In the wake of a pandemic-disrupted year -- and declining advertising business -- just one of the six major TV platforms witnessed an uptick in ad dollars in 2020: local TV stations' advertising.
Local TV advertising was 8.3% higher to $16.25 billion, driven by record-high political advertising spend.
Total TV advertising saw a decline of 8.9% to $66.8 billion in 2020, according to market and media research firm Kantar.
Kantar had estimated 2020 political advertising on broadcast TV was at $3.5 billion -- a record amount.
Still, TV stations suffered somewhat from a
postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics until 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Previous major political/Olympic advertising seasons have seen local TV rising 12% to 15% or more in the big political and Olympic seasons versus the previous year.
National TV media paced worse than the market overall -- down 13.3% to $50.5 billion for the year. In the second quarter of 2020 -- amid rising cases of the COVID-19 pandemic, national TV was estimated to have dropped as much as 20% to 30% in advertising, depending on the platform.
Cable TV networks had the biggest drop in 2020 -- 17% to $28.7 billion.
Broadcast TV networks were down 10% to $15.8 billion. Spanish-language TV networks suffered almost as much as the broader cable TV network category -- falling 15% to $1.9 billion.
U.S. syndication advertising marketing almost reached positive territory -- slipping 1% to $4.1