Commentary

TV Viewing Is Up, Will Advertisers Follow?

Watching reality -- or avoiding it?  Some research show, for the most part, it’s the latter.

At a high end, Time TV -- a global TV and movie tracking app for consumers -- says some forward-looking research reports respondents are telling them much TV viewing will come from dramas (78%) and comedies (76%).  

But news content?  Not so much -- just 19% are asking for that.

When asked about content they “really want to watch,” 86% say its content that “was already on my watch list.” Way down the list is content that “informs me” -- 20%. TV Time says it has global community of more than 13 million registered fans.

We know how this goes. Everyone might say that they want an escape, but news and information might be key to many people’s survival and health.

In that regard, perhaps both are correct.

Over the last week or so, scripted prime-time programming viewing has seen rises -- albeit small gains so far -- as well as other programming genres.

For national TV news networks, it has seen better gains -- anywhere from 30% to 140% hikes. Local TV stations news has also seen improvement, around 11% in the top 25 markets.

Does this present opportunity? For some. Not so much for cruise lines, national brand hotels and national chains restaurants, which have pulled back virtually all of their media buying.

And what about the big automotive categories? U.S. automotive makers usually make 100,000 cars a day. No longer. All major factories have suspended operations -- at least for a two-week period.

Couple this with major cancellations of big TV sporting events: the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, NBA, NHL, the delay in opening Major League Baseball season. All that isn’t good news. Automotive marketers are big sponsors of sports TV franchises -- as well as national restaurant chains.

Perhaps there will be some major shifts in brand sponsors looking for general-awareness messaging in the coming weeks. But this will come as the marketplace settles in for period, per analysts, that is virtually assured to see a tangible slowdown.

1 comment about "TV Viewing Is Up, Will Advertisers Follow?".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 20, 2020 at 10:09 a.m.

    Wayne, studies of this sort have little merit in the current dire situation where many people will watch news---national and local---to a far greater extent than usual---even though they don't really want to watch this  very depressing content.

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