National TV ad market up 0.8% in May, SMI says

finance earnings
NBCUniversal leads the way on ad revenue market share for news, sports and entertainment programming. (Pixabay)

The national television advertising market stayed mostly flat in May and only rose 0.8% annually, according to Standard Media Index.

The firm said the growth is generally on par with full season results after normalizing for the 2018 Winter Olympics, and that season-to-date marketers have spent more than $30 billion on national TV ads. The firm added that growth is partly due to an increase in available ad units, which is up 3% year-over-year to 6.3 million 30-second ad units so far this season.

For linear TV, the steadies have been sports and news. Sports ad revenue across TV rose 16.1% annually; and CNN, Fox News and MSNBC were up 18.3% in ad revenue.

“May results again demonstrate how critical live programming is for national TV. News and sports continue to deliver big time for the networks while entertainment programming remains in the doldrums as viewers increasingly consume on non-traditional platforms,” said SMI CEO James Fennessy in a statement. “The other stand out performance for the calendar year is the new combined Discovery, Inc., which is now the leading cable entertainment network by several hundred million dollars over second placed Viacom.”

RELATED: Hulu's ad revenue rose 18% in first quarter, SMI says

NBCUniversal accounts for 17.3% of entertainment programming ad revenue and Discovery comes in at second with 14.6%. Viacom (13.8%), Disney (9.6%) and WarnerMedia (9.4%) round out the top five.

NBCU also leads the way for news programming ad revenue with 33.8% market share. 21st Century Fox controls 19.1% of that category and WarnerMedia comes in third with 16.2%.

NBCU completes the hat trick, according to SMI, by capturing 28.5% of the sports programming ad market. Following is Disney (25.7%), Fox (16.7%), CBS (15.1%) and WarnerMedia (9.4%).

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