National TV Ad Spending Drops 7% in August: SMI

A closeup of U.S. money
(Image credit: Yuriy_Kulik/Getty Images)

Spending on national TV advertising fell 7% in August from a year ago, following a 30% plunge in July, according to new figures from Standard Media Index’s AccuTV service.

The latest decline left broadcast down 42% in the third quarter, with cable off 6% and syndication dropping 19%.

Standard Media Index August

(Image credit: Standard Media Index)

SMI said a large share of the drop was due to the Tokyo Summer Olympics taking place last year and because other sporting events, including the NBA Finals, were played in July and August in 2021, but occurred earlier this year as pro leagues returned to their normal, pre-pandemic schedules.

Sports spending is down 67% so far this quarter, while entertainment spending is up 3% and news is down 2%.

Spending resulting from upfront buys was down 16%. Scatter dropped 36% and direct response advertising is off by 20%.

SMI said spending by pharmaceutical marketers was up 12% in August, the first increase since September 2021. With the holiday push starting, retail advertising was up 4%, its first increase since April.

Spending on consumer packaged goods was down by single digits, the first decline that small since August after 12 months of double-digit plunges. ■

SMI August Categories

Chart shows impact of Comcast's coverage of the Olympics on ad spending in 2021 (Image credit: Standard Media Index)
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.