Ad spending on major TV-centric companies fell 16.5% in the third quarter, their worst results since the COVID-19-related ad recession in the second quarter of 2020, according to a composite analysis published this week by the equity research team at KeyBanc Capital Markets.
The composite -- which includes Disney, Comcast, Paramount, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Fox -- reflects a range of individual company results (Fox grew 4%, while Comcast fell 39% due to prior year comparisons that included NBC's coverage of the Summer Olympic Games).
"For advertising, we are worried about: 1) the challenging macro; 2) recent negative comments from Snap and others around brand advertising; and 3) ad-tier launches of major streaming services, which suggests more competition in a declining category," the KeyBanc team writes in a report to investors, adding: "Tough macro and competition create difficult advertising environment.
"The advertising environment is challenged as supply chain disruptions have restricted inventory for products leading to lower advertising spend in areas (i.e., autos), though being offset in other verticals (i.e., pharma)."
The report emphasizes recent negative advertising outlooks from Snap's and Procter & Gamble's recent earnings calls.