National TV ad revenues fell 1% in Q2 excluding World Cup, SMI says

Entertainment television revenue during the quarter fell 0.4%. (Pixabay)

The national television advertising market benefitted during the second quarter from the World Cup, but after factoring it out, revenues fell 1%, according to Standard Media Index.

The firm said national TV revenue declined as the average paid unit cost for a 30-second commercial fell 3.4%. But the decline was partially offset by a 2.5% increase in the number of 30-second spots (up to 3.4 million) and a 4% reduction in the number of make-goods (or ADUs). 

“As upfront season comes to a close, the industry now needs to quickly move its attention to the scatter market,” said James Fennessy, CEO of Standard Media Index, in a statement. “In Q2, revenue from the scatter market grew by 11% YoY while revenue from upfronts fell -4% and direct response advertising remained flat.”


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Entertainment television revenue during the quarter fell 0.4% but grew in primetime original nonsyndicated programming. Dramas were up 0.9%, reality shows were up 2.5% and comedies were up 19.5%. All four major broadcast networks gained revenue from primetime original programming this quarter: CBS at 22%, ABC at 7%, NBC at 2% and FOX at 2%. 

But it was on cable where AMC’s “The Walking Dead” was able to charge the most for a 30-second commercial at $331,691 in the second quarter, followed by FOX’s “Empire” at $322,659 and CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” at $295,138.

Comcast was the largest TV network group by entertainment revenue during the second quarter at 19%, followed by Discovery Inc at 15%, Viacom at 14%, Time Warner at 10%, CBS at 9%, Disney at 9%, A&E Networks at 7%, and 21st Century Fox at 6%.

“It’s a highly consolidated market where the top eight media owners, all with greater than 5% market share, account for 88% of ad revenue. The top 12 media owners account for 98% of ad revenue,” SMI said in a statement.

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