Core February Ads Up, Cable News Networks Strong Gainers

The U.S. advertising market posted a strong February -- up 8% -- even without special TV programming such as the Winter Olympics, The Oscars, and The Grammys, says Standard Media Index, which released February U.S. ad data on Monday.  

Including the Olympics and other special programming, the national advertising market was up 13%.

National TV —- without the Winter Olympics, The Oscars, and The Grammys  — was up 7.6%. Including special programming, it was 12% higher. Broadcast and cable networks each witnessed a 12% hike.

Two major sports events grew in the month: The Super Bowl and the Olympics.

The Super Bowl on NBC was up 3.4% from the year before to $334 million. Overall for the day, it took in more than $450 million.

NBC’s 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics grew 10% over the last Winter Olympics in Sochi -- $903 million of revenue for TV and digital.



Because the heightened interest in political news continued, cable news networks advertising revenue rose: Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC were up 9.4%. MSNBC was the strongest gainer -- up 44%.

Looking at just weekday prime-time programming, 30-second unit commercials costs on Fox News Channel spiked 16%; CNN up 19%; and MSNBC rising 37%.

Digital media posted another big double-digit gain -- 18%. Social media improved 44%. Digital advertising for TV networks, was up 44% -- NBCUniversal (because of Olympics) rose by nearly threefold. Viacom networks grew 40%; and ESPN added 13%.

Internet radio added 18%, with all of radio up 15%. Out of home, added 9%, while print declined 26%.

SMI derives its estimates from national TV media agencies, representing 80% of U.S. media buying.

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