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TV Ad Revs Ride Olympic, Election Tide

If the tea-leaf readers are reading their TV revenues right, spot TV revenues will be down to flat in 2005 but rebound strongly in 2006, up 7%-9%. That's according to the Television Bureau of Advertising, which released its two-year ad forecast Wednesday. That trend is primarily reflective of the two-year Olympic Games/election cycle, which pumps up the national spot market, then deflates it in off years.

TVB predicts that local spot will be up 2%-4% in 2005, while national will fall by the same percentage range, with total spot at -1%-+1%.

The biggest gainers are expected to be cable ad revenues, with network cable up 8%-9% and local cable up 7%-9%. The next biggest gainer is expected to be syndication, up 5%-6%, then network at 2%-3%.

For 2006 (with winter Olympics and more national elections), the picture is rosier for the bunch, with national spot expected to lead the group with projected revenue increases of 10%-14%. Local spot is expected to be up 4%-6%. Total spot is pegged at a 7%-9% increase.

Network cable is targeted for a 9%-10% revenue increase, local cable up 6%-8%, syndication again up 5%-6%, and network up 4%-5%.