Most of the other media companies were down, except for Fox Corp., which was up 3% thanks to a boost from sports that offset decreases in reality and news.
Cable TV accounted for about two-thirds of linear ad dollars — a new high, according to SMI, while broadcast dipped below a 30% share for the first time.
Cable was up 18% in March. Broadcast was down 16%. Syndication was up 11%.
The April increase in linear spending was driven by a 58% jump in ad dollars going to sports programming. NBA and college basketball programming accounted for 57% of sports spending in the quarter. ■
With the finals of the NCAA shifting from CBS last year to TBS, Paramount Global's sports revenue in the quarter was down 88%. Overall Paramount's share of linear ad dollars was down 17%. Disney dropped 7% and Comcast was down 2%.
Spending on entertainment programming was down 4% and spending on news dipped 3%.
A strong scatter market also contributed to the April performance.
Scatter spending climbed 13% from a year ago. Upfront was up 5% and still accounted for 75% of overall volume. Direct response was down 5%.
Despite the April gain–its biggest this year–linear TV lags 2019 levels, when digital video growth accelerated. ■
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.
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