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Olympics, Super Bowl Boost TV Ad Spending in February

Ad spending on TV rose 30.7% in February from a year ago, driven by two big sporting events, the Super Bowl and the Olympics.

According to research firm Standard Media Index, ad spending on broadcast jumped 43.5% in February, and is up 30.5% so far this year. Not surprisingly the biggest gains were shown by NBC, which broadcast the Olympics from Sochi, Russia, and Fox, which aired the Super Bowl.

Cable TV networks also registered a 15% ad revenue gain in February. For the year to date, cable is up 13.3%. Big gainers in February included NBC Sports Network, A&E Network and HGTV.

The ad revenue increases were driven by automakers, whose TV spending is up 61.7% so far this year and financial services, up 41.5%.

SMI says that for the first time in more than a year, television ad revenue grew faster than digital ad revenue. Digital ad revenue gained 22% in February.

SMI gets it data directly from media agencies representing about 60% of total agency spending.