National TV Ad Time Rises Higher Than Programming Time

National TV advertising time continues to grow versus TV programming content.

In December, there was a 2.9% increase in the amount of advertising time -- an average 10.7 minutes of national ads per national programming hour versus 10.5 minutes in December 2015 and 10.4 minutes in December 2014, according to Pivotal Research Group.

National programming time was flat in December, according to the report.

Looking specifically at Nielsen C3 impressions among 18-49 viewers -- the average commercial rating plus three days of time-shifted viewing -- there was a slight decline in the month of 0.7% in total day viewing, and a smaller 0.4% drop in prime-time viewing.

Viacom networks continue to draw some of the highest advertising loads per programming hour -- at 14.8 minutes/hour, up from 14.3. Viacom has an industry-leading 15.4% share of all 18-49 C3 ratings.

NBCUniversal is next at 14.7%, while the network group average advertising minutes per hour climbed to 11.3 from 11.1. Disney was at a 11.8% share, with its average advertising minutes up to 8.1 versus 7.8.



Scripps Network Interactive, along with Time Warner, showed the only ad load declines. Scripps sank to 13.1 minutes from 13.4 minutes, and Time Warner declined to 8.5 from 8.6 in December 2015.

Although significant declines were expected, individual cable news networks generally continue to see higher commercial audience shares in December following the November election, according to Brian Wieser, senior research analyst at Pivotal.

Fox News Channel increased its C3 share to 1.4% from 1.3%, while CNN was a 0.8%, down from 0.9% and MSNBC went to 0.6% from 0.5%.

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