TV Ad Spending Down 5% in Second Quarter

Advertising spending on television was down 5% in the second quarter, according to new figures from a research company.

The broadcast networks registered a 10% drop in ad revenue for the quarter, while cable networks were off 3%.

In June, broadcast was down 16%, while cable was off 1%. The decline in June was partly caused by a comparison to last year’s World Cup, which generated an estimated $500 million in ad spending.

The lower ad spending also reflects last year’s weak upfront. Buys made in the upfront were down 9% in the second quarter from last year. In June, upfront sales were down 19% and cable was off 1%.

Spending in scatter didn’t make up for the upfront softness. Scatter was down 3% in June—4% on broadcast and 2% on cable.

While dollars were down on television, digital was up 14%. Digital share of the ad market was up 4 points in June. Advertising on video sites, such as YouTube and Hulu, were up about 43%. Social media sites saw gains of 37%.

Overall advertising spending was up 2% for the quarter but flat in June.

The figures come from Standard Media Index, which collects data from media buying agencies. The largest media buyer does not participate in SMI’s research.

(Photo via LG's FlickrImage taken on July 20, 2015 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.