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Cable Spending Edges Up Over First Nine Months: Nielsen

National cable was one of just six measured media that posted advertising gains during the first nine months of 2007, according to preliminary data from Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Edging up 1.5% for the period, national cable ranked fifth of the 16 measured media, a list that was topped by the Internet, which registered a 15.9% advance, according to data from Nielsen Online and AdRelevance.

Total advertising spending slipped 0.1% over the span in question, according to Nielsen.

National magazines, up 7.7%, were second over the nine-month span, ahead of national Sunday magazines and outdoor, which were up 6.0% and 5.7%, respectively.

Spanish-language TV, inching up 0.5%, trailed national cable in the sixth spot, according to Nielsen data.

Elsewhere in TV land, spot sales in DMAs 101-210 declined 0.4%, while the broadcast networks were off 2.5%. Spot TV ad sales in the first 100 DMAs fell 5%.

Relative to the top 10 spending categories, only three -- pharmaceuticals (2.6% to $3.85 billion), direct-response products (2.9% to $1.64 billion) and wireless telephone services (7.3% to $2.66 billion)) -- grew in the period. Nielsen said Verizon Wireless was the leader in that sector at $449.2 million, while AT&T Wireless was second with $402.5 million.

Overall, spending among the top 10 categories dropped 2.3% to $20.8 billion, according to Nielsen, with the motion picture industry decreasing its collective budget 1.3% to $2.66 billion.

Taking a look at product integration on the cable side, Nielsen Product Placement Service found a decline in the number of such occurrences in primetime cable over the first nine months of 2007. During the corresponding span in 2006, there were 160,118 product-placement occurrences, versus 136,078 this time around.

The show setting the pace for product placements in the first three quarters was TLC’s American Choppers at 41,657. A&E’s Dog The Bounty Hunter was second with 19,179, followed by TLC’s American Hot Rod and Overhaulin’ with 14,628 and 14,281, respectively. Bravo’s Top Chef was fifth with 13,738.