The NFL playoffs, awards shows and cable news all converged on January to help drive the total national TV advertising market up 7.1% year over year, according to Standard Media Index.
Within that market, cable advertising rose 11.1% and broadcast advertising rose 2.7%.
“January has been a stellar month for National TV. Scatter volume is up 50% on 2017 as a host of advertisers have stormed back into the market. Some of this growth has been driven by the move of several big college football games and the Grammy’s into January, but even so underlying growth is still an impressive 5.3%. Based on these results, and our view into forward bookings, we predict National TV to grow 1.6% in Q1, excluding the Winter Games,” said SMI CEO James Fennessy in a statement.
Despite ratings declines for the NFL during the regular season, ad revenue during the post-season games—including the Wild Card, Divisional Round and Conference Championships—rose 5.3% year over year.
Ad spending on entertainment programming rose 12% in January thanks in part to awards shows including the Golden Globes and the Grammys. The Golden Globes, which aired on NBC, earned more than $32 Million in ad revenue, a 7.1% increase from last year. And that’s despite viewership dropping 5% from last year.
The Grammys, which aired on CBS, earned $61 Million in ad revenue, a 3.8% increase from last year. According to SMI, the paid unit cost for an equivalized 30-second commercial spot rose 11.8% despite total viewership being down 24% from last year. However, CBS did see a 40% increase in unique viewers of the show’s livestream.
Meanwhile, cable news grew 25% year over year in January. MSNBC’s ad revenue for the month rose 62%, CNN’s rose 32% and Fox News’ rose 17%. In terms of weekday primetime programming, CNN grew about 50% in January.