TV Nets Spend Billions Promoting Lineups

People-watch-tv-Shutterstock-A4Nielsen says this summer and fall, TV networks will spend roughly the equivalent of $4.5 billion in TV promos -- with the majority of that messaging coming from its own network airwaves.

Just over 88% of broadcast TV networks' marketing efforts -- or $4 billion -- comes from its running new season TV promos on its own network airwaves. Roughly 9.3% comes from cross-channel promotion via broadcast networks' sister cable channels. That comes to around $300 million. In addition, 2.4% comes from pay-TV efforts on other networks -- around $100 million.

Looking at total gross ratings points: 336,600 goes on their broadcast networks, 35,600 goes to cross-channel promotion on networks' own cable networks, and 9,300 goes into pay TV media efforts. Gross ratings points are the collective sum of all ratings for TV promos.

This data comes from research gleaned from national TV English-language networks in the third and fourth quarters of 2011.

Nielsen says that in general, broadcast networks relied heavily upon on-channel promos, with less than 10% of promo activity dedicated to cross-channel or paid promos. But this isn't the case for all networks.

Nielsen says for one cable network's promo effort, cross-channel is more important, representing nearly half of all promos (45%). Still, another cable network relied heavily upon on-channel promos with hardly any paid promotion. On the opposite end, another cable network went heavily into efficiently delivering on paid gross rating points.

Nielsen says more paid alternatives should be pursued.

“It’s key to consider promoting off your own network, instead looking to sister networks or online for valuable opportunities to engage with consumers,” stated Justin Rosen, director of media analytics at Nielsen. “Cross-channel platforms may create opportunities to engage not just loyal, regular viewers, but to capture new viewers.”

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