Broadcast Advertising Expected To Sink 3.2% For 2017, Cable Down 2.3%

For the first time in over six years, national TV advertising will decline in four consecutive quarters — all of 2017 — according to MoffettNathanson Research.

National advertising revenues for publicly traded companies are projected to sink 2.7% in the fourth quarter — after an earlier estimate that projected a 1.8% decline.

This comes after a similar drop in the third quarter of the year — leaving out Olympic comparisons for 2016 — and 2% declines in each of the first and second quarters.

National broadcast networks will lose 3.2%, while national cable will lose 2.3%.  

There are positive signs for media stocks, says MoffettNathanson Research, including the lowering of the corporate tax rate and potential mergers. But it notes: “The industry still suffers from the well-established structural pressures of falling ratings, weak ad growth, erosion of traditional big basic subscribers and increasing competition from technology companies that enjoy scale and capital market advantages.”



In the last three months of the year, CBS is projected to be down 0.7% to $1.2 billion, while NBCUniversal (including its TV stations) is projected to sink 3.2% to $1.9 billion, Fox is projected to be down 4.4% to $1.1 billion, and ABC is projected to give up 5% to $887 million.

Of the cable network groups, Discovery Communications will be one of the few gainers, excluding the impact of consolidating the OWN network — up 1% to $425 million. Time Warner will inch up 0.5% to $1.03 billion.

Cable network losers will include Scripps Networks Interactive, down 1% to $518 million; 21st Century Fox, 2% to $563 million; NBCUniversal, 2% to $841 million); Disney-ABC Television, 3.6% to $1.36 billion; Viacom, sinking 4.5% to $946 million; and AMC Networks, giving back 8% to $274 million.

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