NBC says closed one of its first upfront deals

PASADENA, California Wed Jul 22, 2009 9:22pm EDT

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PASADENA, California (Reuters) - NBC Entertainment Co-Chairman Ben Silverman said on Wednesday that the network has closed one of its first upfront deals.

Media watchers have been looking for signs of life in the market for ad deals after discussions between advertising and television executives were largely stalled during the industry's annual dealmaking season.

NBC's deal came out of a presentation with GroupM, a unit of advertising agency WPP, Silverman said at the Fortune Brainstorm: TECH conference in Pasadena, California.

"You are seeing healthier numbers than I think we anticipated," Silverman said, adding that advertisers are realizing that "there are efficiencies in utilizing broadcast networks."

NBC is a unit of General Electric Co.

(Reporting by Sue Zeidler; Editing Bernard Orr)