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Report: US TV to lose $2 Billion in Ad Revenue By 2013

The U.S. broadcasting and cable business is set to lose $2 billion in ad revenue by 2013, according to a report out Monday from British media consultancy, Screen Digest. The company is projecting ad revenue of $67 billion in 2013, a drop from $69 billion in 2008.

The report had some good news for big media companies, however, suggesting they’ve done a good job of seeing off the threat from Google’s YouTube in the long-form online video space and that they could reap more than $1.45 billion in revenue by 2013.

Screen Digest finds that the four major U.S. TV network groups accounted for 53% of the ad-supported U.S. online TV market that generated $448 million in revenue in 2008. The rest of the pie was divided up between services from major sports leagues, traditional online portals and other content owners.

Broadcasters’ direct-only services, such as, accounted for 44% of the ad-supported online TV revenue pie, followed by cable operators, which took 22%. Screen Digest estimates that Hulu took 10% of the total, giving the online TV company an estimated revenue of $44.8 million in 2008. Hulu did not immediately comment on the figure.

Author of the report, Arash Amel, was upbeat about the future for broadcasters. In the report he said: “With better targeting and increased ad inventory, online TV services could be generating per-viewer revenue comparable to an average TV broadcast viewing in as little as three years.”

He did, however, warn that online TV shows would need to carry more than the typical handful of ads to make up the difference.

Online TV represents only 2.2% of the TV advertising market.