CBS' Poltrack Forecasts Flat Growth For Broadcast Ads

CBS’ David Poltrack says the broadcast TV advertising market will continue at a virtually flat growth rate through 2015.

Speaking at an UBS’ 42nd Annual Global Media and Communications Conference, the chief research officer of CBS expects that for 2015 as a whole, the broadcast TV market could be down 1% versus 2014 — or up 1% when leaving out the big gains from the Winter Olympics in 2014.

Poltrack says the first half of the year would be virtually unchanged but the second half of the year would show some growth, at 2%.

For 2014, he said ‎the broadcast networks will now see advertising revenue hikes of 1% in volume this year, or down 1% when adjusted for the Olympics. Poltrack had previously predicted 6% growth, or 4% when adjusting for the Olympics lift.



“I missed the call for 2014 by a wide margin," he said. "The advertising market never gained any momentum in 2014."

Still, he estimates broadcast TV networks would be able to capture some “back share” from the cable networks — possibly adding 1% to their upfront deals made in June 2014. This would be for the broadcast year September 2014 through August 2015.

Broadcast could be flat in upfront advertising revenues versus the previous TV season’s upfront market. Excluding the Olympics revenues of 2014, for the full calendar year 2015, broadcast could see a 2% rise.

Poltrack characterize the current TV advertising market as a “mercurial scatter market that fluctuates day to day.”

4 comments about "CBS' Poltrack Forecasts Flat Growth For Broadcast Ads".
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  1. Leonard Zachary from T___n__, December 9, 2014 at 9:12 a.m.

    The $$$million dollar question for David Poltrack: is this cyclical or secular?

  2. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, December 9, 2014 at 9:44 a.m.

    Down is the new flat.

  3. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, December 9, 2014 at 10:38 a.m.

    Short term, this is probably a cyclical situation, due in large part to a flat economy as well as continued audience losses to cable and alternative forms of communication. Long term, it's probably something that will recur, at least for the broadcast networks and stations, and this is something they must account for in their future planning. In our upcoming annual, "TV Dimensions 2015", we go into this in some detail, describing how the TV networks have been developing alternative revenue sources to offset slowing growth in ad dollars. So far, the networks have been quite successful in this regard, however, that is no guarantee for continued growth, especially as their ratings get smaller and smaller and their audiences keep aging.

  4. Tim Brooks from consultant, December 9, 2014 at 6:15 p.m.

    What is a "flat growth rate"?

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