Analyst Sees TV Ad Spending on Downswing

Analyst Brian Wieser of Pivotal Research sees TV advertising declining this year and continuing to decline into the future.

Wieser sees spending on national advertising finishing 2018 down 1.9% to $43.4 billion. He is forecasting a 2.1% decline in 2018, excluding the effects of the Olympics and political advertising.

For the third quarter, Wieser is forecasting a 1.4% decline, followed by a 2.6% decline in the fourth quarter.

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He sees broadcast down 1.6% to $14.5 billion for 2017, despite a small 0.2% uptick in the fourth quarter. Cable is expected to be down 2.4% to $25.6 billion for 2017, with a 6% drop in the fourth quarter.

“Advertising is facing challenges on many fronts, especially within the two largest media, digital and television,” Wieser said in a report Sunday. “Among the large packaged goods marketers and big brands who dominate television, we have market-share losses to smaller brands driving reduced spending for many who budget for advertising as a percentage of revenue and zero-based budgeting tactics for others.”

He said he didn’t see other categories emerging to pick up the slack.

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“We generally see ad revenue growth at national TV media outlets declining by around -2% each year going forward, excluding incremental spending associated with the Olympics, similar to our expectation for this year,” Wieser said.

Overall, Wieser sees ad spending expanding. “We call for 4.4% underlying expansion this year, which is similar to the 4-5% range we published in August,” he said.

(Photo via Pictures of Money's FlickrImage taken on Sept. 17, 2015 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 16x9 aspect ratio.)

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.