Local TV Advertising's Slow Comeback

Local TV advertising has seen an uptick in the number of ad units. This follows the COVID-19 disruption that started in early March.

Nielsen says there were 5% more local spot TV advertising units that aired -- from April 27 to May 3 -- to 1.66 million versus the previous month, March 30 to April 5, when the total was 1.58 million.

This number is still down from a recent high of 1.82 million, from March 9-March 15, just before stay-at-home orders began for many states.

Over this period, Nielsen also reported a slight increase in broadcast network TV ad units -- up 2% -- to 52,817 -- and 1% more for cable networks, at 446,559.

In terms of advertising categories for local TV, retail marketers airing commercials saw an 8% uptick in advertising units (April 27 to May 3) from the month before; while automotive dealers added 31%; communications/public utilities were 28% higher; automotive dealer associations were 15% higher; and hotels/resorts saw a gain of 37%.



Political commercials almost doubled -- to a total of 11,857 (April 27-May 3) versus 5,477 (March 23-29) -- although well off the 207,999 airings for the week of February 24-March 1, just before the stay-at-home orders began.

Overall, Nielsen says, a number of markets were up by double-digit percentages in terms of higher advertising units.

For example, Lansing, Michigan, Portland, Maine; Flint, Michigan; Harlingen, Texas; Boise, Idaho; and Honolulu, Hawaii, were up more than 20%.

The findings: 101 out of the top 132 markets witnessed an increase in the number of commercials aired.

1 comment about "Local TV Advertising's Slow Comeback".
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  1. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, June 2, 2020 at 10:53 a.m.

    Just counting the number of spots that can be identified without tying these to audience attainment and/or ad spend can be a bit misleading. For example, such tabulations generally show many more market by market advertising units---by local, regional and national spot buyers---than one sees for the broadcast TV networks and national cable, however, TV ad spending  is heavily concentrated on the national  side. About 60-65% of TV ad dollars are placed nationally.

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