Local TV 2020 Ad Forecast Lowered 5% To $18.5 Billion

One forecast for U.S. local TV station advertising has been lowered from its previous projection by around $1 billion, or 5%, due to COVID-19 issues.

BIA Advisory Services now estimates that the year 2020 will see $18.5 billion in local TV’s over-the-air/digital media, down from an earlier $19.4 billion projection.

Over-the-air TV ad revenue is now estimated to come in at $17.0 billion -- down from $17.9 billion -- while local TV’s digital revenue will remain the same at $1.5 billion.

The analysis says local TV stations -- as well as national TV networks -- will be hurt by significant decreases in advertising categories including travel, leisure and retail.

In terms of programming, other analysts say local TV stations will also see fewer dollars from the cancellation of major sports events -- the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and the Tokyo Summer Olympics.

BIA also projects that local cable will see a steeper 9% drop to $5.8 billion in advertising, down from $6.4 billion.



In addition, local OTT advertising --  which many TV station groups sell inventory for in a number of apps/direct-to-consumer services -- will dip to $1.0 billion from $1.1 billion.

Helping out this year will be the continued expected strength of political advertising due to the Presidential election and big state races -- still estimated to total $7.1 billion for all local media, according to BIA, which will mostly be spent in the fourth quarter.

Over-the-air TV will get a projected 45.8% share of local political ad spend.

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