been able to lower their production costs, Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif Cohen told the newspaper, "If there had been a strike, it would have been a short-term positive for some of the companies." Nevertheless, UBS Warburg analyst Christopher Dixon noted that investors were able to breathe "a great sigh of relief" when the agreement was announced. Referring to the potential of an actors' strike, Dixon added, "We still don't know whether we'll have actors, but we do have scripts that will be written, and that's a first step."