Live, Linear TV Viewing Erosion Impacts Promo Spend

Ongoing erosion in traditional TV viewing has taken its toll on overall TV networks' marketing efforts.

For example, total impressions generated for TV’s promotional and advertising activities slipped 29% to 100.8 billion from 141.2 billion, according to, for the most recent month-and-a-half period from May 1 through June 10.

This tracks, in part, with Nielsen-measured viewing erosion for the current TV season, which has seen an expansion in negative trends -- approaching 20% declines for broadcast and cable TV networks.

As a result, the total media value of TV networks -- promotional spend on TV networks' own airwaves and paid TV spending -- has been declining, to $530.9 million over that period versus $744.5 million, according to

Still, some TV networks have been spending more of their own money -- $39.5 million versus $34.6 million.



The biggest recent spenders are ESPN, at $1.82 million, followed by TNT with $1.81 million; HGTV, $1.75 million; ION, $1.62 million; TBS, $1.42 million; GSN, $1.30 million; and ABC, $1.27 million.

The top individual TV spots, in terms of impressions, are a Disney Channel brand spot, NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” TBS’ “The Cube,” ABC’s NBA Basketball, HGTV’s “HomeTown Takeover,” ABC’s “The Bachelorette,” and CMT’s “2021 CMT Music Awards.”

One factor that is contributing to some, but not all, of the declines in impressions and media value is that total airings of promos and advertising are down 13% to 632,644, from 729,738.

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