Nets' Ad Revenue Takes A Dive, Blame The Olympics
This was expected because of NBC's Athens Summer Olympics broadcast--which pulled in around $950 million in advertising revenue in 2004, according to media agency executives. Total revenues for the 2005 period were $2.2 billion, down $605 million from the third quarter of a year ago. For the year so far, the three network advertising revenues totals are off 8.3 percent.
Here's the good news: When compared with results from the third quarter of 2003--another non-Summer Olympics third quarter--net revenues were 4 percent higher in the third quarter of 2005.
Overall, in comparison to similar time periods, BCFM said in looking back to 2003--another year without a Summer Olympics--the total network revenues increased by 3 percent per year, which was above the inflation rate but lower than the overall economic growth of the country.
It could have been worse if it were not for non-sports prime-time revenues--which were up 8.4 percent, or $100 million in revenue in the third-quarter period. This was a big improvement in prime time from earlier in the year. For the first nine months of the year, prime time grew more slowly--just 1.7 percent, or $87 million over 2004. This confirmed what many media buying and selling executives experienced--that early 2005 scatter selling periods were soft selling quarters.
Without the Summer Olympic ad sales, sports TV revenue sank almost 70 percent, down $707 million for the third quarter. So far this year, sports TV advertising sales are off 41 percent over a year ago.
Other programming day parts witnessed mixed results. Early morning programs had a gain of 6 percent in the third quarter, and 7 percent for the year so far. News programming dropped 3 percent in the third quarter, but has climbed 5 percent since the year started. Kids' programming is down by more than 5 percent for the quarter, and 12 percent for the year.