TNS: TV Ad Spending Slides 2.4% in First Half of 2007

Advertising spending in television dropped 2.4% in the first half of 2007 versus the same period in 2006, according to TNS Media Intelligence, a research group specializing in advertising and marketing information.

Within television advertising, network TV slipped 3.6% to $11.8 billion in the first half, while cable TV rose 2.8% to $8.4 billion. Cable’s growth was attributed to a strong first quarter, tempered by soft results in the second quarter.

“General-interest and sports networks were slack in the second quarter,” said Jon Swallen, senior vice president and director of research at TNS. “The growth came from niche networks that are cannibalizing audience from the larger networks.”

The middle-tier networks are monetizing their ratings gains into higher unit prices and higher total ad revenue, he added.

Rounding out television ad spending, spot TV was down 5.4% to $7.3 billion, Spanish-language television was down 1.2% to $2.1 billion and national syndication slid 5.3% to $1.997 billion.

National TV represented 32.8% of total ad spending across media in the first half, down from 33.1% last year. Local TV represented 10.8% versus 11.4% last year.

Marketing content integrated into a primetime hour in the first half constituted 25 minutes and 29 seconds, or 42% of the hour. That total included both ad messages, which represented 17:25 of an hour, and brand appearances, which represented 8:04.

Brand appearances in unscripted reality programming, which consistently incorporates brands into story lines, averaged 11:52 of each hour, while ads during those programs averaged 17:42.

In late-night programming, the brand appearance average rose to 14:12 as guests on late-night talk shows are often there to represent or promote brands. Ad messages during late night programming represented 21:43 of an hour on average.