Fox gets Super Bowl boost, but broadcast TV ad spending stays flat in February, SMI says


Fox received a major boost in TV ad spending in February thanks to the Super Bowl, but overall the broadcast industry remained mostly flat, according to Standard Media Index.

For the big four broadcast networks across all dayparts and genres, Fox saw its February ad revenue jump a huge 341% thanks to the Super Bowl. Meanwhile, CBS fell 57.6% compared to 2016 when it aired the Super Bowl. NBC grew across all dayparts, while ABC’s ad revenue fell 11.1% year-over-year.

Broadcast entertainment ad revenue dropped 6.4% across all dayparts, but spending on broadcast news increased 15.1%. For ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC combined, ad revenue for broadcast entertainment prime time 2.3%. But NBC saw its prime time broadcast ad revenue jump 11.3% annually because of “This Is Us,” which hauled in the highest average 30-second spot price for any hourlong drama on broadcast television in February. CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” commanded an average spot price of $248,077 during the month, but that was down 10% from a year ago.

RELATED: NBC helps drive TV ad spending up 5.7% in January, SMI says

On cable, ad revenue growth for news slowed to its lowest increase (up 7%) since the election. But ad spending for prime time cable news jumped 30.9% during the month.

Turner’s TNT and TBS both saw increases in spend, up 11.3% and 2%, respectively, while USA Network fell 16.5%. Viacom’s MTV and Comedy Central declined by double digits after a few months of growth.

Amid mixed results for broadcast and cable TV ad revenue growth during February, digital ad revenue slowed some during the month.

“After explosive digital growth over the past three years, the past six months have shown that a sizeable number of brands went too far and have started reassessing based on quality issues and falling sales. We expect this trend to accelerate in the coming months as the issues with YouTube are certain to have an impact on spend on non-premium platforms,” said James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index, in a statement. “Our February data reinforces the need for advertisers to properly balance between traditional and digital and the importance we see brands putting on safety, environment and context.”