May Hits Flat TV Ad Revenues

In May, the last month of the TV season, national TV advertising revenue was essentially flat versus the same month a year ago -- up 0.8% to $3.74 billion, according to Standard Media Index’s AccuTV Service.

Season-to-date ad revenues from October 2017 through May are also essentially the same -- down 0.3% to a total of $30 billion national TV dollars. This does not include advertising dollars for NBC’s airing of the Winter Olympics in February.

Last month, the growth in advertising dollars came with sports and news programming, which made up for declines in advertising on entertainment programming on traditional TV linear networks.

Sports and news programming was 16.1% higher in May for virtually the same number of big sports playoff games versus May 2017. At the same time, advertising on entertainment programming for this period fell 3.1%.



Linear TV entertainment programming is being affected by new digital TV technology. SMI says: “Marketers continue to react to consumer migration to multiple viewing platforms -- VOD, OTT, FEP and other ad supported digital video, as well as non-ad supported migration headlined by Netflix.”

SMI says the flat national TV revenue results were due to a slight rise in the number of 30-second commercials, which grew 3% season to date to over 6.3 million advertising units.

SMI also says there was a 2.7% rise in the number of audience deficiencies units (advertising make-goods) to just over 1.3 million for the season so far.

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