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TV Ad Spending Up 6.4% In 2nd Quarter

Ad spending on TV jumped 6.4% to $18.4 billion in the second quarter.

The gain boosted first half ad spending growth to 3.3%, according to new figures from Kantar Media.

The gains were caused partly because of extra NBA playoff games on both broadcast and cable, Kantar said. Also, a year ago, spending was depressed somewhat by the lead up to the Summer Olympics, making this year’s gain appear larger.

Ad spending on broadcast network TV was up 4.9% to $5.3 billion in the quarter, but remained down 0.6% for the first half of the year. Cable grew 14.9% to $6.9 billion in the quarter, bringing its gains for the half to 10.1%.

Syndication spending was down 1.2% to $1.3 billion for the quarter and 1.1% for the half.

Spanish Language TV spending increased 6.1% to $1.6 billion in the second quarter because of higher budgets from direct response marketers, auto manufacturers and restaurants, Kantar said. Hispanic networks continue to see stronger results than local market Hispanic stations.

Spot TV was down 3.5% to $3.3 billion for the quarter and down 2.9% for the half.

Overall ad expenditures in all measured media increased 3.5% in the second quarter to $35.8 billion. Total spending for the first half of the year rose 2% to $68.9 billion.

"Ad spend has now increased for six consecutive quarters and in reaching 3.5% growth for Q2, had its best performance in a non-Olympic period since the end of 2010," Jon Swallen, chief research officer at Kantar Media North America said in a statement. "However, the gain was boosted by two unusual phenomena. On one side, year ago spending was deflated by major advertisers who conserved budgets in advance of the Summer Olympics and this makes current year growth appear larger. On the other side, there were more NBA playoff games this year and it generated a sizable windfall of extra TV ad revenue. Without these factors, Q2 ad spend growth would have been lower by about one full percentage point."

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.