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College Sports Help Shift Ad Spending From Broadcast To Cable: Kantar

Ad spending on cable networks increased 11.8% in the first six months of 2011 -- while network TV spending fell 7.6% -- after marquee college football and basketball events moved to cable this year, according to data released Monday by Kantar Media.

ESPN paid $500 million in a four-year deal for the TV rights to the Bowl Championship Series, previously on Fox, starting in 2011. Meanwhile, the NCAA inked a 14-year, $10.8 billion agreement with Turner and CBS Sports for the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship.

That produced a "large, one-time transfer" of ad dollars from broadcast to cable, Kantar Media said. In addition, prescription drug, financial service and consumer package goods categories reallocated TV budgets to cable from broadcast TV in the first half of 2011, according to the research company.

Ad spending in the syndication TV category jumped 18.5% versus the first six months of 2010, according to Kantar Media, which the firm said reflected more hours of monitored programming and larger budgets from auto insurers and consumer packaged goods marketers.

Spanish-language TV ad expenditures increased 1.7% as declines from telecom advertisers were offset by expanded budgets from a few financial service providers, Kantar Media said. Outlays on spot TV fell 0.9%, reflecting lower telecom spending and a second-quarter slowdown among automakers.

Kantar Media's cable TV figures are based on 67 English-language networks and exclude Hispanic cable networks. The Spanish-language TV segment includes four Hispanic broadcast networks, four Hispanic cable network and 71 local Hispanic TV stations.

Overall, total advertising expenditures in the first six months of 2011 increased to $71.5 billion, up 3.2% from a year ago, Kantar Media found. Growth slowed in the second quarter, with ad spending in the period up 2.8% year-over-year.

Spending among the 10 largest advertisers in the first six months of 2011 was $8.22 billion, down 0.5% compared with a year ago.

Among the biggest-spending marketers, Comcast increased ad spending 35.1%, to $884.5 million in the first half of 2011, and Time Warner Inc. spent $618.2 million, up 6.7%. The bigger ad budgets for both companies were driven by their movie studio divisions, Kantar Media said.