Finding Those Solid Ad Revenue Stories -- Amid A Possible History-Making Upfront

Look closely. Two independent TV network groups are preening a bit: AMC Networks and Crown Media Holdings.

On Monday, AMC Networks reported 25% more advertising in the first quarter than last year; Crown Media Holdings witnessed a 14% hike in advertising in the same period.

Looking at this narrow data set won’t tell you much about the general TV advertising market. We have seen overall single-digit percentage declines in TV advertising sales -- or, at best, single-digit gains from the bigger TV network groups.

And there could be worse to come: This year the traditional TV upfront market is in real danger of making some ugly history, with the first back-to-back national TV upfront revenue volume declines. That’s right -- all broadcast, cable, and syndication -- down.

A big contributor is widespread viewer erosion, now commonplace among many top 20 cable networks. Broadcast networks’ response? Welcome to the club.



Now the good news: While many are predicting volume declines of 5% or more for the national TV market, that still leaves media sellers with a hefty $19 billion.

Many will say TV isn’t dead -- showing the promise of linking consumer purchasing product data to TV shows, addressable advertising, and advertising-supported video-on-demand programming.

But where is the scale? And are some of these ideas only for  some cable networks? Even then there are different automated systems, measurement quandaries, and general confusion.

Back to AMC and Crown Media. AMC Networks has some of the biggest shows on TV  — “The Walking Dead” and “Better Call Saul.” Crown Media’s Hallmark Channel continues to gain viewers for its original series like “The Good Witch.”

Now, one might argue these two companies are only being compared to small advertising revenues bases. Still, they are not just making do, but exceeding in their respective goals.

Bigger TV networks continue to look for new ways to generate revenue, and aim to outdo all those digital video wannabes with true scale and the ROI metrics marketers want.

Still, wouldn’t it be easier just to find another “Walking Dead”?

2 comments about "Finding Those Solid Ad Revenue Stories -- Amid A Possible History-Making Upfront".
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  1. Ira Berger from The Richards Group, May 6, 2015 at 2:56 p.m.

    Sure, if were only that easy. Exactly how many original shows were launched last year?

  2. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, May 6, 2015 at 7 p.m.

    It would be easier to add another couple of hours a day to watch programs and steal audience from gaming. 

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