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Broadcast Revenue Down 23% In Q3

Total broadcast television ad revenue was around $8.8 billion in the third quarter, a 22.6% freefall from the same quarter last year. Syndication was off 7.2%, network TV was off 21.5%, and local television slid a whopping 28.1%, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising (TVB). Local broadcast was up against robust third quarter numbers in 2008, due to political spending.

The TVB reported its figures based on estimates from TNS Media Intelligence.

The numbers for local television were worse than the TVB had anticipated earlier in the year. In mid-2009, the TVB forecasted station revenue to be down 10%-15% in the third quarter, and flat in the fourth.

Among spot advertisers, automotive was off around 50% from the previous year's third quarter. Communications was off 22.3 % and restaurants spent 14.8% less.

Among the positive categories in local TV were legal services (up 3.3%) and supermarkets (3.7%).

For the first nine months of the year, syndicated TV was down 2.8%, network TV was down 10.7, and local broadcast fell 27.4%. That combines for $28.9 billion--a 15.7% decrease over the same three quarters last year.