Although automotive continues to see ad spending weakness, TV station group Tegna says its advertising and marketing services business revenues were up 10% in the first quarter to $354 million.
This growth was largely attributable to higher advertising driven by the Winter Olympics and the Super Bowl on its NBC-affiliated TV stations.
In addition, Premion --- the company’s OTT/CTV advertising sales division -- contributed to the higher advertising sale revenue.
Automotive advertising --- and some other categories -- continue to suffer from ongoing supply-chain issues as the economy struggles to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic period.
Political ad revenue has been spiking and is now at $18 million for the first three months of the year in anticipation of the coming mid-term elections in November, Tegna says -- up 80% so far from the period leading up to the 2018 midterms.
By comparison, in 2020, during the same three-month period leading up to the Presidential election, political advertising was at $47 million.
Tegna says overall its advertising/marketing services business is up 20% from the first quarter of 2020, while subscription revenue has inched up 1% to $392 million -- offset by subscriber declines and an interruption of service with Dish due to a carriage and negotiation dispute.
Total company-wide revenue for the quarter was 6% higher to $774 million.