National TV ad market up 1% in October: SMI

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Year to date, the national TV market is down 3% amid cable’s 2.5% decline and broadcast’s 5% decline.

The national TV advertising market rose only slightly in October as growth in cable advertising revenue was offset somewhat by a slight decline in broadcast advertising, according to Standard Media Index.

The national TV market rose 1%, with cable seeing a 3% increase and broadcast seeing a 2% decline. Year to date, the national TV market is down 3% amid cable’s 2.5% decline and broadcast’s 5% decline.

Broadcast’s decline comes amid decreases in ad revenue from both sports and news programming, down 3% and 18%, respectively. However, entertainment programming saw a 3% increase. SMI seemed to anticipate the drop in ad revenue around news.

“It’s quite expected to finally see a drop in spending around news. When you look at October 2016 versus October 2017, last year we were in the height of the election and Americans were glued to their TV. CBS, interestingly, is the only network to see an increase in spending around News programming with a 6% increase. This is mostly due to more spend on ‘CBS Sunday Morning’ and ‘Face the Nation,’” the company wrote.

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Breaking down the growth in entertainment revenue across the four big broadcast networks, NBC was up 14% annually, CBS was up 2%, ABC was up 1%, but FOX saw a decline of 6% due to lower unit costs across key shows like “Empire,” “Lethal Weapon” and “Lucifer.”

NBC’s big boost was thanks to its Tuesday night shows including of “The Voice,” “This Is Us,” and “Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders.” Not only are those shows performing well, but October 2017 had an extra Tuesday night compared with October 2016.

For ABC, Thursday night is still its strongest with shows like “Scandal.” For CBS, “NCIS,” “Bull” and “NCIS: New Orleans” were the top revenue earning shows for the network.

The growth in entertainment came despite the average unit cost on an entertainment prime-time show across the big four networks decreasing 4% from $116,600 in October 2016 to $111,700 in October 2017.