TV Ad Spending Down 1% in 3Q

Ad spending on TV dropped 1% in the third quarter, according to new data from Standard Media Index.

Broadcast network advertising was down 4% in the quarter, while spending on cable was up 2%.

Ratings were down sharply in the third quarter and the revenue figures might be higher than some projections. The ad market improved somewhat in September, with total TV spending flat. Broadcast was down 2% and cable was up 3%

While nearly all of the largest cable networks had lower ratings in the third quarter, SMI says six of the top 10 cable networks showed ad revenue growth. USA was up 5%, TBS edged up 2%, History gained 10%, FX jumped 19%, Comedy Central rose 6% and HGTV grew 4%. Other gainers included Adult Swim, Discovery and Bravo.

Among the broadcasters, NBC was up 2%.

Overall, SMI says ad spending across all media was up 3% in the quarter, with most of the gains coming from the digital sector, which was up 20%.

Spending on YouTube jumped 59%, while Facebook was up 47% and Twitter grew 44%.

SMI gathers its data from the computerized billing systems of five of the top six global media buying holding companies. 

(Photo via Ervins Strauhmanis's FlickrImage taken on Sept. 19, 2014 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)

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.