Linear TV Advertising Spending Drops 1% in November: SMI

Standard Media Index November
(Image credit: Standard Media Index)

Linear television advertising spending fell 1% in November compared to a year ago, with local cable operators chalking up big gains, according to new figures from Standard Media Index.

National broadcast and cable networks were each down 2% for the month.

Local TV station ad sales were down 9% compared to the 2020 election year.

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But local spending with cable operators was up 30%, Also rising were third-party sales through rep firms, tech companies and others.

Syndication was also down 24%.

Total ad spending for November was up 10% from last year and up 17% compared to 2019, SMI said. 

Spending on digital was up 17%, out-of-home jumped 84% and radio grew 23%.

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Technology companies outspent consumer packaged goods marketers during the month. The tech companies spent more on both linear TV and digital amid the holiday gift-giving season.

Spending by travel companies was three times what they were a year ago. 

Standard Media Index gets it data from invoices at all six global ad agency holding companies and major independent agencies. The data represent 95% of national brand advertiser spending. ■

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.