spend for national sports programming grew 6% for the better part of 2011.
Nielsen says advertising hit $10.9 billion for money spent on TV from the fourth quarter of 2010 through the third quarter of 2011. Cable TV programmers as a group increased their media dollars substantially, improving to a 37.3% share of all sports national TV ad spending.
Nielsen says the increase in spending closely mirrors a similar hike in the amount of live TV sports -- up 5% to more than 42,500 hours of live sporting events on national broadcast and cable TV in 2011.
AT&T Wireless was the biggest spender -- at $423.5 million, more than twice the level of Bud Light, which was in second place at $210.2 million. Another telecommunications company -- Verizon Wireless -- came in at third place, at $207.7 million.
The top 10 individual advertising spenders -- which also include McDonald’s, DirecTV, Geico, Sprint Wireless, Southwest Airlines, State Farm Insurance and Miller Lite -- accounted for over one-quarter (26%) of the total spend during that time period.
The last two years have seen a major recovery from the low recessionary period --from fourth-quarter 2008 to third-quarter 2009, when the total market was $8.28 billion. This was down over $1.5 billion from a similar period the year before, when the market was at $9.88 million.