CBS: Broadcast TV Looking At Flat Ad Gains For 2017

CBS continues to be more optimistic about broadcast TV ad spending next year -- forecasting flat revenues versus 2016. Other media estimates have projected single-digit percentage declines.

In announcing estimates at the UBS media conference in New York, David Poltrack, chief research officer of CBS, also lowered his projection for this year, estimating that broadcast TV ad revenue will rise 8% versus a early 9.5% number.

Poltrack says this is because Olympic TV advertising came from existing TV budgets -- not new TV media spending. Taking out the Olympics and political TV advertising, he now estimates growth of 4% for 2016 versus an early 5% number.

For 2017, other industry estimates -- including those of major media agencies -- project lower 2% to 3% core advertising gains for TV when leaving out comparative revenue boosts from political and Olympic spending in 2016.



Last year’s strong scatter advertising market has continued, says Poltrack, into this fourth quarter of this year and for the first quarter of 2017.

Overall, Poltrack is optimistic because of higher gross domestic product and consumer spending data, as well as higher employment and rising wages.

Another positive sign, he says, is that the bullish TV ad market is still in its early stages --  that much of 2016 gains came in the second half of the season, along with high Olympics and political TV spending.

While much has been made of pitting digital media versus traditional media like TV, Poltrack says there should be new definitions because of increasing overlap of these businesses.  

For example, “long-form video” on digital media -- consisting virtually of major TV shows coming from big networks -- has seen a sharp 54% rise in revenues this year, projected to gain another 40% in 2017.

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