TV Networks Cut Losses, Down 6% in Q3, AVOD To Surge 32%: Analyst

Although national TV advertising has recovered from the lows of its 30% declines in the second quarter of this year, the third quarter will still be down nearly 7%, according to one analyst.

National TV advertising will drop 6.6% to $7.1 billion, looking at the publicly trading media content companies, according to MoffettNathanson Research.

The second quarter -- which fell in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic-- witnessed national TV sinking a massive 28%.

For the third quarter, broadcast TV networks are expected to sink 15.8% to $2.4 billion; with cable TV networks slipping just 1%.

The only TV group to gain in the July-to-September period -- Turner and Walt Disney cable networks -- was up 30% (to $1.0 billion) and 8% (to $811 million), respectively.

Both network groups benefited significantly from the return of major sports franchises -- especially the NBA, which re-started in the period.
Typically, the NBA ends its season in the second quarter.



Turner also is expected to witness gains on CNN due to the Presidential political advertising season. 

Fox cable TV networks -- helped in large part by Fox News Channel -- are projected to be flat versus a year ago to $254 million.

Among the broadcast TV networks, ABC was down 8% to $443 million, while NBCUniversal (including its TV stations) was off 8.5% to $1.1 billion, CBS lost 15% to $600 million, and Fox sank sharply by 42% to $282 million.

This comes amidst national TV viewership losses during the period -- down 17% overall to a Nielsen-measured 11.8 million prime-time 18-49 viewers, analyzing the average commercial minute ratings plus three days of time-shifted viewing. Broadcast networks are down 29% to 2.5 million viewers, while cable networks have lost 13% to 9.4 million.

Boosted by cord-cutting and the growth of premium video streaming, advertising-supported video-on-demand networks (AVOD) are estimated to climb 32% to $898 million in advertising revenues -- largely attributable to Hulu, with growth of 15% to $592 million, and Roku, expected to rise 40% to $138 million in the period.

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