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

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The Standard Media Index found that larger brands put more money back into TV ads and less toward digital advertising.

The overall TV ad spend market rose 5.5% in the fourth quarter but the major broadcasters saw mixed results, according to Standard Media Index.

According to the firm’s latest 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. CBS’s decline of 11.3% during the month was primarily attributed to having one less NFL game than it showed in December 2015. Amid the ups and downs, Fox’s ad growth held mostly steady at 1.3%.

Taking television’s fourth quarter as a whole, the results were similar with NBC up 7.3%, CBS down 12.4%, Fox up 2.9% and ABC down 9.6%. In all, the television market grew 2.4% during the fourth quarter with broadcast down 2.2% and cable up 7.4%.

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SMI also offered up full-year ad spend figures for 2016. The television market saw a 4.4% increase in spend with both broadcast and cable experiencing similar growth rates of 4.6% and 4% respectively.

NBC scored 20% growth for the year, riding momentum from the election news cycle, the 2016 Olympics and more NFL games broadcasted. CBS grew by 3.2%, ABC fell 2.2% and Fox fell 4.6%.

Among top cable networks, ESPN declined 2.9%, TBS grew 1%, TNT fell 1%, and USA Network fell 2.8%. As expected given the contentious presidential election, cable news channels CNN and Fox News experienced booming ad growth of 57.8% and 25.7% respectively for 2016.

SMI added that it is seeing larger brands put money back into TV and less toward digital advertising. After decreasing its TV ad spend in 2015, Paramount Pictures increased spending on TV by 24% this year. Target, which also decreased its TV ad spend in 2015, increased spend by 12% this year.

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