TV Ads Forecast To Hit $81B In 2014

Led by expected growth in political advertising on TV stations this fall -- and steady national cable TV gains --  total TV advertising is projected to see a modest increase of 6.4% this year.

A 2014 forecast from MoffettNathanson Research indicates that TV advertising will grow to $81.1 billion from $76.3 billion in 2013. The projection is down somewhat from an earlier estimate of 6.6%.

Local TV stations are looking to spike up 12% to $25.5 billion, with national cable climbing 5% to $31.0 billion. Local cable advertising will add on 7.5% to $4.9 billion. Political advertising will add to local TV coffers this fall.

National broadcast television will continue to struggle, and is forecast to underperform the growth rate of other TV platforms and rise only 2.0% to reach $15.1 billion. An earlier MoffettNathanson projection placed national TV at 5.0%.

The MoffettNathanson analysis suggests TV is “witnessing a period of lower CPM growth for non-essential TV content.” It adds that: “Essential TV content would include live-sports-related and event programming, large mass-reach scripted shows and cable networks that delivered key demographics for endemic advertisers.”

Next year will see a return to a struggling TV ad market overall, with total TV advertising inching up 0.3%. TV stations -- in a non-political/Olympic advertising year -- will see ad totals drop 5%, with broadcast networks off 3%, and local cable slipping 1%. Only national cable networks will rise to 5%. Syndication ad revenues will be flat.

There will be a return to ad prosperity in 2016 --also expected to be a strong political/Olympics advertising period -- with a forecast for 7.4% growth in total TV. The projections include a 12% gain for TV stations, 8% for national broadcast TV, 5% each for national cable and local cable, and flat results for syndication.

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