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TV Ad Revenue Grew 21% in Q1: SMI

Television ad revenue jumped in the first quarter as automakers and pharmaceutical companies turbocharged their spending, according to new figures from research company Standard Media Index.

Total TV spending for the quarter was up 21.2% from a year ago. March spending was up 18%.

Automotive ad buys on TV were up 45.8% and pharmaceuticals jumped 38.2%, in the quarter according to SMI.

Broadcast TV spending was up 24% in the quarter and up 12% in March. Broadcast got a boost from NBC’s Olympic coverage in the quarter.

Cable TV was up 21% in the quarter and up 18% in March.

Among the cable networks showing the strongest growth in the first quarter were AMC, BET and History.

Syndication was up 11% in the quarter, spot TV grew 22% and local/MSO cable was up 4%.

Ad spending on digital rose 23% in the quarter and 22% in March, according to SMI.

In total, all ad spending was up 18% in the quarter and 17% in March.

SMI pulls itss data directly from the computers of media agencies representing about 60% of a media buying.