Hopes fade for a quick TV ad market recovery

After facing a disturbingly soft advertising-sales market in the first half of 2014, TV programmers had hoped for a rebound this fall.

That's not going to happen, according to leading ad-sales executives and media-investment analysts.

On Monday, Jeffries analyst John Janedis reduced his forecast for second-half-of-2014 ad-revenue growth for the biggest providers of TV-network programming, including Time Warner Inc., Viacom, CBS Corp. and Discovery Communications. Not only are disappointing audience ratings over the summer months dampening a recovery, Jeffries noted, but the "scatter market"--in which commercial time is sold close to its air date--is not experiencing the spike in demand programmers had anticipated.

"The TV community thinks a bunch of money is going to flow into the marketplace, but I am not in that camp," Andy Donchin, director of media investment at media-buying firm Carat, told the Wall Street Journal.

"Money," Donchin added, "is moving to other platforms, such as digital."

Kantar Media reported Tuesday that the nation's five biggest adveristers, led by Procter & Gamble, cut ad spending on traditional media and online display in the first half of 2014, with P&G reducing its outlay on those categories 17 percent.

Companies including MasterCard and Verizon Wireless, meanwhile, have moved a portion of their TV ad dollars to online platforms.

The softness in the ad-sales market will certainly affect retrans and carriage negotiations for pay-TV operators, with many programmers looking to establish a harder line as they seek to offset declines in ad revenue.

For more:
- read this Wall Street Journal story

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