TV Ad Spending Up 1.1% in December, Says SMI

Ad spending on national TV rose 1.1% in December, leaving TV down 0.1% in the fourth quarter and 3% during a non-Olympic year.

NFL programming finally showed the effects of lower ratings, with December ad spending on in-game commercial dropping 3%.

In December, broadcast rose 0.1%, while cable gained 1.9% from a year ago.

Cable news continued its rise, gaining 27.2% in December. Spending on MSNBC jumped 56.9%, CNN was up 35.6% and Fox News rose 23.4%.

Spending on news programming on broadcast was down 1%.

With the departure of host Matt Lauer over sexual harassment charges, NBC’s Today show was down 24% in December from the prior years.

In the fourth quarter, broadcast was up 0.5% and cable dropped 0.4%.

NBC posted the biggest gain in terms of ad spending on entertainment programming, ending the quarter up 5.6% largely on the strength of its hit family drama This is Us.

For all of calendar year 2017, broadcast was down 3.9%, while cable dipped 2.4%.

CBS was down 4.2%, mostly because it had the Super Bowl the previously. Fox had the 2017 Super Bowl and spending was up 14.2%. ABC was down 2.3% and NBC was down 15.5% from the prior year, when it broadcast the Rio Olympics.

Without the Olympics effect, NBC would have been up 4% and overall National TV would have been down only 1%.

“Heading into 2018, ad spend in National Television is trending positively while Digital’s growth continues to slow.” said Standard Media Index CEO James Fennessy.  “National Television declined in 2017, but that is almost entirely due to the Olympics in ‘16. We see national brand advertisers paying really high CPM’s for quality drama, and sports programming, despite falling audiences. This speaks to the power of TV to reach audiences with their brand message via a full screen experience with no fraud.”

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.