Commentary

TV Is Still Hot -- Now, And Even Next February

Who -- or what -- is driving the TV advertising market these days? TV networks, marketers -- or perhaps an individual day of the week? It's a complicated formula.

After a dismal year, automotive advertising is back with a flourish, resuming its leading category status. Financial companies and telecommunications continue to be hot, right behind the autos. And movie companies still change media plans as often as movie and media executives change their socks -- daily. All this activity helps stir the pot.

TV's scatter market continues its rocketing pace for the networks, with hefty double digit gains. Currently, TV stations are pacing 20% to 30% and more over the really pitiful 2009 recessionary season, which sank TV companies in the other direction -- 20% to 30%. down.

Looking at some key factors, Thursday night isn't what it used to be -- but what is?

Viewership on that night has drifted south. But the highest rates of viewership have been on Sunday and Monday for many years. Thursday night's claim to fame has been as a big revenue driver, with movie companies still spending on that night and pushing up prices to big premiums. In more recent years, Fox's "American Idol" has help shift dollars to earlier in the week.

TV is dead to some digital entrepreneurs. But then there's the news of the Super Bowl. It's October, and Fox has only two 30-second spots --at $3 million a piece -- left to sell in the big game that airs next February, according to recent report.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. We know it's only one big TV event; it isn't the entire industry. But on more of a regular basis, the NFL, during this current season, has been pulling the best prime-time ratings in more than a decade.

Many TV research metrics -- live-only, live plus same day viewing -- don't look so good, especially for broadcasters. But that's not the whole story. Right or wrong -- helpful for advertisers or not -- after seven days many big prime-time TV shows add 30% to 40% more viewers.

Someone thinks TV is worthwhile enough to still watch these shows a week after their initial airings. That says something.

2 comments about "TV Is Still Hot -- Now, And Even Next February ".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, October 26, 2010 at 1:11 p.m.

    It's easy to post huge gains after a dismal 2009. TV had nowhere to go but up. How does it compare to 2008? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Clearly, TV is not dead yet. (Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain tending a long, slow-burning fuse.) Broadcast TV has a bright future. Want to buy a station? What kind of multiples are they trading at these days?

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, October 26, 2010 at 1:27 p.m.

    Absolutely !

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