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Scott Jagow: It's upfront season, when the TV networks sell ad space for next season. Stacey Vanek-Smith checked in on it's going.

Stacey Vanek-Smith: It's been a staticy season for TV. Ratings are sliding, there was a writer's strike and the economy's in a slump. All of that had the networks bracing for a big drop from last year's $9 billion upfront market. But instead, things are holding steady.

Hollywood Today's Alex Ben Block says TV is still the best way to reach a broad audience.

Alex Ben Block: Even with all the alternative forms of marketing, if you want to build and buy awareness, you still have to go to network TV. And the big advertisers realize that and they're willing to pay for it.

But advertisers don't always want to go big, so cable expects to cash in, too. Channels like TBS and TNT have hiked ad prices significantly this year.

Block says even though cable audiences are smaller, they're easier to hone in on. So channels like ESPN and The Food Network can command premium prices.

In Los Angeles, I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

Follow Stacey Vanek Smith at @svaneksmith