BIA/Kelsey: Local TV Station Revenues Up 23.2%

Local TV stations' over-the-air revenues were up 23.2% to
$19.4 billion in 2010, according to the latest figures from BIA/Kelsey, powered
by midterm election spending and the national ad market rebound.

That is a big jump from the $15.8 billion in revenues
BIA/Kelsey recorded in 2009, but still down from the high-water mark of the
past half decade--$22.8 billion in 2006.

According to BIA/Kelsey's Mark Fratrik, most top-25 TV
markets saw increases of 20% or more over 2009. Those included  Miami-Fort
Lauderdale (31.86%), Orlando-Dayton-Melbourne (31.4%), Boston
(29.5%), Denver (29%), and Chicago

But the increases were not confined only to the big players.
For example, revenues in the Wausau-Rhinelander, Wis.,
market (DMA 135) were up more than 50%.

Online revenues were $450 million for 2010, the first time
that has been broken out in the Local Media Annual Forecast.

BIA/Kelsey projects that over-the-air total to dip by almost
$2 billion in the election off-year of 2011 to $17.5 billion before rebounding
in the next presidential race year of 2012.

Online revenues are projected to about double over the next
five years to $896 million by 2015, while over-the-air revenues in the 2015
off-year are forecast at $19.5 billion.

But after the 25% free fall from $21.5 billion in of- year 2007 to 2009's $15.8 billion, the prediction of off-year growth of $1.2 billion between 2011 and 2013 ($17.5B to $18.7B) is looking pretty good in an economic climate where flat is the new up.

"Local television maintains its strength and appeal because
of its ability to deliver viewers on specific days and times," said
Rick Ducey of BIA/Kelsey. "With continued growth expected in its ability
to leverage its over the air brand and continue the conversation with viewers
through online, interactive and mobile local media, we see the television
industry continuing its positive course through the decade."

And there remains a boatload of money to be made from media
that deliver local audiences to advertisers--which is just about
everybody--says the company, which predicts that, as a category, they will top
$150 billion in local media ad revenues at a compound annual growth rate by
2015. That category includes "radio, TV, cable, out-of-home, and 'all
other media.'

The figures are based on surveys of broadcasters in each of
the 210 Nielsen TV markets. It combines data with other resources to establish
industry revenues. Forecasts of future revenues are also based on consumer
behavior, political climate, economic conditions, and advertisers on a
market-by-market basis, according to BIA/Kelsey.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.