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.