CBS/Viacom Would Dominate National TV Ad Market

Is a potential merger of CBS and Viacom possible?

If it happens, the profit motive is clear. The combined entity would earn the largest media share of U.S. national TV advertising dollars — as well as cross-platform media platforms.

Standard Media Index says a merger would give CBS/Viacom a 20.2% share of national ad revenue when looking at the 2018-2019 October to May TV season-to-date Nielsen data.

This would top NBCUniversal’s 18.4% share; Disney-ABC Television's 16.4%; Discovery's 9.9%, WarnerMedia’s 9.8% and Fox Corp’s 9.4%; with others collectively at 15.9%. SMI data leaves out the Super Bowl February 2019 results on CBS.

Recent reports say CBS and Viacom have restarted merger talks.



For many, the bigger news might be where a CBS/Viacom combination would yield the biggest share of cross-platform advertising dollars.

When looking at major brand advertisers spend on cross-platform media — via major media holding groups' buying agencies — SMI says a CBS/Viacom deal would claim a 11.5% share, besting Walt Disney’s 10.5%, Google’s 10.4%, NBCU’s 9.4%, WarnerMedia's 5.1% and Facebook's 4.9% with others totaling the remaining, 48.2%.

SMI data comes from five or seven major media agency holding groups and leading independents, totaling up 70% of the national TV market, about 60% of all cross-media spending for major U.S. marketers.

SMI’s also combines actual paid unit prices for TV spots with occurrence data from Nielsen Ad Intel to model out the full 100% of the national TV marketplace, coming from Nielsen’s 130 networks and syndication programmers.

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