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Cable Ad Bucks Break Record

National and network cable ad spending for 2003 hit a record $12.7 billion, according to the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau. That's up $1.82 billion, or 16.7%, from 2002, according to CAB analysis of data from StrADegy.

Broadcast TV still had the lion's share of ad dollars at 58.8% ($21 billion, but that was down from 60% in 2002, according to CAB, while cable's total was up from 31.5% in 2002 to 34,1% in 2003. Cable's 16.7% was the biggest percentage gain in ad dollars, followed by syndicated TV, which was up 15.3% (to $3.4 billion); and broadcast TV, which was up 2.2%.

The advertiser with the biggest boost in cable ad spending was Procter & Gamble, up $128.3 million from the year before. The biggest percentage gainer among advertisers spending at least $50 million was Novartis, up a whopping 158.2% to $98.2 million (from $38 million in 2002).

The top category of advertising was automotive, up 13.1$% to $1.1 billion.