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Television Ad Revenue Down 41% in April: SMI

The loss of sports programming hurt ad revenue in April. (Image credit: Basketball)

Television ad spending was down 40.9% to $1.4 billion as the COVID-19 pandemic throttled business, particularly sports, according to research company Standard Media Index.

SMI said that local advertising was most affected. Spot TV dropped 58.8% to $101.2 million and local cable plunged 75.5% to $22.3 million.

National broadcast TV was down 37.5% to $425.4 million and national cable fell 39% to $656.9 million.

Digital advertising was less affected, with total digital advertising down 22.5$ to $1.4 billion and digital video down 22.9% to $278.9 million

Sports was a big factor in the April  numbers as the NBA and NHL stopped playing, Major League Baseball never started and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament was cancelled.

Sports programming ad revenue was down 72.1% to $93.7 million, compared to non-sports programming, which was down 30.2% to $1.14 billion.