U.S. TV Average Ad Spending To Sink 25% In The First 6 Months Of 2020: eMarketer

New estimates forecast that U.S. TV advertising spending will decline sharply -- between 22.3% and 29.3% -- for the first half of 2020, according to eMarketer, mostly due to the lack of sports TV programming.

For the first six months of the year, the research company estimates a roughly 25% drop in average total TV advertising -- broadcast, cable, syndication, and local -- to between $23.95 billion and $26.30 billion, from January through June. 

These declines are due to the disruption caused by COVID-19.

Previous estimates from eMarketer, released on March 6, forecast a 2% increase for the full 2020 year to $72 billion.

For the full 2019 year, total TV advertising was down 2.5% to $70.6 billion. In the first half of 2019, national TV pulled in $33.86 billion.

In addition, all major sports franchises -- NBA, NCAA, NHL, and Major League Baseball -- have suspended their respective TV seasons, and the Tokyo Summer Olympics has been shifted to the summer 2021. 



NBCUniversal, the TV network group that will be airing the games, had pulled in $1.25 billion in national TV advertising spending before the suspension of the event.

Political advertisers are still expected to spend big on TV, says eMarketer, “but probably not in second quarter.”  

Although it was anticipated that political ad growth would come from presidential campaigns and other election-related ads, “the election season itself and the apparent insensitivity of campaigning during the pandemic, [means] that spend is largely on hold.”

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