Local TV Ads Dip 8% In '11, But Trending Up

ArrowDown-Money2011 was not a good year for local TV advertising -- dropping nearly 8% versus the year before. BIA/Kelsey says advertising revenue for TV stations' over-the-air-efforts pulled in $17.9 billion, down from $19.4 billion in 2010.

While local TV stations did improve substantially from their online/digital efforts -- up 18.7% -- it was not enough to make up the difference. Online ad revenues increased to $535 million from $450 million in 2010.

Better -- but not great -- news will come during this year, when usual sharp gains from political and Olympic advertising kick in. BIA/Kelsey says both on-air and online revenues will reach $20.3 billion.

Mark Fratrik, vice president and chief economist, BIA/Kelsey, stated: "Advertising income for local television is trending upward and showing signs of rebound, with a good first quarter for many public television companies. Still, the 2012 over-the-air television advertising market is not what it was 11 years ago."

BIA/Kelsey says television's share of overall local media will continue to grow -- 13.9% in 2011, rising to 14.3% in 2016. The group expects local television to continue to get a "significant boost" from online revenues in the coming years -- almost doubling its current ad totals to $1 billion by 2016.

Combined TV and online is estimated to be $22.8 billion by 2016 -- nearly the record levels recorded in 2006. Just over-the-air TV will climb to $21.8 in five years.

Overall, local media is estimated to be $151.3 billion by 2016, up from $132.8 billion in 2011.

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