TV Advertising Cuts Losses to 8% Drop in 3Q: SMI

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After a steep 31% drop in the second quarter because of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic, TV advertising revenue was down 8% in the third quarter, according to new figures from Standard Media Index.

SMI said that spending returned as local lockdowns ended. The rebound was also fueled by high levels of news viewing and the delayed start of the National Basketball Association and National Hockey League playoffs.

SMI’s figures including national broadcast, cable, syndication, spot TV and local / MSO cable.

Overall ad spending was down 5% in the third quarter after a 32% drop in the second quarter.

Digital media actually turned positive, increasing 8% and accounting for 50% of spending between July and September. Search and digital video were particularly strong.

Other media, including out-of-home, cinema, radio and print were down 46% in the third quarter.

Among advertiser categories, pharmaceuticals were the top performer up 19%. The key auto category was down 19%.

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.