Broadcast, cable advertising numbers flat in Q2, creating concern

It's difficult where to assign blame, but traditional media companies, especially broadcast and cable TV, are hardly setting the world afire with their advertising numbers.

National TV advertising revenues rose only 0.2 percent in the second quarter, a number that was the worst since the recession, MoffettNathanson analyst Michael Nathanson said in a story reported by the New York Post. Nathanson's numbers were, at the least, troubling, including one that showed cable outlets climbing only 3.7 percent to $5.98 billion from $5.77 billion.

These numbers were enough to lead the Wall Street Journal to call the June quarter "one to be forgotten."

Those who would assign blame for the quarter can easily point to digital outlets, including Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Twitter, that posted strong gains in ad revenues.

As for traditional media, Nathanson said the jury is still out on whether this is a one-time thing or a trend.

It's a trend, said Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser in the WSJ story.

"There isn't any kind of radical or enhanced secular change going on right now beyond the trends that have been going on for many years," he wrote in an article quoted by the Journal.

WPP's Kantar Media analyst Jon Swallen agreed that this is a "continuation of how the ad market has been behaving and performing over the last three-and-a-half years."

And Lance Vitanza, managing director and partner at CRT Capital Group even dredged some sunshine from the gloom, noting that the ad market is "doing better right now than it was in Q2."

For more:
- The New York Post has this story
- The Wall Street Journal has this story (sub. req.)
- Broadcasting & Cable has this story

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