‘Breaking Bad’ Drives Ad Gains for AMC

The final episodes of Breaking Bad helped drive a huge jump in ad sales at AMC in September.

AMC’s ad revenues were up 156% in September from a year earlier, according to figures from research firm Standard Media Index. When Breaking Bad ended, AMC launched a new season of The Walking Dead, which has been the highest rated entertainment series on TV this year.

Cable as a whole had a good month in September with sales rising 8%. Cable was especially strong in the automotive, restaurants and beauty, grooming and personal care categories, where it stole share from broadcast.

The September performance left cable ahead 13% in the third quarter and up 7% year to date.

The national broadcast networks had slightly lower revenue overall in September, but CBS posted a big gain, thanks to the success of summer series Under the Dome.

For the third quarter, the broadcast networks were down 15% in ad revenues and are down 2% for 2013.

With an 8% gain in September, overall TV ad revenue was down 2% in the third quarter and is up 2% so far this year.

Spot TV was down 10% in the third quarter and is flat for the year. Syndication was up 13% in the quarter and up 3% so far this year.

Local TV and cable were down 10% in the quarter, but up 5% for the year to date.

SMI tracks ad revenue by getting spending data directly from media agencies representing 60% of all spending, including Vivaki, Mediabrands, Aegis Media and Havas Media.

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.