National Linear TV Advertising Spending Down 2.3% in December

Standard Media Index
(Image credit: Standard Media Index)

National linear television advertising spending dropped 2% in December, leaving spending down 5% for the year, according to new figures from Standard Media Index.

Ad spending was affected by the shift of NFL football to streaming, particularly the move of Thursday Night Football from Fox and the NFL Network exclusively to Amazon Prime Video. Including NFL streaming, national linear spending was up 2% in December.\

The December drop was an improvement over recent months. Spending was down 11% in October and 4% in November, leaving the fourth quarter down 6%.

Also: Ad Market Has ‘Bottomed Out,’ NBCU CEO Jeff Shell Says

For December, advertising on broadcast TV was down 1.1%, cable fell 2.8% and syndication dropped 2.3%.

For Q4, broadcast was down 3%, cable fell 8% and syndication dropped 15%.

With the NFL season, fourth-quarter spending on sports was up 2%.  By contrast, spending on news was down 7% and spending on entertainment programming was down 10%.

For the year, spending on sports was the most stable, edging down 1%, while news fell 7% and entertainment dropped 6%.

Spending on national TV transacted during the upfront was down 2% in the quarter, compared to a 20% drop in scatter market spending. Spending on direct response was down 10%.  ■

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.