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TV Ad Loads Decline Slightly in 4th Quarter

Television networks mostly cut their ad loads in the fourth quarter, but not as much as pronouncements by senior media executives would have led people to expect, according to one industry alnalyst.

Todd Juenger of Sanford C. Bernstein said ad loads were down 1% for non-kids programming, but were up 1% in kids programming. He added that many non-kids networks increased ad loads in the quarter.

“For all the promises we have head from network executives about reducing ad loads, this doesn’t seem like much progress,” Juenger said in a research note Thursday morning (Jan. 28).

Obviously, if you reduce your ad load, you’re likely toreduce revenue also, Juenger noted.

Viacom, which has been notorious for stuffing large numbers of commercials into its programming, showed a 4% reduction in its non-kids programming ad load. The ad loads on Viacom networks are still 9% higher than the industry average, Juenger said.