Summer TV Promo Airings See Skyrocketing Growth, Led By Cable Networks

Summer TV program promotion -- the typical period for big TV networks' fall and summer marketing efforts -- have seen skyrocketing spikes in program promotional airings over the last two months, especially from cable channels.

National TV networks' promo airings have climbed 32% to a total 1.13 million airings from 855,436 a year ago for the period from June 16 though August 16, according to This comes amid TV networks’ uncertainties around production delays and schedules as a result of disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of promo impressions has climbed to 186.1 billion from 149.8 billion, largely due to sharply higher promotional activity from cable TV networks.

For example, Discovery Inc’s Discovery Channel came in at 57,875 airings, followed by HGTV with 50,261 and TLC with 39,218 on-air promos, respectively -- among the leaders when looking at all national TV networks. A year ago, those networks had fewer airings, with Discovery at 45,416, HGTV  at 16,950 and TLC  at 22,058.



Overall advertising value for all national TV network program promos is estimated to have dropped by half to $78 million from $162 million.

Second-quarter paid TV advertising revenues have witnessed a decline of between 28% and 32%. Since the pandemic begin in early March, many paid advertisers dropped or shifted media buys to different periods putting pricing pressure on commercial time.

Broadcast networks have been airing promos at levels roughly similar to 2019. This year NBC aired 17,126 promo airings, with Fox at 15,984; ABC, 6,769; and CBS, 6,221 -- for a total of 46,100 airings.

In 2019, over the same period, Fox came in at 16,090, followed by NBC at 11,862, ABC with 8,781, and CBS at 6,899 -- for a total of 43,632.

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