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

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In January, the television market witnessed a 5.7% increase in ad spending, according to Standard Media Index.

The firm said cable hauled in the bulk of the money with an 8.2% year-over-year increase for the month, while broadcast recorded a 2.8% annual increase.

Of course, things change when sports programming is excluded. In that scenario, broadcast stayed mostly flat at 0.2% growth and cable grew 7.5%.


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“SMI’s latest data reflects the fact that leading marketers, including Coke and P&G, have firmly come to the conclusion that linear TV is still the powerhouse of ROI. A lot of digital experimentation last year didn’t deliver the expected results and advertisers are flooding back to tried and trusted mediums, and that includes Out of Home which is going through a real renaissance,” said James Fennessy, CEO of SMI, in a statement.

Although January was a good month in general for broadcast TV ad spending, only NBC saw an individual increase, rising 9.8%. Fox stayed relatively flat at -0.3%, CBS fell 2.5% in total spend, and ABC fell 5.1%.

For ABC, SMI says the absence of “Scandal” had a big effect but if the mid-season premiere on Jan. 24 is a sign, “it’s not going to help ABC’s bottom line as much as the network may have hoped.” The popular drama saw its cost per 30-second spot fall to $177,000, down from the $215,000 demanded for the 2016 mid-season premiere.

RELATED: NBC sees big ad spend growth in December while ABC falls off

The upward trajectory for NBC’s ad spend and opposite direction for ABC’s continues a trend observed by SMI during the fourth quarter of 2016.

According to the firm’s fouth-quarter numbers, NBC’s ad spend grew 16.6%, thanks in part to new Thursday Night Football programming. Meanwhile, ABC saw a decline of 13.4% due to losses in the primetime entertainment program segment. CBS’s decline of 11.3% during the month was primarily attributed to having one less NFL game than it aired in December 2015. Amid the ups and downs, Fox’s ad growth held mostly steady at 1.3%.

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