I Feel an Ebbing in the Force

...as if the delicate balance has been upset in the network TV ad marketplace, such that we've crested the wave on artificially-created demand. You know how it works - advertisers making commitments in the upfront commit against inflated ratings. Shortfalls against the inflated ratings results in a need to deliver makegood weight, which decreases supply in the scatter market and artificially inflates demand, and thus pricing.

This year, we've got the writer's strike throwing a wrench in the works. MarketingVox reports that makegoods are already going into Q3 2008, and that NBC is issuing cash refunds to key advertisers. Here's a key quote from someone at Carat:

"If the networks are in this ratings under-delivery situation now, it could only worsen in the event of a prolonged strike."

So when does this graduate from "situation" to "perfect storm" where so much makegood weight is owed that major advertisers sweating it out in the scatter market might decide to turn some boatloads of ad dollars toward digital media?