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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%.

Also: Top AVOD Platforms Generated $3.5 Billion in Ad Dollars Over 12 Months

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 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.