Sports TV Advertising Grows On Broadcast, Cable

Traditional TV networks' growing dependence on sports programming continues.

Broadcast TV sports advertising is up 8% on a compound annual growth rate basis to land at $8.5 billion for the 2014-2015 TV season, according to MoffettNathanson Research. Live programming, little time-shifting of content and less advertising avoidance are the main reasons.

ABC and NBC witnessed double-digit percentage hikes over the season before. NBC grew 15% to $2.0 billion over five season; ABC added 12% to $1.0 billion.

In 2014-2015, CBS and Fox led all networks in overall dollars: CBS hit $2.8 billion, a 6% compounded annual growth rate over five years; Fox is at $2.6 billion, a 4% growth rate.

MoffettNathanson says as a percent of overall dollars, TV sports has taken growing share -- 37% of total broadcast network ad dollars in 2014-2015. It was 29% in 2010-2011.

Non-sports advertising from TV programming has declined -- down 1% on growth rate over five years to $14.3 billion, for the four major English-language networks. For the 2014-2015 season, ABC was at $4.7 billion (down 1%); NBC growing 7% to $4.0 billion; CBS, off 3% to $3.9 billion; and Fox down 11% to $1.6 billion.

MoffettNathanson says NBC growth came largely due to reality TV show “The Voice” over this period.

Cable TV networks have also seen better results over the last five years in sports advertising -- up 8% to $4.1 billion.

ESPN takes the lion’s share with $2.4 billion, rising 6% over five years. NFL Network is at $407.5 million (a gain of 34%) followed by ESPN2 at $362.3 million (flat); Golf Channel at $302.0 million (up 7%); and NBC Sports at $200.0 million (up 14%).

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