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TV Ad Spending Rose 0.9% in First Quarter: SMI

Ad spending on national TV rose 0.9% in the first quarter, according to new figures from research company Standard Media Index.

The auto industry put the brakes on TV’s rate of growth, reducing its spending by 12.4% or about $143.6 million. Also cutting spending in the quarter was the consumer electronics industry, whose spending was down by $73.1 million, and the entertainment industry, down $69 million.

Categories that increased spending in the quarter included quick-service restaurants, up 12%, prescription drugs, up 17.1%, and insurance companies, up 10%.

Spending on cable was relatively flat, with SMI finding a -0.7% change from Q1 2016.

Among the best-performing cable programmers was Scripps Networks Interactive, whose HGTV was up 17.9%, Food Network was up 10.3%, and Travel Channel was up 16.5%. HGTV’s Fixer Upper generated 38.2% more revenue than a year ago. Discovery Channel was up 10%.

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Cable news also remained hot during the beginning of the Donald Trump administration. CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel together gained 16% in the quarter. But spending was down slightly from the fourth quarter, when the election was held.

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MSNBC is seeing the greatest gains, up 49.5% in spending, led by a jump in ratings for The Rachel Maddow Show.